10+1 LinkedIn Tips for Channel Professionals – by Mike O’Neil

Channel professionals can do lots to help themselves, their companies and their partners generate more revenue by effectively using LinkedIn. By channel professionals, it might be:

1. As a manufacturer, on the “host” side – Verizon, Microsoft, HP

2. As an “OEM” on the “supplier” side – Intel, Seagate

3. As a distributor “in the middle” – Ingram Micro, Tech Data, Westcon

4. As Channel Partner “at the end” – Statera, Bob’s Computers

5. As a Manufacturers Rep in employee, outside vendor or contractor form

Here are some simple things that ALL channel professionals can do to get going with LinkedIn, to get ahead and to stay ahead. Find additional free LinkedIn Sales Training resources, packed with videos and demos, at http://RockLinkedIn.com.

These Channels Tips center around Keywords, Searching/Finding and Connecting.

1. Company KEYWORDS

Gather up a list of 10-15 words or phrases to be used in your profile and in your searches for others in the channel. Look for words and phrases that describe:

A)    What your company does overall

B)    What your company does with the channel

C)    What your role is in the firm, your “segment”

D)    The specific names of your channel programs, affiliations or certifications

2. Channel KEYWORDS – SEE THE  THREE-MINUTE VIDEO

Gather up a list of channel-specific terms and keywords. Here is a starter:

Common channels terms – Channels, Channel Manager, Channel Partner, Channel Programs, Partner Programs, Partner Manager, Agent, Agent Partner, Agent Manager, Indirect, Indirect Channels, Affiliate, Affiliates, Affiliate Manager, Affiliate Partner, Associate, Authorized Partner, Certified Partner, Bronze Partner, Silver Partner, Gold Partner, Platinum Partner…

3. SEEK/FIND Your Existing Partners

Find your best existing partners on LinkedIn and make note of their titles and job descriptions. Look at THEIR LinkedIn profiles for ideas that will help you find more partners just like them.

Connect deep and wide within your existing partners. They will eventually end up somewhere else and you will have inroads THERE too. Go one step further and look at competitors to your existing partners, search for them on LinkedIn. Look at their profiles for ideas as well. Should you connect?

4. SEEK/FIND Your Peers

Use the keywords in LinkedIn search strings to find your peers at other firms (competitors, manufacturers, distributors, partners, etc.) and get ideas by looking at THEIR LinkedIn profiles. On the right of their profiles is a section called “Viewers of this profile also viewed” list – look for some real gems in there!

5. SEEK/FIND the connections of others in the channel

Most LinkedIn users let their Tier 1 connections look at their other Tier 1 connections. It’s part of what makes you a networking hub and what makes you more useful to connect to. This feature can be exploited to discover new people you may have never known about. Look at their profiles for ideas as well. Should you connect? The provided keyword list should help find them.

6. SEEK/FIND people to recommend you

Get recommendations from others that specifically talk about how you excel at channel related activities. Channel professionals LOVE to recommend one another. You must be connected to someone for recommendations to work. If you recommend someone for their work on a project that you worked on together you might event get a recommendation back in return.

7. CONNECT to other channel people – SEE THE TWO-MINUTE VIDEO

Search for other channel people and invite them to connect. Reference your association with the channel and mention something specific (and maybe personal) from their profile. Former manufacturer’s reps, those whose products you once represented, are a particularly great to reach out to. They know LOT’s of people in GREAT places.

8. CONNECT to people from Past positions

Look at all of your last positions that relate to your current one. Examine the employees and look for people to connect with and engage. While it’s best if you knew them, it is not required. LinkedIn paid account users can use the Reference Search to search on specific companies and specific years people worked there. For example, I worked at US West in 1997-1999 and seek people from then. This detailed search is only possible with a LinkedIn paid account.

9. CONNECT to people in LinkedIn Groups you FIND/SEEK/JOIN

Find and join LinkedIn groups that cater to channel professionals – technology groups, partner groups, regional groups, executive groups, customer groups. The more active people in LinkedIn Groups are often the thought leaders you seek (or in some cases affiliate marketers).

10. LinkedIn Status Updates

Post LinkedIn Status Updates on your LinkedIn profile that will be of interest to others in the channel. Make them attractive by including a URL to a site that has a nice picture (shows in your update), like a blog post. Expect to post a LinkedIn Status Update several times a week.

+1 BONUS TIP – YOUR TEAM

Get everyone on YOUR team using LinkedIn effectively. It starts with individual LinkedIn profiles and getting the right keywords in the right places. Step 2 is getting the team properly attached to the official LinkedIn Company Page.

 

Mike O’Neil is the founder of Integrated Alliances, the world’s first LinkedIn training organization. Since 2004, Mike has amassed 30,000 LinkedIn connections, 80,000 Twitter Followers and has taught over 500 LinkedIn Training Sessions for B2B audiences.

Mike is a 15-year technology sales veteran in the systems, telecom and Internet industries working for VARs and Carriers. He is also the architect of Integrated Alliances U, the world’s first cloud-based LinkedIn E-Learning program for sales reps.

Enjoy more free LinkedIn training videos at http://RockLinkedIn.com

Reach out to Mike directly at 303-683-9600 or moneil@integratedalliances.com. You can find out more about Mike at http://MikelsOnline.com.