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LinkedIn Secret Tools for Construction Business Owners and Business Development March 11, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in iPhone, linkedin, Social Media Tools.
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LinkedIn Secret Tools - Don't Talk Too MuchIn my attempt to help others leverage LinkedIn it dawned on me just how unfamiliar most construction business owners and their business development staff really know about LinkedIn and the apps that utilize it’s information. I have shared the “7 Lesser Known Apps to make LinkedIn Pop” and recognize there are more apps and tools to share that will improve productivity, garner deeper relationships and manage your connections. These are the Secret LinkedIn Apps to Success for Construction Business Development. Every SMPS member should be leveraging these tools and become more effective in managing their construction industry connections.

Evernote Hello (Android, iPhone) – Scans Business cards, automatically connects, makes meetings memorable. Great for prequalification presentations, jobsite, and pre-construction meetings!

CoBook (iPhone) Imports your contacts with Rich Profiles, organizes volumes of contacts with intelligent search by name, company or group. It also displays the local time for each contact – a handy feature!
To get it to work with LinkedIn, On your iPhone, open Cobook’s Settings and simply shake your phone. Aggregating your contacts in one place so you’re never caught without your contacts while at the jobsite.

Tout Email analytics, email templates, live feed interaction with links to call, email or access your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system for personalized follow-up. If you don’t have a CRM solution you can import your contacts by group or association. Works with Outlook, Gmail and synchronizes with your LinkedIn Connections. The ultimate in easy follow-up to all your important construction meetings and business development opportunities.

Five Hundred Plus For those of you with over 500 LinkedIn connections, this personal CRM tool now has a team feature if you have team members nurturing a prospect. Keep you LinkedIn connections close and nurture referrals with those that influence the construction industry.

ProInsights.me (Android tablets, iPad and the iPhone) This app offers a better way to visualize your connections with infographics, has an intelligent search that’s useful for finding someone when their name escapes you. Sorry no videos available on this one but there’s a quick overview preso on their website. Most construction professionals are visual, so make your LinkedIn connections and relationships easier to navigate.

NoteLeaf (Android, iPhone and Blackberry) This is a fantastic app that takes your Google Calendar (Which I sync my Outlook too daily) and gives me a recap of who I am meeting with 10 minutes before my meeting on my mobile device. Although not currently accessible in beta trials, add your email and get invited to their official release. I’ve used this for over a year, keeping me informed with my construction prospects, influencers and customers.

Charliehq Another suggestion to sign-up for early. CharlieHQ will give you a reminder before a meeting and help you stay current with a contacts activities. Heard about this tool via my network. Looking forward to it’s release!

7 Little Known Apps to Make LinkedIn Pop! January 2, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, linkedin, Social Media Tools.
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LinkedIn Apps that Pop
LinkedIn is the king of Business to Business Social Networking but few have taken the time to learn the details of how to leverage their personal and company profiles.  Even fewer have found the real secrets of using applications that can extend the value to their email, smartphone or tablet.  Sure they have the LinkedIn App installed on their phone, but it’s terrible for  inviting people to connect with you on LinkedIn. One day LinkedIn will add a way to customize your invitation on their mobile app but who has the time to waste in this fast paced world?

These seven applications will help make  LinkedIn deliver business results and fulfill your 2013 resolution of leveraging Social Media. Best of all most of these apps are free to use (some offer premium services).

For People You Meet and want to Keep in Touch WithCardMunch is a Business Card App that transcribes contacts and connects on LinkedIn, currently for iOS only (owned by LinkedIn)

To Meet People When Traveling: HereOnBiz ( iOS only) is perfect for when you are looking to meetup with connections in other cities, and receive notification when connections that matter  are nearby or at the same event.

For People You Need to See More Often: HookFlash is a WebRTC app for video calls to your LinkedIn Connections ( iPad only)

To Keep Track of Who You’ve Spoken To and When: ConnectedHQ is a lite Customer Relationship Management solution CRM (owned by LinkedIn) which also incorporates profiles from Twitter, Facebook and Google+ providing a universal address book, comprehensive profiles, daily agendas and events.

To Showcase Your Expertise: Slideshare lets you upload your presentations and docs (owned by LinkedIn) so you can embed them on your LinkedIn Profile in the Summary, Education or Experience Sections.

