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7 Tips for using LinkedIn to Track Contacts AFTER a Conference

Blue Man Group #BBNYC Blogger Bash Event @DownshiftingPRO

I recently returned from New York City where I attended Blogger Bash.  This conference is a meeting place where influencers, bloggers, PR professionals and sponsors can meet, exchange business cards and network.  It is a showcase where toy, gaming and entertainment companies  like Disney Infinity, Care Bares and Peanuts the Movie gave us exclusives on upcoming toy and movie launches.  We were able to meet the cast of the upcoming Peanuts move (or the kids behind the voices).

Conferences like Blogger Bash, Blissdom Canada, Mom 2.0, Type A Parent and BlogHer bring bloggers together in a big, big way.  Beyond panels, workshops ad seminars at any given conference you will find there are ample opportunities to meet and network.  Be it at breakfast, lunch or dinner, vendor expos, experiential events, entertainment shows, movie previews and private invitations for a select few.

 

All of this takes place over a few days and can be a world-wind of meetings, handshakes, hugs (as you finally get to meet IRL – in real life).  It is also an opportunity to introduce yourself to potential sponsors or companies that may be looking for brand ambassadors, sponsored posts or content providers.

Networking is a fine balance between sponsors and PR agencies telling you about their company and product and you telling them about your blog, your audience and your digital reach or digital footprint in our on-line world.  We introduce you to our world and you introduce us to yours and we try to find how we can work together.  As a digital media influencer, networking in 2015, you need to be able to keep track of who you spoke to and what they mentioned about a product or service.  LinkedIn has a few features that can help you with building that relationship.

#BloggerBash in  NYC @DownshiftingPRO

After the initial introductions, we proceed to the exchange of business cards.  I, personally, find business cards archaic in the digital world but everyone still likes to use them.  So once I have passed mine over, I always ask a new contact if they can be found on LinkedIn. 

Why?

Because LinkedIn has the capacity to keep all your contacts in one place, you can access them whether you are on you computer or your smartphone.  More importantly, my new contact has all my contact information right there in front of them.  They can view my profile and see that not only am I a blogger, I am also a speaker (on a variety of topics) and twitter party host at LinkedMoms.  I also have a list of brands and companies that I have worked with in the past.

Yes, you can find that information out by reading my blog but you can also have all that information, at their fingertips.  Right away, they will know that what I am is a ‘professional’ blogger and business owner.  It is important that you use LinkedIn to connect with your new found business partners be they other bloggers, brands or PR professionals.  Here are my tips on how to use LinkedIn after attending a conference (blogging or otherwise).

LinkedMoms: Paula Schuck and Margarita Ibbott BBNYC Blue Man Group event

Seven Tips to using LinkedIn after attending a Conference
  1. Make sure that you have introduced yourself and your blog to a potential sponsor and get their contact information. Give them one key piece of information that they can then associate you with.
  2. Give them a heads up that you will be contacting them through LinkedIn.  This lets them be more open to accepting your invitation  for adding them to YOUR professional network.
  3. Keep profile pictures consistent.  Make sure that the person they talked to is the same person on all platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest).  Remember: do not use logos as a profile picture.  Networking is about meeting people and connecting with people.  Pictures provide visual cues for the next time you meet them IRL.
  4. Update your LinkedIn profile so it reflects your most recent posts.  If you have started to do more travel posts and less baby post, make sure that you have made it clear that you are opening new categories for a variety of content.
  5. Make sure to have the contact information easily accessible.  Be it an email address or phone number, make it easy for your new contact to get a hold of you.  You want to work with them, right?
  6. Make notes in the ‘relationship’ section of their profile.  This lets you record: (1)  notes about them – something that you talked about in your first meeting or something that they mentioned; (2) where you met them; (3) reminders for follow up.

    ABOVE: notes on what you spoke about or upcoming releases that you would be interested in.  Also topics that you might have in common.


    ABOVE: Where did we meet?  Was it an event, a conference, over dinner with a friend.  Maybe someone introduced you, add that reference to your comments.


    ABOVE: Set a reminder to follow up after the conference.  Maybe you are looking for Holiday Gift Guide content and they wanted you to remind them in September but you are currently in the heat of the summer.  Post a reminder to connect with them again.

  7. Make sure to update your status with mentions of the conference;  that you are planning to follow up or ;that you are hoping to reach out to your recent connections.  They will see that in their feed if they connected with you.  This way, you are keeping them informed and you will be ‘top of mind’.

I connected with quite a few of the people that I spoke to at Blogger Bash right away.  Some have already reached out to me to see how we could work together.  Some are probably just taking a week off from the craziness in New York.  Regardless, if you connect with these people on LinkedIn, you have the ability to keep your name and your blog on their radar. 
LinkedIn is where business people connect and network.  It’s THE social media platforms for professionals.  Use it wisely and you are opening yourself up to all sorts of new blogging (or business) opportunities.

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Join us on @LinkedMoms Chat – Wed. March 26 at 8 pm ET for #LinkedInForBloggers–You need to be there!

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I have a passion for LinkedIn®.  Long before others understood the importance of networking on-line, I was preaching to the doubters.  LinkedIn® is a powerful networking platform.  So much so that every second two more people join LinkedIn®. With that kind of growing professional network it is no wonder that we find many brands and brand managers listed there.  Remember LinkedIn® has over 277 million global members.

Here is the thing, many bloggers have yet to discover the benefits of being on LinkedIn® feeling that it is not ‘social’ enough or that the platform does not welcome  mom or dad bloggers.  That is not true.  LinkedIn® helps expose you to potential clients (brands, PR firms/agencies or digital marketing types) that are looking for professionals.  So if you are a professional blogger that is always looking for opportunities, then you need to be on LinkedIn. 

