How to get more from LinkedIn
I’ve been working a lot with LinkedIn recently, with a number of different clients. Some of them are job seekers starting out, some are sales people who want to reach new clients and some are start-ups who want to grow their network. In all of these projects it would be folly to ignore LinkedIn. Because of this level of activity I have designed a customised workshop, full details here.
LinkedIn, the professional business network is growing at a faster rate than Facebook and Twitter. Every second, two new people join the LinkedIn network. So by the time you finish reading this post there will be approx. 250 more people registered.
Many of those who join start off with the best of intentions. They realise that LinkedIn is one of the richest resources for industry contacts. But many neglect the essential step of creating or developing a strategy to get the most benefit from LinkedIn.
My advice; take a pen and paper and sketch out what you want to achieve. Post- its are very useful for this exercise.
What are your goals or objectives? Who should you connect to? How will you measure success? You are more likely to be successful on LinkedIn if you have a strategy.
If you are having difficulty with this, you might enjoy our LinkedIn workshop.
Once you have developed that strategy, these 5 tips should be really useful in implementing it.
1.Focus on Your Profile
What you do with your LinkedIn profile can mean the difference between getting found and getting lost in the crowded market. Your profile is not your CV. It is your professional declaration of your expertise and the value you bring to the organisation. Is it interesting? Does it describe you in the best light? Please, resist the temptation to copy and paste your CV.
2. Check “Who’s Viewed Your Profile”
Even if you are a beginner on LinkedIn, it can be really useful to check who has viewed your profile. You can see if it was a person from your sector or your competition. Could they be someone who might want to offer you a job? Buy your product? Maybe the viewer was curious what you have to say on a topic? Research them right back and then send them a message, based on what information you gather!
3. Use Visuals to demonstrate your expertise
Using Linkedin you can now showcase your unique professional expertise or knowledge using rich, visual content on your LinkedIn profile. Unlike your CV this allows you to display your achievements using images, videos, presentations etc. From the manager who creates a presentation on motivation to the techie who share a “how –to” video, there are plenty of opportunities to showcase your achievements in a visual way.
4. Endorse others
Ever since LinkedIn introduced its endorsements feature, I think we can all admit that we have received endorsements for skills we didn’t know we had, even from people we didn’t know we knew. Many people mock the endorsements, especially if you have been endorsed for “food” or “telephone”. But I think they are really useful in three ways.
1: Endorsements make it easy to make a positive comment on a connection without going to the trouble of writing a recommendation. They get a notification informing them of your endorsement and that may remind them to contact you.
2: Only first-degree connections can endorse you.Which should indicate that they have some knowledge of your skills or are comfortable clicking on the endorse button.
3: Endorsements demonstrate that your connections validate the strengths found on your profile. They are a simple and effective way of building your professional brand and engaging your network.
5. Think like a Recruiter
When setting up your profile, step back and review from the perspective of a recruiter. Is it interesting? Is it complete, many recruiters will ignore incomplete profiles.
Take a look at some other profiles or job descriptions on LinkedIn or the company websites. Companies will tell you the skills or keywords they believe are important. It is not a great idea to ignore those keywords or descriptions. Don’t neglect the soft skills such as communicator or negotiator.
If you would like to learn more about LinkedIn, why not come along to our LinkedIn workshop