To Keep Your Conversations Fresh: Rapportive is a Gmail  plug-in for access to LinkedIn, Skype, Twitter and Facebook profiles (owned by Linkedin)

To Find More Connections in Your Industry or Your Prospect’s Industry: Intro – Lets you define what industry and role you are looking to connect with from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MeetUp on iTunes and Android’s Google Play

Learn one App a day, and in a week you’ll be ready to make LinkedIn Pop! If you are in the construction industry, I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn to learn more about software, apps and construction specific tech topics a.

For more LinkedIn apps that have  working relationships with LInkedIn , check out  my Quora answer

photo credit: Adriano Gasparri via photopin cc

Construction Thought Leaders on LinkedIn October 18, 2012

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, Lean Construction, linkedin, thought leadership.
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What if all construction industry  thought leaders were on LinkedIn?  LinkedIn recently added the ability to follow people you may not be connected to, that are classified as thought leaders (http://blog.linkedin.com/2012/10/02/follow-people/).  While many are business leaders, news writers and public figures,  few are focused on the construction industry.  Let’s aggregate our suggestions and start following these icons – so construction and the AEC industry can benefit from their thought leadership.  Here’s how:

Follow construction leaders you find on LinkedIn

I suggest you start following  Associated General Contractors Chief Economist, Ken Simonson – you can tell he is part of the elite group of thought leaders on LinkedIn by visiting his profile and noticing the “Follow button” – I’m already following and have met him numerous times at AGC events.  See how his profile has a large Follow/Following button rather than a connect button:

Construction Thought Leader on LInkedIn, Ken Simonson

Add to the  Recommended Construction Thought Leaders List

Now there are many other talented people that serve and are dedicated to the construction industry that  are authors, bloggers,  business leaders, educators and innovators that often share their wisdom.  Apparently LinkedIn doesn’t know the construction industry that well so I though we could  get a list going of who should be considered and help Architecture, Engineering and Construction learn at a more rapid pace.  Please add to this list with your thought leader recommendations in the comments.

Brent Darnell – Construction Communications Wizard

Anirban Basu – Economist

Andrew Abernathy – Virtual Construction and Collaborative team building

David F. Carr – Construction Tech News

I’ll update this post weekly with all your additions.  Once we have a list of 25+ compiled I’ll see if we can get them submitted to LinkedIn.  This is obviously a join effort and with the help of the industry we can leverage the construction industry expertise and share best practices, critical thinking, technology and leadership that can propel the future.

Suggest Topics for Thought Leaders in the Construction Industry

Here are areas I’d like your suggestions for:

  • BIM
  • LEED
  • LEAN Construction
  • Civil Engineering
  • Construction Finance
  • Construction Business Strategy
  • CAD
  • Business Intelligence
  • Equipment/Fleet Management
  • Project Management/Operations
  • Estimating

Again make suggestions in the comment section.

We’re all missing out on tribal knowledge.  Let’s pool it together.  Thanks for your submissions and please share this with others.

Architecture and Planning Industry Stats on LinkedIn May 16, 2012

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, linkedin.
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Architects designed Bermuda before LinkedIn existed

Architecture in Bermuda 1939 – before LinkedIn existed

Architects and Planners have been busy creating profiles on LinkedIn. The latest statistics (as of May 16, 2012) show there are 1,128,581 LinkedIn profiles in the Architecture and Planning Industry. For those readers interested in knowing just where all these profiles are in the world, here’s a breakdown:

United States 337,376
India 69,140
Italy 63,357
United Kingdom 59,815
Brazil 50,974
Spain 43,815
Netherlands 29.585
Canada 29,339
France 27,700
Mexico 24,250
Australia 23,352
Germany 14,110
Portugal 12,983
Chile 11,784
South Africa 10,582
Denmark 10,479
UAE 10,361

US Cities: Greater New York City Area 37,569
Greater Los Angeles Area 19,362
San Francisco Bay Area 19,340
Greater Chicago Area 14,322
Greater Boston Area 13,313
Washington DC Area 12,115
Dallas/Ft Worth Area 9,333
Greater Seattle Area 8,915
Greater Atlanta Area 8,720
Greater Philadelphia 8,227

So you’re country or city isn’t listed? Ask me in the comments – I’ll be happy to answer. I’d also like to know where you are and if you are leveraging LinkedIn for your business. Share your stories.

Those that like this post may also be interested in:

Construction Industry LinkedIn Statistics

Construction Firms have Overlooked the Value of LinkedIn

Construction Industry LinkedIn Statistics April 24, 2012

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, linkedin.
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LinkedIn is being embraced by the US Construction Industry. In doing research to create the interactive map below I looked beyond just the Top 5 countries having the largest number of profiles and found many interesting details. Some countries like the Netherlands and Denmark while having small populations surprised me by the number of construction professionals on LinkedIn. Most larger population English speaking countries were well represented in the Top 10 as were a few key European and Middle Eastern countries. If you click on the map you can hover over the country to see how many construction profiles are present.

