24 Jul 2014

Establish Expertise with LinkedIn

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 Establish Expertise with LinkedIn

Once you’ve polished your LinkedIn profile, you’re ready to start putting LinkedIn to use. You can start networking, get access to industry information or build your reputation by joining groups. The best part is it doesn’t have to take a lot of time! Much of your participation in LinkedIn can be engaged in passively, prompted by reminders that come from the website.

Gathering News and Information

LinkedIn provides a number of ways to stay up-to-date with news in your industry. Pulse is LinkedIn’s content network, providing the news stories that appear on your LinkedIn home page. You can customize this news stream to include business sectors as well as topics, like “Your Career.”

Professionals from various industries also act as regular contributors to Pulse. Use the Discover tab in Pulse to find a list of people you might want to add to your news stream based on your Profile. Beneath this list of thought leaders you’ll find a broader range of Influencers you may want to hear from.

Various publishers also participate in Pulse, so if you want to follow news from Fortune Magazine, for instance, you can add that to your LinkedIn news stream. To round out your information diet, consider adding news and updates from companies that interest you.

Again, based on your Profile, LinkedIn will make suggestions of companies you might be interested in reading about. You will find the recommendations on the right hand side of your home page. Don’t forget to follow the BMS Bankruptcy Management Solutions company page!

Updates from your connections will also show up in your news stream automatically. You’re likely to see news of job changes, promotions and other announcements from colleagues when you visit. It just takes a few minutes to tailor your news stream to make LinkedIn your home base for news and information related to your industry of focus and your practice.

Joining and Using Groups

There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn and it’s not always easy to figure out which ones to join. Keep in mind that the size of the group is not necessarily an indication of its value to you. A good rule of thumb is to start with your professional area.

To find a relevant group, type a few keywords in the search bar at the top of LinkedIn, and then click on Groups on the left hand side of the results page to narrow your choices. You can also find groups by looking at your colleagues’ Profiles and seeing which groups they’ve joined.

Some groups are designated as Private and your request to join will be reviewed by an administratior. Private groups tend to control spam better and keep the conversation on topic. However, you cannot preview the activity of a private group, so it’s not possible to assess the group’s value before you ask to join.

Once you’ve joined a group, an easy way to assess whether it’s going to be worthwhile is to have a weekly digest of the group’s activities sent to your e-mail. This is an adjustable setting within each group. If you find that a group isn’t useful to you, you can leave the group at any time.

One advantage to being a member of a group is that groups are a good place to get recommendations for resources. Need to secure a meeting space in Minneapolis? Find an auctioneer for business equipment or a realtor to help sell off some property? LinkedIn Groups are great for getting feedback from people with specialized expertise quickly.

LinkedIn

Getting involved in groups on LinkedIn is an effective way to position yourself as a thought leader by answering questions posed by other members. Even if you don’t contribute, groups allow you to stay in touch with trends and ideas within your field.

Another advantage of joining groups is the ability to network with other group members. When you first join a group, you can specify whether you want to allow other members to contact you through LinkedIn’s mail system. This provides you with another avenue for growing your professional network.

Fitting LinkedIn into Your Schedule 

As we’ve established, LinkedIn can be an incredibly useful tool for fiduciaries. But active users complain that it has its flaws. Some contact information is hidden from view, and can only be accessed by upgrading to a paid account. Others complain that the site is confusing to navigate.

After the initial investment of time familiarizing yourself with LinkedIn, you will be able to establish a pattern to your visits. If you’re just getting started with LinkedIn, plan to check back three times weekly, spending 10 minutes or less per visit.

Set a series of tasks for yourself: add to your list of contacts, ask a question in one of your groups, invite people you just met to join your network, or take the time to answer a question to further your thought leadership. Your activity should start reaping results.

As You Gain More Business from LinkedIn

As your practice starts taking off because of your reputation on LinkedIn, we’d like to remind you that BMS offers free software that helps fiduciaries and their staff automate many routine, time-intensive tasks involved with the administration of your cases. TrustWorks, our no cost case administration software, allows you to keep track of assets and the funds received as those assets are sold off as well as keep those monies with fee-free accounts at Rabobank, N.A. In addition, when it comes time to distribute funds, our engine allows you to account for the most complex of distributions and even lets you create reserve accounts for monies that need to be set aside for later. You can even do all banking functions such as opening accounts, writing checks and requesting wire transfers all through our TrustWorks software platform. Learn more by visiting us at: BMSadvantage.com/TrustWorks.

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