The opportunities presented by LinkedIn come in many shapes and sizes: an expanded network, an enhanced relationship, an invitation, a new client, a brainwave – and the sweetest opportunity of them all, money.
If there’s something in particular that you want to attract to your business, use that focus to flavour your own challenge. Before you start, I recommend you read and implement the LinkedIn tips in the articles LinkedIn 101 for the Solopreneur and Developing your LinkedIn network.
Make a commitment
This challenge couldn’t be simpler, but you need to commit to it. A big two minutes a week!
Allocate time for the ten-week challenge in your calendar, and commit to undertaking the assigned activities. For full impact, the actions should be done weekly, not all at once.
This approach allows you to be in front of your network for at least ten consecutive weeks. When you’ve finished, come back and let us know how it went by adding a comment below.
Ten simple weekly steps
Week 1: Connect your LinkedIn account to your Twitter account, but opt for only selective Twitter updates. (Your complete Twitter feed has no place on LinkedIn). You can then update your LinkedIn ‘Share an update feature’ by adding the hash tag #li to a tweet.
Week 2: Update your LinkedIn status using the ‘Share an update’ feature. Share something you’re doing today with your network. For example, you could say: “I just read an awesome article on Flying Solo”. (Feel free to choose to this one!)
Week 3: Write a recommendation for someone in your network. For best results, make sure you don’t accept a recommendation back from them in the same week.
Week 4: Join a LinkedIn industry group that’s relevant to your area.
Week 5: Update your LinkedIn profile to include your senior school. Review the list of your classmates, and invite some of them to connect with you.
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Week 6: On the navigation bar at the top of the LinkedIn home page, click on More, and then Answers. Find a question that someone in your network has asked that’s relevant to your expertise. Answer it.
Week 7: On the bottom right hand side of the LinkedIn home page, select Add an Application, and choose Reading List by Amazon. Add a business book that you’ve recently read, along with a line about what you learnt from the book.
Week 8: Read a recent LinkedIn Network weekly updates email, and then comment on something someone in your network has done.
Week 9: Return to the Add an application feature, and add a poll to your profile. Ask a relevant question, and use the results in a future newsletter or article.
Week 10: On the top right hand side of the home page is a box titled ‘People You May Know’. Read through the feature and invite everyone you know and would like to network with to connect with you on LinkedIn.
Analyse your results
Like all projects, it’s wise to take some time at the end of your ten-week challenge to review the return on the time you’ve invested. Identify the opportunities that developed as a result of your efforts, as well as which aspects of LinkedIn worked best for you and seem particularly appropriate to your industry.
Continue to analyse your results over time, because, like much of the internet, LinkedIn can have a long-tail effect. The seeds you plant today may not blossom until many months later.
Are you doing the ten-week LinkedIn challenge? Please keep us posted on your results. We’re also interested in any extra LinkedIn tips you have to share about getting the best from LinkedIn.