Construction Industry Linkedin Statistics by Country April 24 2012 Citation: Construction Industry Linkedin Statistics by Country April 24 2012, ChartsBin.com, viewed 24th April, 2012,

Are there countries (or cities) you need the numbers on? I’m here to help, just ask in the comments section, or drop me a line on LinkedIn.

Top 30 LinkedIn Groups for Construction Business Development April 19, 2012

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, linkedin.
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Construction Business Development means Blowing Your Own HornLinkedIn has become the place for networking with the construction, architecture and engineering industries. With over 3,122,108
profiles world wide in the construction industry as of April 18, 2012 – there are more people to connect with everyday than we can ever approach for business development opportunities. The US has over 1,000,000 LinkedIn profiles in the construction industry and over 284,000 are construction owners. The best way to reach and influence this large volume of AEC movers and shakers is using LinkedIn Groups.

Keep in mind that joining a group doesn’t mean “Aha – look at all the people I can spam!” but rather “How many people can I honestly help” and “What can I share that will make a difference to each group member”. Business development also means more than marketing. We all need an education, to network with peers and with prospective clients. Be careful in joining too many groups or weighting them too heavily to your peers (I see this problem often), rather that to focus on your targeted prospects. Remember you are looking for business opportunities. Once you have a discussion going you can build trust and eventually set a face to face meeting. Yes, that’s still how it’s done in construction. So which groups seem to be most beneficial for construction business development professionals?

30 Best Construction Business Development Groups in the USA:

New Addition updated on May 2, 2012: Owner’s Representatives – see comments

A/E/C Industry Networking Group
AGC Construction Leadership Council
Architecture, MEP Engineering, and Construction (A/E/C) Networking Group
Associated General Contractors,Subcontractors,affiliates,
Business Development Forums
Business Development
Business Development – The Missing Link between Marketing & Sales
Business Development Leaders
CapturePlanning.com Business Development & Proposal Management
Construction Management
Construction Management Association of America
Construction Marketing Ideas
Construction Professionals Forum
Construction Users Round Table (CURT)
Design and Construction Network
Design-Build Institute of America
eMarketing Association Network
Federal Business Development Network
Federal Government Contractor Network (TFCN)
International Facility Management Association
International Council of Shopping Centers – ICSC
Leadership in Capital Projects (LinCP) Forum
Marketing Advertising Brand Management
McGraw-Hill Construction
Retail Industry Professionals Group
SMPS National CPSM Group
Society for Marketing Professional Services
Society of American Military Engineers
The Owner’s Dilemma

Best Construction Business Development Groups in Phoenix
Alliance for Construction Excellence
Arizona Builders’ Alliance
ASU Arizona State University
Arizona Association for Economic Development
Arizona Land Development
Arizona Professional Networkers
CMAA Arizona Chapter
IFMA Phoenix
Society for Marketing Professional Services Arizona Chapter
ULI-the Urban Land Institute
Valley Partnership

Most of the national LinkedIn groups have 1000’s of members but a few are specialty niches. Some are construction or business development focused while others are not. The local groups are often more intimate with a few hundred members. Pick and choose wisely. Take the time to look at the membership statistics of each group. Sometimes more members isn’t better as the seniority and regional info is a tell tale measurement. Remember that balance is important and plan to participate after listening to the discussions that evoke the most responses. Finding what resonates in the group will keep you busy and make you more successful.

If you found this construction business development article helpful, I’d like to hear from you. Either connect with me on LinkedIn (say biz dev in the invitation and use the “we’ve done business together”) or leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.

16 Construction Management Students Are Hungry in the Desert November 11, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in linkedin.
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ASU Del E Webb School of Construction & Ira A Fulton School of EngineeringStudents at the Del E Webb School of Construction are all thinking of their future. Earlier this week they all had a unique opportunity to learn how to leverage LinkedIn on the Arizona State University campus. Sixteen freshman through graduate students filled the workshop wanting to know how to attract employers to their profile, showcase their activities, and for 15, ultimately launch their project management career in construction.

