LinkedIn 4.0 – Learn About Accelerated Connectivity Like Never Before

By Rick Itzkowich

When people ask me how I became the “Rick I – The LinkedIn Guy,” I take them back to 2007. When the recession hit, I was searching. Like most people who originally sign-up for LinkedIn, I wanted to generate new referrals. Connecting on LinkedIn was free so I signed up. But quite frankly I had no idea what to do with it. And I didn’t do anything with it other than invite a few people to join me on it. That was the extent . . . for a while.

Then one day during my BNI – Business Networking International chapter meeting, a member requested an introduction to an individual. Since I didn’t know the person, I wrote down the name. I thought to myself, “Maybe they’re on LinkedIn.” I went back to my office, and I did a search. And sure enough I found him. To my surprise, I not only found him, but I also found that he was connected to two other people that I knew. I asked these individuals if they would be willing to facilitate an introduction. One of them introduced me, and I got my first taste of the awesome power of LinkedIn. The short story is that my BNI colleague ended up doing substantial business with this person, and that’s when the light bulb went on. The purpose of LinkedIn had worked through me in a big way. I began to realize it’s tremendous potential.

Technology is a means to an end—not an end in itself. New technologies emerge all the time. And this can be totally overwhelming. But, there are certain aspects of technology that are allowing us to advance in our networking. LinkedIn is a valuable technology that offers speed and convenience in today’s busy business world. It fosters relationship building and the ability to start conversations with people based on your connection.

LinkedIn gives you insight and visibility into the connections that people who you know have. It offers you this untapped potential that most people do not even know they have available to them. Plus, it helps you organize useful connections for you and those you know.

Here’s an example. Let’s say somebody who wants to meet Mike Smith doesn’t know that I know Mike. But they do a search on LinkedIn, and they find out that Mike is a second-degree connection to me, Rick Itzkowich. They ask, “Hey Rick, I see that you’re connected to Mike. I’ve been trying to connect with him because of his asset protection specialty. Do you know him?”

I can tell that person, “Not only do I know him, he worked on my estate plan. Let me introduce the two of you.” Before LinkedIn, they didn’t know that I know Mike, and I didn’t know they wanted to meet Mike. LinkedIn makes that possible in a very logical and reputable manner.

Now, there are three potential obstacles that need to be acknowledged so that the intention of LinkedIn is not misunderstood. First off, people mistake LinkedIn for a traditional sales channel. They assume that you meet people on LinkedIn to direct sell to them. They think it’s Facebook for business and may engage in an unprofessional manner or use pushy sales tactics. As LinkedIn is all about nurturing relationships and building your credibility and trust with your connections, a direct sales strategy creates ill will.

Another factor to consider is that you do need to spend time on LinkedIn. Not a high volume of time — just putting in 30 to 45 minutes per week can pay off big time. I like to allocate just 10 minutes a day. I might send out five invites to connect and write two recommendations for colleagues over my second cup of morning coffee.

The last obstacle is that there is no LinkedIn guide, and unfortunately there is a ton of noise out there about how to make LinkedIn work.

Let me offer ways to avoid those obstacles: focus on your profile, network, and activities. You need to have an effective profile. Be sure you include a professional head shot and in your profile copy speak to your audience in the first person about what sets you apart in a way that doesn’t read like a resume. Keep your profile complete and up-to-date, as it is your mini sales webpage. You need to build a large diverse network. Send out invitations. Ask for names and add them to your LinkedIn. Discuss LinkedIn so others know to find you there. Your activities need to have some congruency as well as a strategy for growth. If you already did an impressive job of having a thorough profile that actually targets specific things related to what you are wanting to accomplish, complement that by actively staying involved on LinkedIn and clearly speaking to target individuals. This way, others feel like you are real, that they know more about you, and that you know what you are talking about in your industry.

I’ll let two Vistage Chairs tell you in their own words how my LinkedIn guidance worked for them:

“I am in countdown mode for my upcoming event. Of my 31 RSVPs, all but two, are from LinkedIn. Your system rocks and worked perfectly for me, especially since my husband and I have only been in Scottsdale since September. You rocked IT! The referral system and my tenacity with LinkedIn outreach has given me a good start. I am anticipating 20 out of the 31 who signed up. Thank you for introducing your system to me. It’s been a terrific experience.”
Susan Giles Bischak, Vistage Chair

“I did two sessions with 17 referrals and [received] three immediate responses. One appointment for one-hour worth of work. Priceless.”
Tom Rodell, Vistage Chair

These types of results are typical when you have guidance on how to tap into the power of technologies such as LinkedIn. Furthermore, you can link other technologies and find more relationships to foster. With the mindset of a technology-empowered connector, you keep your connections alive through referrals.