If you are looking to connect and work with a particular brand, then you need to be on LinkedIn® just to be able to see if you are connected to someone that works in that company.  Working on the principal of six degrees of separation, you will be able to find someone that knows someone that works with someone that may be able to help you out.

Remember, as bloggers, we live in a very social world, but that does not mean that brand and marketing people are there.  They may be in a boardroom or office with little to connection to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  It also means that some owner and decision makers are to busy running their business and they just need to find you in a directory.  That is what LinkedIn® is: a worldwide professional directory.

If you want to know more about why blogger need to be on LinkedIn®, you can read my 5 Reasons Bloggers Need to be on LinkedIn post that I wrote for Type A Parent.  Please leave me a comment and let me know how you use LinkedIn®.

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Once again in an effort to help our Blogger Community grow, we will be hosting a #LinkedIn4Blogger Chat.  Join me as I give you tips on working with LinkedIn® on #LinkedMoms Chat

DATE:
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26, 2014

TIME:
8:00 – 9:00pm (EST)
7:00 – 8:00pm (CST)
6:00 – 7:00pm (MST)
5:00 – 6:00pm (PST)

HOSTED:
@Linkedmoms

LinkedMoms website

MODERATORS

@DownshiftingPRO and @4LinkedLearning – Margarita Ibbott
@DownshiftingPRO on Facebook
@DownshiftingPRO Blog

@inkscrblr – Paula Schuck
@inkscrblr on Facebook
@inkscrblr on YouTube
@inkscrblr Blog

You’re Missing Out – Why Bloggers Need to be on LinkedIn®.

I was recently asked to write a blog post for Type “A” Parent on why bloggers need to be on LinkedIn.  I wanted to share this post with my LinkedMoms community.  I hope you enjoy it…

 

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I have been on LinkedIn since 2009.  I have had a love affair with this particular platform long before many people got their first invite to connect.  I have tried, in vain, for years to preach the gospel of LinkedIn… It has not been easy but with over 225 million users in every country in the world, I know I was right in sticking to this platform.  When I joined, there were 50 million members.  I know that because when I started to do presentations about the virtues of LinkedIn  those were the numbers I quoted.

No so any more, LinkedIn has matured into a professional networking and social media platform that has more than 2 members join every second… yes, every second.

Why do I like LinkedIn?  Because you can see everything about me in one quick snapshot:  my picture, my name, the ‘many’ hats that I wear, my location, my current place of employment and most importantly, my personal URL.  It is my calling card… without having to hand out a business card.  All my contact information and links to my blog etc.  are all right here. In one spot.

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I am amazed to this day how many bloggers are not on LinkedIn®. 

“I don’t get it”

“Its just for business people”

“Its not really a social network”

“I’m on there but I’m not sure what to do”

Here is my pitch to all of you blogger to get on LinkedIn® as soon as you can.

  1. It is where professionals are.  Your a professional aren’t you?  By this I mean that not only are professional bloggers to be found on LinkedIn so are those that we want to do business with: PR firms, agencies and BRANDS.  No self respecting brand is not on LinkedIn®.  You can find all those contacts that were eluding you.

    Below I have typed in PR Firm New York. First it will list all my 1st connections then, my second connections.  That means I could find someone that is currently working with a PR firm in my group of ‘business’ friends or colleagues.

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  2. LinkedIn is a one stop shopping platform for clients.  How so? You can have your website, blog, twitter handle (s), Facebook page, Pinterest and Instagram accounts all listed in one place. 

    “Why wouldn’t they just go to my blog?” Some of the contacts that you find on LinkedIn may ONLY BE on LinkedIn.  They may not be on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.  “Well, I don’t need them then”… Wrong. You need for those that have the power to approve your brand ambassador application, your blogger outreach contribution to review your client list to find you on LinkedIn because it is the professional networking platform.  

  3. The SEO capabilities are astounding.  LinkedIn comes up in the top 3 spots when you Google yourself… Go ahead try it. If you are on LinkedIn®, Google will list your LinkedIn profile at the top of the page.  Why? Because LinkedIn works very hard at providing great SEO for its members.

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  4. You can become an expert in your field by sharing great content on LinkedIn.  Maybe it is content from your blog or an article that you share about how bloggers should be compensated or an article about the benefits or working with bloggers.  You can be that voice that people listen to in regards to blogging (or social media or organizing or travel) on this professional network.

    One of the ways that potential clients can see your talents is when people endorse you for the skills that you have listed.  If you are an expert on Blogging, Facebook, Social Networking etc. clients can see how your professional network see you: as an expert in your field.  If you look at my skills and endorsements below, you will see that my strengths are in blogging, speaking and even professional organizing.  Clearly skills, I want to emphasize for those future opps.

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  5. Lastly, you can have recommendations that will make your profile shine!  I have landed more then one speaking engagement because I have sent potential clients to my LinkedIn profile where they can see the recommendations that I have received from verifiable sources (i.e. a LinkedIn Connections).  Why is this important? Because those potential clients (brands & PR firms alike), can see for themselves who you have worked with and what great things they say about your professionalism, integrity, creativity, reliability… you see where I am going with all of this, right?

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    Recommendations are golden and no there social network has that kind of pull.  It is a waste not to take advantage.

If you are serious about being a professional blogger and want to grow your network, make sure to fill out your profile and ask to connect with your new contacts via LinkedIn.  Any time someone wants to work with you, they’ll have YOUR information close at hand in their LinkedIn Contacts/Network.  They can recall your face by seeing your picture and they can review who you are and what you are good at. 

If you are a blogger, you need to be on  LinkedIn.


LinkedIn is a registered trademark of LinkedIn Corporation.  All photo images have been taken directly from Margarita Ibbott’s LinkedIn profile.

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