Having volunteered to lead this workshop, students learned the importance of a LinkedIn headline, joining Linkedin groups, networking, volunteering and gaining experience at every turn – all while documenting their activities using their smartphones – capturing pictures, video and notes to showcase what students are doing outside the classroom. Each student added new elements to their profiles and contemplated what other LinkedIn applications (Slideshare, Box.net, Google Docs, etc) and social media they might want to use to enhance their findability.

With 55% of members attending the Construction Users Roundtable Conference expecting a labor shortage of construction managers, here are a few hungry students you may be interested in:
Graduate Students:
Navid Behzad
Arpita Ghosh
Christine Tancinco
Chrystine Bohman
Chris Celani
Jon Geele
Kim Young
Amanda Nichols
Kent Rinker
Sean Yeager
Sawyer Zuber
Kim Rahberger
Sterling Smith
Ashley Bernardez

Already Employed:
Patricia Traegde Sundt Construction

You may notice that many of these students are female. ASU excels at recruiting women to the construction careers through their Advancing Women in Construction program, connecting women business owners (mentors) with students(mentees). If you know high school students considering construction project management or engineering, share this post with them and have them consider emailing:
Dawn Rogers
Program Manager Recruitment and Retention
Del E. Webb School of Construction Management
Arizona State University

If you are looking for a speaker or in need of an educational workshop to help leverage LinkedIn, please contact me, Carol Hagen. I am available in person or via webinar for your business, group or association.

Has the Construction Industry Noticed This in LinkedIn Today? August 23, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, linkedin, Social Media Tools.
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Who Shared this article on LInkedIn Today about Hensel Phelps

Construction companies and the AEC industry struggle to leverage social media. They don’t understand the value that LinkedIn brings as they just see more emails notices they don’t want from overzealous salesmen. The business value is hidden in learning the obvious but overlooked features and functions. Let’s look closely at LinkedIn Today.

LinkedIn Today has a story trending about the Hensel Phelps Construction solar project and I couldn’t help but peek to see who was sharing this story. By clicking on the number in the lower right, a popup displays (shown above) of my connections up to the 3rd level sharing the story with their network. Why is this important you ask? What if this story was about your firm? If the social media maven at Hensel Phelps is paying attention there is an opportunity here that doesn’t occur when someone shares privately via email. An opportunity to make LinkedIn connections, show gratitude and strike up conversations. It’s the advantage that social media marketers have been shouting about but that your construction, engineering or architectural firm is still trying to figure out. If it catches someone’s interest and you know about it, don’t miss out on these social openings. You may find your next client!

If you found this interesting you may also like these articles:
LinkedIn Privacy
Google Loves LinkedIn

If you want to learn more about what you don’t know about LinkedIn or other social tools, I’m available for consulting, speaking engagements and strategy building.

Why Contractors and the AEC Industry Need Cupcakes June 3, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in communication, linkedin, Twitter, website tips.
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Contractors and the construction industry as a whole love celebrations. For Architects, Contractors and Engineers a cupcake reminds us of our childhood, the birthday parties you attended and the Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets, Legos and Tonka Trucks you received. For the young women of today it might be their Architech Barbie. Every time you win a bid, finish a project, have designs accepted or get plans approved you relive these moments. Whether you’re a tradesman, project manager or CEO there’s a sense of pride and accomplishment in every task performed. It’s the same feeling around the world. So why aren’t you celebrating construction milestones on social networks and your website making them social cupcakes?

Too many construction professionals are focusing on the economic woes. Stop. You know that happiness and success attract. After attending a joint networking event for the Arizona Builders Alliance(ABA), MCAA and SMPS at Audio Video Resources yesterday it was noticeable who the happy people were and just how many others were congregating around them. Lorraine at Caliente Construction was celebrating making it onto 4 short lists this week and having 2 bids awarded. Way to go! John Ulibarri had a discussion with Mark Minter on the value the ABA brings to the construction industry. Talking points with positive messages and the people around them were listening. Even my discussion with Dennis Tsonis of Lovitt and Touche had others watching us exchange contact info using the Bump app on our smartphones. That gesture of bumping is like a high five and feels like a celebration.

All this translates easily onto the internet. Just this morning at a Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce East Valley networking breakfast we had Tim Troy of TNT Shredding celebrating the arrival of his second truck – Tim tells me he’s getting it wrapped and will be posting pictures on Facebook soon. If you need paper shredded (I’ve been to many construction offices and know you need to make some room), give him a call. Desert View Aerial Photography captures construction celebrations daily. Here’s a top off shot for Haydon Building Corp with the American Flag and evergreen cheering on the last steel beam put in place. Last Steel Beam in Place at Construction project

Many social strategy sessions end up in discussions of what to blog, tweet or share on Facebook or LinkedIn about. The content should not always be about you but on people and business you know…things happening in your community that make a difference to your clients, suppliers and employees. If they elicit emotions and fond memories all the better. That’s why Cupcakes are in the title of this post!