In addition, LinkedIn supports trust-building and that’s why it’s effective when it comes to referrals. LinkedIn is used as a first point of referral contact that gives you visibility and reach. For my line of work, when I meet somebody offline, my first action is to send them a LinkedIn invitation to connect. I use LinkedIn to gather some basic information, and then use my invitation and LinkedIn’s messenger to start a conversation. Once we are connected, LinkedIn allows me to be visible to that person’s connections as well as allows me to search for professions connected to my new contact. Essentially, LinkedIn is a giant database that allows you to find more targeted people via a variety of filters. As you can see, if you use LinkedIn effectively, it will give you the opportunity to identify mutual connections and people you want to do business with.

Lastly, LinkedIn’s feature of being able to give people recommendations adds trust. A recommendation on LinkedIn is different from many other places because it can be traced back directly to the individual. If you leave me a testimonial, somebody can click on that and know that you exist. They can read your profile, which gives them confidence that this was a real recommendation, a real testimonial as opposed to one that was made up. In addition, you cannot change a single word of a recommendation or testimonial, which adds validity.

So, it’s not just having your profile up on LinkedIn, but it’s utilizing LinkedIn to the max. I am happy to give you my How to Monetize LinkedIn in 10 Minutes per Day guide at no charge. Click here to download the 15-page PDF or paste this into your browser: http://ntwrk.biz/monetizelinkedin

In closing, let’s connect on LinkedIn! Send me an invitation at www.linkedin.com/in/ritzkowich and feel free to ask me questions.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2018

Rick Itzkowich (It’s-ko-witch), aka “Rick I – The LinkedIn Guy” is a Vistage Chair and founder of 501 Connections, Inc., a San Diego-based business, networking, and referrals coaching company. Rick is a genuine people connector. He helps people bridge the two worlds of face-to-face and online networking. As an official member of the prestigious Forbes Coaches Council and successful entrepreneur, Rick coaches, writes and creates turnkey products that meet today’s demand for tools to increase profits through referrals. His products QuoteActions, Link Power Now and Rock-IT! Referrals have generated millions of dollars in revenue for businesses worldwide.

Rick is a sought-after author and speaker. He presents to a diverse group of sales, networking and professional organizations, and is a regular SCORE® speaker. Internationally his YIKES! LinkedIn workshop earned the Best Speaker Award at the Dubai “You Learn Twit Face” social media conference. As a former CEO and business owner of two successful companies, one manufacturing and the other in professional development, Rick has logged more than 30,000 hours of corporate training. Rick was born and raised in Mexico City. He speaks five languages and has traveled to 43 countries facilitating learning vacations. He resides in La Jolla, California. And, in his spare time Rick plays on a nationally ranked tournament baseball team.

Contact Information: Rick Itzkowich, Vistage Chair, Entrepreneur, Speaker & Author, (858) 456-7653, rick@rickitzkowich.com, www.rickitzkowich.com, LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ritzkowich, Twitter: @thelinkedinguy

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code”, “Cracking the Business Code” and “Cracking the High-Performance Team Code”, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Our Sino-Am Leadership Program helps executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, http://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.  We also have an affiliate in the UK who covers all of Europe so we are now a true multi-national company that can support our clients globally.

Are You Over Networked and Don’t Know It?

By Marc Stein

Recently, it seems that professional networking has hit a new state of frenzy. Many of our professional colleagues are scrambling to participate in every professional, charitable, or political networking events and related venues under the sun… and the whole experience has an eerie family tall biz peopleresemblance to the stock market rush of the late 90s.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong evangelist of getting involved and believe it necessary for successful rainmaking but what is the reason of participation? If it is to build your business through referrals, a more concise networking plan may be appropriate as a part of your overall business development program.

Building Your Personal Networking Strategy

Each of us has a slightly different agenda for networking but most include building our businesses and expanding professional resources. So, with that precise end in mind, let’s build a plan of action.

