How much time does it take?

I get asked often, “How much time should someone spend on LinkedIn?” I don’t want to answer this question because it’s not focused on a goal.

I would prefer to answer this question, “How much time should someone put into using LinkedIn in order to create real business results?”

Sometimes I answer the question this way, “Consider reinvesting 10-15 minutes every day using LinkedIn to build your presence, your network, and your reputation. Look at the other related tasks you’re doing today that don’t create the greatest results and invest that time into using LinkedIn instead.” (Example – extended cold calling)

This is hard for people to do because they are comfortable with those other tactics, even if they are not creating real results.

This is hard for people to do because they are not sure yet of the right way to use LinkedIn. They have not experimented enough or been taught the proper use of LinkedIn.

The best answer is this, “I strongly recommend LinkedIn Members who want to create real business value need to integrate the use of LinkedIn into other relevant business processes.” (Example – I never cold call without first doing research on LinkedIn.)

There are lots of actions you can do using LinkedIn. Which ones are right for you is directly influenced by your goals. Here are a few ideas:

  • If you are recruiter you may need to invest more time doing research on candidate Profiles and less time on 1:1 engagement and content sharing.
  • If you work a captive book of business (i.e not hunting for new clients), you’re more likely going to spend time sharing and engaging on relevant content and less time using the LinkedIn Search tools.
  • If you are an inside salesperson focused on current clients, you may spend more time on 1:1 engagement and content sharing than you would on market/industry researching.
  • If you are in marketing you’re likely going to spend more time researching companies, relevant content and influencers and less time searching for people or engaging on content.

These are just a few of the diverse ways different people in different roles could be using LinkedIn.

Look at some of the different functions available within LinkedIn:

  • Refining/updating your LinkedIn Profile.
  • Commenting on and/or Liking Content.
  • Sending new LinkedIn Invites.
  • Managing LinkedIn Invites.
  • 1:1 messaging using text, images, documents, audio, and video, etc.
  • Sharing and engaging on content in LinkedIn Groups.
  • Research of LinkedIn Companies and Content.
  • Reading relevant and useful content.
  • Researching other LinkedIn Members
  • Analyzing your LinkedIn Insights (Profile views, Content activity,
  • Managing LinkedIn Notifications
  • Prospecting through LinkedIn Search
  • Sharing content in your LinkedIn Company Page
  • etc, etc, etc

I sometimes say LinkedIn is like a swiss army knife. Knowing what all the different blades are, helps you to determine which one to use when, and/or at all.

You don’t need to do everything all the time. You use specific areas of LinkedIn based on the specific task and/or goal.

Back to how much time should you spend using LinkedIn, and doing what?

Initially, I recommend investing a minimum of 15 minutes a day reviewing the different ‘knives’ and deciding what steps within LinkedIn could create the greatest initial value for you in your role. Then once you know how to use the tools, align your use of LinkedIn with other business processes while you continue to invest 15 minutes a day learning more about the tool and how you could again, integrate another LinkedIn activity into another business process.

Fact – if you don’t find a way to integrate the use of LinkedIn into other business processes, you will never completely adopt LinkedIn as a business tool in your role.

No one is truly successful using LinkedIn as a ‘stand-alone’ business tool

Should I subscribe to LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Watch the YouTube Video that answers this question, or read below:

Here is my written response to this question:

The quick answer is this:

If you are serious prospector who needs an application to do focused searches and track prospecting activities, you should consider LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

A Serious Prospector uses LinkedIn Search tools multiple times every week and wishes there were just a few more filters available and features available.

Hitting the Commercial Use Limit too early in the month is not a reason to use Sales Navigator. You could use Business Premium to overcome that limitation.

If you think you need Sales Navigator, I recommend committing to a two month evaluation of the application, subscribing month to month rather than for an annual plan. You’ll get the first month for free if you do a 30 day eval. Give yourself two months to validate your needs and that you will consistently use the application.

Then become highly familiar with the application.

Here are a few features you will want to experiment with to get the greatest value from LinkedIn Sales Navigator:

  1. Saved Accounts – If your prospecting focuses on businesses, save accounts and then focus on the people in the businesses you are tracking.
  2. Saved Leads – Research the people in accounts who are relevant to your prospecting. Save the ones you want to pay attention to in Sales Navigator.
  3. Build structured Tags – Do this up front. Having a tagging philosophy helps you manage your prospecting activities easier.
  4. Experiment with Sales Navigator navigation. It is somewhat different than LinkedIn and you will need to switch back and forth between the two. There are also cool functions hidden behind windows and the various three dot menus (…)
  5. Experiment with Sales Navigator Filters and the integration of Boolean Strings in appropriate filters. Building powerful search strings is one key value of LinkedIn Sales Navigator
  6. Experiment with Saved Searches in Sales Navigator and LinkedIn. You can have up to 3 saved searches in each interface. Create unique saved searches across both platforms. Use the search results.
  7. Experiment with Sales Navigator and LinkedIn messaging. They are currently still stand alone systems. Messages sent via SN do not show up in LI, and visa versa.
  8. Experiment with the Mobile Apps. You’ll want to be able to efficiently use these apps. Learn what you can and should do using them and what you should not use them for because of compressed functionality.
  9. Build the use of Sales Navigator into your sales processes. You should be using Sales Navigator and LinkedIn within all of your sales processes, including calling and emailing targets, prospects and/or clients.
  10. Pay Attention to your Social Selling Index. Yes, it’s primarily a sales tool to get you to subscribe to Sales Navigator, however your SSI Score and other LinkedIn KPIs are a good measure of your activities.

If you want to discuss the benefits of using Sales Navigator as a prospecting tool and how I could help your sales team create success using these tools, grab a slot on my calendar and let’s talk about your goals.

Teddy