Tell us about what you’re celebrating in the AEC industry and let’s get everyone in a great mood. Every contruction related celebration comment will be approved. Click on the comment button at the top of this post and/or share this with your friends.

Business Development for Construction and the AEC Industry May 9, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software.
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Business Development in construction is successful when approached as a long term strategy. With all the social networks exploding many have suggested that LinkedIn is all you need for Business to Business. What I’ve found is that business development requires networking in person and that many conversations can begin or be nurtured on-line in social media. I’ve added extensions to browsers, applications to social networking sites and plugins to email to help the business nurturing process. Here are some of my favorites:

Xobni – A plugin for Outlook (and soon Gmail) that indexes your email and makes it easy to identify the social networks your contacts use. If you have an IT department, you’ll need to have your administrator to OK this.

Rapportive – A gmail add-on that automatically finds the social profile of the email sender.

WhoWorks.At – a Google Chrome (browser) extension that lets you see your LinkedIn connections while browsing a website. This is new but has huge potential once LinkedIn add a company API

Chrome extension for biz dev: how you're connected in LinkedIn while browsing web pages

Here's the WhoWorks.At results when I browse CFMA.org

Tweets – found in the LinkedIn application directory that shows you what connections use Twitter and provides updates from those you follow on Twitter inside LinkedIn. Great listening tool for business connection nurturing.

Signals – from LinkedInLabs.com that aggregates all the Tweets in your network and across an industry. Search for Construction and filter on a geographic area to see the Buzz of what’s being said.

LinkedIn Today – aggregates news feeds from many sources and serves a snippet of hot topics. You’ve probably noticed this just below your status when checking your connection updates. Construction specific if you use the filter.

With the LinkedIn IPO coming later this year, and McGraw-Hill freeing up some of their LinkedIn shares for it…I predict an uptick in LinkedIn usage in the AEC industry. Are the PR and marketing teams in your construction, engineering or architectural firm listening?

Now that I’ve shared my favorites, will you share yours? Please add your suggestions, comments and ask questions. I’m listening.

You may Find these related posts of interest:
LinkedIn Skills Beta: Claim Your Expertise

Tagging LinkedIn Contacts

Social Media a Twitter in Construction

Social Media Topics are Moving to “Social + Websites” January 25, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in iPhone, linkedin.
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Social and Website Blog Topics are Moving
To all my avid readers who come here for social media topics, I have decided to separate the construction technology topics and the pure social media tips by starting a new blog. Social + Websites will discuss social media tips, website design and how to engage your prospects and clients using social media in social networks and on your website.

You will still get great content every week on technology issues specific to the construction industry on this blog but the social media topics will mostly appear in Social + Websites. Hope you take the time to check it out and please share this with all your friends, connections and followers.

Here are the latest posts at Social + Websites that you might like:
LinkedIn Labs offers Swarm (Search) & InMaps for Visualization
Mobile Website Surfing: Will iPhone, Android or iPad Fill Your Pipeline?

LinkedIn Suggests Jobs You May Be Interested In November 22, 2010

Posted by carolhagen in linkedin.
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LinkedIn has added a great “beta” feature called “Jobs You May Be Interested In”. You can see it displayed, just below your statistics on “who’s viewed your profile” and “Your LinkedIn Network” on the right hand side of your home page. Here’s what mine looked like today: Construction Jobs Social Media Jobs You May Be Interested In
Now I originally clicked on the more option and it told me there weren’t any others, but after returning to my homepage I noticed there were 3 new suggestions. I again clicked more with the same results, returning to my LinkedIn Homepage and the 3 suggestion results were 2 new ones and one repeat, but the interesting thing is what happened on clicking more this time. Low and behold they had many suggestions for me: Construction and Social Media Job suggestions I may be interested in I know this will help the job seekers out there and hope that you share this info with all you unemployed and underemployed connections. I wonder if this is a bug or intentional as LinkedIn is offering a LinkedIn Job Seeker Premium account to me?

If you liked this blog post I suggest you also follow me on Twitter by clicking here.

LinkedIn Loves Job Seekers November 10, 2010

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, linkedin.
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Job seekers are successfully leveraging social media, especially LinkedIn. But for many, this still seems a foreign language. Since I recently volunteered for Southwest Job Network at an event they held at Mesa Community College, it seemed appropriate to share some ideas with you. After all, social media is for sharing, caring and connecting.

