Archive for the ‘Altruism’ Category

LinkedIn Helps You Pay It Forward to Nonprofits

By Wayne Breitbarth, CEO of Power Formula and author of The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success: Kick-Start Your Business, Brand, and Job Search

You’ve polished your LinkedIn profile, developed a large network of valuable contacts, and joined the most advantageous LinkedIn groups. From a professional standpoint, you should now be reaping the benefits—growing your client/customer base, seeing increased activity on your website, and becoming a thought leader in your industry.

You obviously did not get to this point alone. Friends and business associates have written recommendations for you, used the introduction function to introduce you to key members of the business community, and shared your status updates with their networks. Along the way, you have undoubtedly assisted your connections as well, but now it is time to pay it forward in another way—by helping your favorite nonprofit organization.

Here are six ways you can use LinkedIn to benefit your favorite charitable group:

  1. Include information about the organization in your LinkedIn individual profile. In the Experience section, list as a current job your title and/or involvement, along with the name of the organization. You then have 2,000 characters to explain the organization’s mission, accomplishments, and needs. Once you do this, the organization will appear in the top box of your profile. You can list three websites on your profile. Use one of the three websites for a hyperlink directly to the organization’s website. In the Summary section, consider having a special section to describe why this organization is important to you. Include in the Specialties section the name of the organization or other keywords that describe the group. You can then be found more easily if someone searches for people involved in your specific group or other groups with a similar mission or purpose. Use SlideShare or Google Presentation to share a PowerPoint or video about the organization. Use Blog Link or WordPress applications to connect the organization’s blog to your profile. Finally, list the name of the organization in the Groups & Associations section.
  2. Use the Status Update Box on your home page or Discussions/News in groups you belong to. Here you can publicize an event, recruit volunteers, share results and accomplishments, ask a question of the group or your network that will help solve a problem, and find employees, suppliers, and/or vendors for the organization.
  3. Use the LinkedIn Advanced Search function to find out who in your network knows people at the significant foundations and companies in your marketplace. Then facilitate an introduction to the staff of the nonprofit organization.
  4. Search for and join LinkedIn groups in and out of your regional or local market that appear to be in the same space or have a similar mission as your organization. This is a great way to keep track of what others are doing, saying, and sharing.
  5. Start a LinkedIn group for the organization’s supporters, donors, and/or volunteers. A subgroup can be created to share information that is only pertinent to volunteers, for instance. Starting a group for an event you are planning can help you share information leading up to the event and wrap up information after the event.
  6. Use the Events application to promote the organization’s upcoming events.

Follow these six simple but highly effective steps—all of which can be done without leaving the comfort of your home or office—and then don’t be surprised when the phone rings with an invitation to join the board of your favorite nonprofit!

Strategic Networking on Social Media

By Frank Agin, Co-Author of LinkedWorking: Generating Success on the World’s Largest Professional Networking Website

Successful networking requires a multi-faceted attack. That is, to have a highly productive network, you need to involve yourself in the world from lots of different angles.

You need to continually work your contacts in your networking groups, such as trade associations, civic organizations, and structured referral groups. You need to make a point of attending various networking functions—such as chamber after hours, trade shows, and business open houses. And you need to engage in free-form networking—including things like individual face-to-face meetings, a round of golf, or other activities where you connect with others in an informal manner.

In addition, to be a successful networker in the 21st century, you need to embark upon a degree of networking using specifically designed Web sites, better know as social media. You could cast a presence on LinkedIn. Or you could involve yourself on Facebook. Or you could work yourself onto one of the many other social networking sites out there. Using any one of these can be a great means of adding another weapon to your networking arsenal. After all, these sites have a worldwide reach and operate literally around the clock.

The reality is, however, that LinkedIn, Facebook, and other forms of online social media are just tools in the networking process. They aid you in the development of relationships, but none of them replaces the need for good old-fashioned networking. If you want to be successful using online social media, you need to follow the same rules you would use when networking in the real world. Call this “LinkedWorking”—applying real-world networking habits to social media. Some examples of LinkedWorking include:

  • See opportunities in everyone. In the real world, everyone is connected—directly or indirectly—to opportunity for you. As such, you should approach everyone with open-minded respect. This is the same with online social media. You should never dismiss people because of the content of their profiles or stature in life. You just never know with whom they are connected.
  • Lead a life of altruism. In the real world, the number one way to be successful in networking is to commit to giving to the world around you. The same holds true for online social media. With everyone that you connect, ask yourself, “How can I help this person?” Then commit to taking action. If you do, things will come back to you in spades.
  • Take consistent action patiently over time. In the real world, a flurry of networking once or twice a year generally yields very little, as building strong relationships takes time. This sort of binge networking does no better when it comes to online social media. When you network online, as in the real world, commit to taking consistent, moderate action. Over time, you will be amazed at all that comes your way using this approach. Remember that networking is more like a crock pot than a microwave. With online social networking, the same is true—patience is a critical ingredient.

Successful networking requires you to work on several different fronts. In the 21st century, that should include social media. To successfully operate on this technological front, however, you need to practice LinkedWorking. That is, do the same things in networking online that you would do in the real world.