First, identify the target client that you are most interested in; the more specific you can be the better. This is by far the most important aspect to building your plan.

This will drive many decisions you will need to make. For instance, would you like to meet clients that you would like to attract or the professionals that serve them or both?

Successful networking can be achieved at the end user or advisor level but for ROI purposes, we recommend concentrating on peer-to-peer networking first and direct to consumer as a distant second.

Remember, referrals from other trusted advisors are 100 times more likely to end in engagement. Direct client networking is good for personal branding and identity to go deep in a particular industry but not the best investment for generating new business.

Decide what peer groups can get you further faster and let the others go. Concentrate on going deeper with your target groups and politely ignore the others.

Networking Tips for Reluctant Professionals

When meeting other professionals for the first time, simply ask what the other person does. This is an incredible icebreaker even for the shy or introverted. People like talking about themselves and are very focused on sharing their own information. Actively listen for any cues that he or she may be of assistance to any of your clients, if not simply share your elevator speech that you developed from the Professional Rainmaking without Selling program. Of course, you should be prepared if they inquire first.

connectionIf it turns out that there is an obvious mismatch, ask them if they know anyone at the event that serves the same clientele that you do. If they do, ask them if they would introduce you. If not, thank them and move on.

Being the author and unabashed activist of Professional Rainmaking without Selling or marketing, I believe the best and most consistent business comes from peer-to-peer referrals. Be extremely mindful of where you invest your time, energy and money, otherwise you may find yourself over networked as well as over worked.  Happy Networking!

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014

Inspiration and Techniques for Building Championship-Level Performance – Lighthouse clients have one thing in common – all are committed to boosting the performance of their organizations. So, we are pleased to introduce our clients and friends to Boaz Rauchwerger — speaker, trainer, author and consultant. We highly recommend Boaz to you. Ask him to deliver one of his inspirational programs at your next executive retreat or strategic planning session.

One of our favorite Boaz programs is “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”. It helps you build on the strengths of everyone’s individual differences. This program helps you discover five steps to get everyone to join the building crew and resign from the wrecking crew. This is a very powerful and inspirational program that receives rave reviews every time.

• Master five techniques to inspire others to perform like champions
• Six recognition techniques including the powerful “good finder” program
• Learn four ways that your team can gain a competitive advantage
• Identify the three prerequisites for maximizing the team’s results
• Learn the two forms of keeping a daily score so everyone wins

Who is Boaz? Over a 30-year span, Boaz, author of The Tiberias Transformation – How To Change Your Life In Less Than 8 Minutes A Day, has conducted thousands of seminars internationally on goal setting and high achievement. He has taught over half a million people how to supercharge their lives, their careers and how to add Power to their goals. His innovative program, for individuals and corporations, is a simple and highly effective process for high achievement. He was voted Speaker of the Year by Vistage, an international organization of CEOs and business owners. How to Contact Boaz – Want more information on Boaz’s Power Program, including “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”? Just click here and we’ll be in touch.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA  90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching.  Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code” please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Effective Business Networking

By Barry Carlin

We go to business events to make contacts to enhance our business.  With appropriate preparation and technique, even a shy person can be successful and have some fun in the process.  These tips are from a book by Susan Roane: How To Work A Room, and things that I have learned from friends, colleagues and the best teacher of all…my own mistakes.lightbulb people

Pre-Event Preparation – Have:

♦ Plenty of business cards and give them out to all that you meet.
♦ A pen
♦ 3 pieces of small talk: kids, weather, news, sports,etc. If it fits your personality, a short, clean joke. Avoid politics and religion.
♦ Prepare and practice a 10 & 60 second “self introduction”:
– Upbeat & positive
– Who you are.
– What you do & what benefits you supply.
– Why your service/product is unique or special.
– Go from the least to the most important facts.
– What is a good referral for you.
♦ Dress professionally.
♦ Place a neat, easy to read, nametag on the right so it can be seen as you shake hands.
♦ Work out with a buddy: To introduce each other and their business and a rescue signal to get out of a situation.