First you need to learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile to make it easy for people to find you, establish yourself as an expert in your field, add skills, languages, publications in the appropriate sections of your profile and build trust by having recommendations. LinkedIn is where recruiters search for skills, experience and passion. It’s after they find you that they evaluate if you could be a potential match for a client. You can see who’s viewed your profile and the traffic you’ve attracted. Those that view can make their settings private to varying degrees so you may see a name and picture, just a job title or anonymous. Here’s a screen shot of what I mean:
Who's Viewed Your LinkedIn Profile, Trends and Visits or Appearances in Search
Take the time to evaluate the trends and examine who views your profile. You may find that you are not attracting your target audience…so rethink your keywords and re-optimize accordingly.

Also in LinkedIn, research the applications directory (found under the more tab in LinkedIn) as there are many tools that can be used for enhancing your profile. If you are a good writer, consider starting to blog about the 10-20 things that makes a [enter your career or ideal job title] great. If you’re a photographer the Creative Portfolio Display can help showcase your work.

Use LinkedIn Groups to connect to your peers, share an article you’ve found educational with the group, join in the discussions and start to engage your professional peers. You never know who knows someone that can help you.

If you are interested in particular companies you’d like to work for, LinkedIn offers the “Follow” option. By following a company you can get updates on new hires, promotions, employees and job postings. When you see the employees, LinkedIn shows you if you have any direct connections by putting a little blue 1st box next to their name. If you see 2nd or 3rd then one of your connections knows someone there and might be willing to introduce you. FYI-companies can see you are following them. If that bothers you, then just check to see if they have any job postings under the careers tab of the company profile.

Let’s help job candidates, especially Veterans and those in the construction industry, improve their LinkedIn profiles and give tips on how to use social media to attract opportunities. Please share this with the people you know to help them find a job. Also add your tips in the comments and let me know if this has helped you.

Google Loves LinkedIn October 13, 2010

Posted by carolhagen in linkedin, Software plug-in.
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LinkedIn Loves GoogleGoogle loves LinkedIn and I’ve been including this fact in many powerpoint presentations and national speaking engagements for over a year now. There’s more to this love than how Google searches LinkedIn profiles. We can now see the extent of the relationship with today’s LinkedIn blog post announcing LinkedIn Labs (sounds and looks like Google Labs) and the great new projects contained within Labs to prove my point. I’ve used filtering on construction as examples throughout to keep my focus on the construction industry.

First, let’s peek at NewIn. This is a plugin for Firefox (not yet available on IE), that integrates Google Earth with the users on LinkedIn. Not sure of it as a valuable application but it is very visual as seen in this screenshot:

Next, I had to try out LinkedIn Signals. The LinkedIn Blog post today offered the 1st 500 people to request a sneak peek access. I added it after 2pm today. Signals makes LinkedIn status updates from connections look similar to Facebook as seen here: LinkedIn Signal's is better than Facebook's Wall I have to believe that LinkedIn is answering Facebook’s copycat of groups with a more business-like copy of the Facebook Wall. Perhaps this isn’t so much Google’s love for LinkedIn, but their answer to a possible adversary.

Finally to prove my point about LinkedIn and Google is the introduction of INstant, a Google-like search for the LinkedIn User that displays the connections you have based upon your search criteria. I can’t believe that there are over a million instances of construction but this screen shot verifies that very fact! An instant search of your 1st connections on LinkedIn

Then there’s ChromeIn, which I didn’t try out, but then I haven’t used Chrome yet. Being able to see your LinkedIn connections’ status updates in your Chrome Browser must be a good thing for Google.

My take is that with all the Google love for LinkedIn, Facebook is none too happy with their Business to Business audience performance. What’s your opinion?

Social Media Policy or Police? September 30, 2010

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry Hardware, linkedin, twitter, web 2.0.
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Social Networking PoliceSocial Media Policy is a hot topic for most businesses. The larger the enterprise the greater the impact on the IT infrastructure. Bandwidth bottlenecks can occur quickly with employees all viewing YouTube, Vimeo and Viddler videos simultaneously. Reports on the reduction in employee productivity at work will lead you to believe that social media is a waste of time and that there’s no reason to be in Facebook on business time. Security issues are also a concern with the proliferation of social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter that offer apps, chat and email functions. So what should a company do?

