Has LinkedIn Become a Time Drain?

This is a guest article by LinkedIn book author Wayne C. Breitbarth.
Getting the most out of LinkedIn in just 15 minutes per day

You set out to quickly check your LinkedIn inbox, and an hour later you wonder where has the time gone? Sound familiar? Without a clear strategy for making the most of the time you spend on LinkedIn, it is easy to become frustrated. Get in the habit of setting aside 15 minutes per day to follow these six easy steps, and watch LinkedIn go from time drain to time well spent.
powerformula linkedin success bookcover1. Respond to any messages in your inbox — I can’t emphasize enough the importance of being timely when someone is reaching out to you. Always think about how antsy you get when someone doesn’t answer a text message in a minute or two. The world we live in has really amped up this expectation; so don’t let a day go by with something sitting in that box. If the item doesn’t require a response, like a mass invitation to an event, place it in archive so you don’t spend another minute thinking about it.
2. Invite people whom you met yesterday to join your network — Timeliness on this step is important for a couple reasons. First, you want to make sure the person you met will remember the meeting or conversation you had with him/her that led to the invitation to join your network. Second, being the aggressor and sending the invitation shows that you care and are very good at timely follow-through. This will make a good first impression and suggest you are punctual and efficient in all your business dealings.
Always be sure to invite people from their profile page so you can write a personal invitation. Don’t take the easy way out and use the standard LinkedIn invitation when you are trying to begin what should be a long and beneficial relationship.
3. Review the previous day’s emails of group discussions you are following — Don’t select the option of following a discussion unless you are really interested in the topic or the person who started the discussion, because you will be overwhelmed by the quantity of these emails. Be selective. This will save you time and allow you to keep tabs on the most important discussions.
4. Review the status updates from your network for the previous day — This is your chance to be a part of or comment on what is most important in your friends’ lives. Remember–when you share a comment, you are sharing it with all the people in their network, and that is great marketing for you.
5. Post a status update of your own — Don’t miss this great daily opportunity to share information with your entire first-level network and also remind them that you are still out there doing business and looking forward to their help. You want to stay top of mind with your friends, and this is a super way to do that.
LinkedIn etiquette allows you to do some self-promotion from time to time, preferably crafted in a question type format, but do not make this your focus. Remember — LinkedIn is a networking platform, and that means giving, sharing, and helping first and foremost.
Do some homework during the rest of your workweek, and save links to interesting articles and websites. This will give you great content (and save you time) when you are doing a status update. In Mitch Joel’s book Six Pixels of Separation, he suggests that “content is media,” which is so true. So why not make this part of the LinkedIn experience your own little daily media machine.
6. Review “Recently Connected” — Is there anything more important in the networking world than knowing who your friends just met? I have received more benefit from this section of my home page than any other part.
Good luck in grabbing that 15 minutes a day to LinkedIn success!

Written by Wayne C. Breitbarth, Author of The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success: Kick-Start Your Business, Brand, and Job Search (March 2011, Greenleaf Book Group). You can find Wayne on LinkedIn at Linkedin.com/in/waynebreitbarth.

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