At The Event:

♦ Arrive on time
♦ Check out where everything is so you can assist others
♦ Say hello to friends and the host
♦ If you forget a name, state yours and ask theirs again with humor “I don’t have all-zheimers, I’m told I have half-heimers” or “I guess I’m getting old”
♦ Act like a host, show interest in others
♦ Have a positive attitude and smile
♦ Walk away from people with negative behavior
♦ Focus on the benefits of the event and the organization
♦ Have a good handshake: not too limp or too hard, not “the 2 handed pump”
♦ When talking: make eye contact, listen attentively, do not be looking around the room
♦ Make strangers & people by themselves feel comfortable

Making Contacts at the Event

Have the courage to take risks.  Approach people!  Everyone is there to make business contacts and they will appreciate the chance to talk about their business.

Be direct, ask people what they want to be asked!!!  Hello, my name is_____________.

♦ What is your business? (listen attentively)
♦ Ask questions to clarify and show an interest
♦ Where are you located?
♦ May I have your card?
♦ What would be a good referral for you?
♦ Let them see you write something on the back of their card
♦ If you genuinely have an interest in doing business with them or referring to them, let them know (make sure to follow thru)
♦ Pause with eye contact and a smile. 95% of the time they will ask about your business. If not “May I tell you about my business”?
– Hand them your card
– Do your 10 or 60 second “Self Intro”
– Let them know what type of referrals you are looking for
– Follow thru with promises to get or give information
– Offer to introduce them to someone that can help their business, at the event or elsewhere….seek ways to refer business to others.
♦ Set up light meetings (lunch, coffee or at work) with anyone you may be able to do business with. Do not try to close business at the event.
♦ Do not spend too much time with any one person, you are there to make contacts. To extricate yourself: “Excuse me, it was nice meeting you. I will speak to you (or see you) at________, or I look forward to seeing you again. There are several people I promised to meet with at this event.”

After the Event

♦ Send a hand written note to everyone that you met. “Hello, I am ______, we met at _____. I look forward to … “ yada, yada, yada.
♦ Follow thru with all promises in a timely manner.

Things to Avoid

♦ Pigging out at the buffet
♦ Monopolizing conversation or interrupting others when speakingaround the world
♦ Being too loud
♦ Hard sell of your product or service
♦ Complaining or criticizing
♦ Getting drunk
♦ Negative people
♦ Behavior or jokes that are sexually suggestive

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014

Dr. Barry Carlin, the founder and director of Best Performance Systems, has been involved with performance enhancement and injury prevention and reduction since 1987. Dr. Carlin has taught seminars and trained hundreds of companies throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Dr. Barry Carlin was chosen to be a featured speaker on Workplace Ergonomics at the recent National Ergonomics Conference in Las Vegas. His topic was “An Integrated Approach To Increase Productivity And Reduce Injuries 50-90%”. To contact Barry, call him at 888-306-0002 or 310-478-1234 , e-mail info@bestperformancesystems.com or visit his website, www.bestperformancesystems.com to receive a free report on how your employees and company can benefit.

Inspiration and Techniques for Building Championship-Level Performance –  Lighthouse clients have one thing in common – all are committed to boosting the performance of their organizations. So, we are pleased to introduce our clients and friends to Boaz Rauchwerger — speaker, trainer, author and consultant. We highly recommend Boaz to you. Ask him to deliver one of his inspirational programs at your next executive retreat or strategic planning session.

One of our favorite Boaz programs is “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”. It helps you build on the strengths of everyone’s individual differences. This program helps you discover five steps to get everyone to join the building crew and resign from the wrecking crew. This is a very powerful and inspirational program that receives rave reviews every time.

• Master five techniques to inspire others to perform like champions
• Six recognition techniques including the powerful “good finder” program
• Learn four ways that your team can gain a competitive advantage
• Identify the three prerequisites for maximizing the team’s results
• Learn the two forms of keeping a daily score so everyone wins

Who is Boaz? Over a 30-year span, Boaz, author of The Tiberias Transformation – How To Change Your Life In Less Than 8 Minutes A Day, has conducted thousands of seminars internationally on goal setting and high achievement. He has taught over half a million people how to supercharge their lives, their careers and how to add Power to their goals. His innovative program, for individuals and corporations, is a simple and highly effective process for high achievement. He was voted Speaker of the Year by Vistage, an international organization of CEOs and business owners. How to Contact Boaz – Want more information on Boaz’s Power Program, including “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”? Just click here and we’ll be in touch.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA  90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching.  Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code” please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.