Begin a Dialogue with Your Employees
Don’t just lock everyone out of everything! This reactionary approach will make your firm look like a dinosaur to your team as well as your customers. I’ve seen this implemented at large publicly held construction companies and I think they’ve shot themselves in the foot by locking out everyone with URL filtering. Determine which employees and social media applications can contribute to your company brand, market reach and customer relationships. Ask your marketing, communications and sales people including anyone involved with customer relationship management or customer support for their input. Check out your competitor’s website to see what social media applications and tools they are using. Often you’ll see a few icons listed somewhere on their site, an invitation to connect in the sidebar of a blog or perhaps an RSS feed of their social activity.

Establish a Social Media Policy
Start with defining what is acceptable and unacceptable when using social media sites as you do for email and cell phone usage. Yes, your Legal and Information technology teams will probably influence (scare) you enough that risk tolerance decisions will need to be made. My favorite book for addressing social media policy is The e-Policy Handbook by Nancy Flynn. You may have already decided that “we only allow LinkedIn”, period. Think again. The most popular Business to Business (B2B) network by far in the United States is LinkedIn and they’ve just added the ability to display Twitter feeds and blog posts on the Company Profile. Since blog posts often have videos embedded in articles, you may have just policed yourself into not being able to view your own marketing materials.

Get the IT Department on Board
With budget cuts across the board, IT is trying to do everything without spending money and often takes the “lock down” approach as the only thing they can do with the tools they currently have. Perhaps you should consider budgeting for new equipment, particularly firewalls that address social media. It’s not good enough anymore to rely on old technology. Traditional firewalls rely on port and protocol to classify traffic, allowing tech-savvy applications and users to bypass them with ease; hopping ports, using
SSL, sneaking across port 80, or using non-standard ports. It may be time to have your network traffic analyzed for applications, users and content, you need to know what bandwidth is used by social media and have a way to monitor and enforce your policies effectively. The Interface2010 Technology Symposium has this topic covered and while I attended the Scottsdale, AZ event last week, you can still catch them in a few other US cities this year.

We’re in the process of scheduling a webinar to help educate business owners and their IT departments on social media policy, monitoring and network security. If you’d like to receive a webinar invitation, be interested in a network audit or have questions, please ask us by posting a comment. Please share this with your business partners, IT friends, and customers.

Construction Project Management Questions and Answers August 26, 2010

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, linkedin, project management software.
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Construction project management has many sources for great content. Software vendors, certification programs and forums abound that focus on the project manager and they create great content. Today I thought I mention a place where project management Q&A is happening, but perhaps you haven’t noticed it. With over 395 questions and answers already available I think it’s a good source for the beginner and expert alike. It’s not in the obvious places you’re used to looking, but actually inside LinkedIn Answers.

Here’s a screen shot of what construction project managers have asked and answered:Construction Project Management Questions

To access this in LinkedIn, Click on the More tab, then Answers, click the advanced answers tab, browse on the right and click on Business Operations, then project management. Don’t forget to enter “construction” in the keywords field. You should see a screen like this:
Questions and answers from Construction Project Managers
Perhaps you’ll want to chime in with your two cents of wisdom in one of these discusssions…or start your own!
You should also look into a few LinkedIn Groups…more on that in a future post. Suggestions & recommendations welcome.

LinkedIn Profile is Your Business Lifeline August 20, 2010

Posted by carolhagen in linkedin.
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LinkedIn is your web access to business connections and /strong> as such, you should keep it well tuned and make it work for you. One often overlooked item is important in your LinkedIn settings … adding a secondary alternate (personal) email address. I use gmail, but any of the free providers like Yahoo or MSN will do too. You configure this in LinkedIn under Settings | Personal Information | Email Addresses where you will see a screen like this:

Primary and secondary email addresses

An Alternate Email Address is Recommended

You can switch the primary address at any time and continue to receive all LinkedIn correspondence as well as send out email. This is your insurance policy should you experience an unexpected employment transition and need to reach your contacts, or more importantly that they know how to reach you! I’ve seen many people not realize the importance of keeping their profile up to date or remembering to change their primary address after leaving a position or getting a new job. Stay connected with your business connections and give them a way to find you. You’ll be glad you did!

LinkedIn Recommendations: The Service Provider’s Dream July 27, 2010

Posted by carolhagen in communication, linkedin.
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Recommendations are the life blood of most businesses. Somewhat hidden within the bowels of LinkedIn is the lair of the Service Provider Directory. It’s where you can give recommendations (even though you aren’t connected in LinkedIn). But more importantly it’s where the smart business people search for experts and read the recommendations of others.

You can find it under the companies search:

LinkedIn Search for Service Providers

LinkedIn Search for Service Providers

LinkedIn is a great place to search for service providers that your contacts or network recommends. This is particularly true if you fall into any of these categories:

  • Attorneys
  • Career Coaches
  • Chiropractors
  • Commercial Real Estate Agents
  • Consultants
  • Dentists
  • Event Planners
  • Family Physicians
  • Financial Planners
  • General Contractors
  • Graphic Designers
  • Insurance Agents
  • Lawyers Mortgage Brokers
  • Nutritionists
  • Optometrists
  • Personal Trainers
  • Photographers
  • Physical Therapists
  • Property Managers
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Recruiters
  • Search Engine Marketers
  • Search Engine Optimization Experts
  • Tax Advisors
  • Travel Agents
  • Venture Capitalists
  • Veterinarians
  • Wealth Managers
  • Wedding Planners
  • Writers
  • LinkedIn Service Provider Recommendations for your 1st contacts The Service Provider Directory allows you to quickly discover, research, and reference check service providers in your network, in your circle of 2nd connections or the world.

    LinkedIn also includes the option to search locally to hone in on the closest, highly recommended specialists.

    Most of the IT and computer geeks I know have been using this feature but when speaking with business associates I find that less than 50% have used it. Guess LinkedIn has more training to do.

    Are you making the most of recommendations and have you given a recommendation on LinkedIn without someone asking? Please share what prompts you to give an unsolicited recommendation with our readers. If you found this tip useful, please share it, Like it or tweet it around the world.

    Tagging LinkedIn Contacts July 20, 2010

    Posted by carolhagen in linkedin.
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    LinkedIn is the king of social media for business but few have used LinkedIn to its potential. Today you will learn how to organize your LinkedIn contacts to better collaborate and converse with Tags.

    Tags are like indexes or file folders. They are a way to categorize your contacts. Common tags are friends, colleagues, partners, or classmates but you can add your own. Just click on the contacts tab and select my connections to see this:

    Tags organize your contacts into groups

    LinkedIn Contacts Tab showing Tags

    You can create as many tags as you want and assign multiple tags to one contact. This can be used to group your contacts by what they do, how you met, what organizations they belong to, or their specialties. Once you’ve taken the time to tag each contact you can reap the rewards.

    If you want to reach out to many contacts at once, just pick the tag you want and then you can select all or a subset of the results.

    Select one Tag, then select all or individual contacts

    Select one Tag, then select all or individual contacts

    It’s as simple as clicking on “Send Message” to be emailing to numerous contacts at one time. This also works for Companies, Locations and Industries. Even the Recent Activity lets you filter the new connections from your contacts with new connections.

    As always, it would help me to know if my readers knew about the “tag” function or if they are planning on utilizing it. Comments are always appreciated and please share this with anyone you know that needs help mastering LinkedIn.

    Social Media Safety Meeting Minute May 3, 2010

    Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, linkedin, records retention, twitter, web 2.0.
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    The idea of a Safety Meeting in a minute is a great idea, which I must thank Tim Greene of Networld for sharing in a PCWorld article yesterday. What’s different if you haven’t figured it out is this is not your typical construction site safety meeting. We’re talking about Internet Safety and I believe the idea is fantastic.

    The premise is if you had to take a 1-minute internet safety lesson before being allowed access to the Internet your employees would recognize just how important it is to protect their identity and the electronic information contained within the company. The article mentions many of the popular social media sites but doesn’t give you 10 lessons to kick start the idea. So why not make this blog post a place for everyone to share their ideas…and build a 100 or more “lessons”? I’m extending this to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter too (as I believe a 140 character tip will ensure the time constraint of keeping it to one minute).

    Safety Tips

    To get us started, here are a few of my one minute safety tips:

  • Know your company’s policy on Social Media use (Write a corporate policy on Social Media)
  • Make all your passwords more than one word in length and include at least one number
  • Never write (post) anything you wouldn’t want your mom or your boss to read (or see)
  • Text Messages from your Blackberry are “discoverable” so think of them as business emails
  • If you blog independently of work, make sure it is understood the contents are not the opinions of a past, current or future employer, but only that of the blogger’s
  • If you post while at work to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn make sure it is work or industry related (see corporate policy)
  • Never open attachments or click hyperlinks from people you don’t know and trust
  • Now that you get the idea, let’s hear your one minute (or less) lessons and Tips. I promise to share them with you all!