When you hear the term “social media,” what comes to mind? Most likely you think of Facebook, Twitter, perhaps Google+ or maybe even MySpace. Most people, however, don’t think about LinkedIn. For some reason this great tool has gone underutilized, especially here in Billings. But that is no reason why you shouldn’t be getting on there and doing some online networking. It is simple and easy, and using these 5 tricks, you can see your LinkedIn flourish.
Building Your Profile Slowly
Every time someone updates their profile, or adds something to it, their contacts receive an email. I often get emails entitled “See So-and-So’s New Job plus other changes.” I look at them quickly, and then move on unless something catches my eye. In order to keep your name out there, right in front of all your contacts, start adding a small piece to your profile every day. These pieces will generate that email, and your name will always be in the front of their mind.
The primary purpose of LinkedIn is to network, so I am not just talking about your basic “have a network of professionals.” Instead, use LinkedIn as you would Facebook. Pose questions, post insightful articles (relevant to your industry, or target someone and ask their opinion), keep your colleagues and contacts engaged. Just like good content will keep a person coming back to your website, good content will keep someone coming back to your LinkedIn. To expand your network, view other people’s contacts page. Anyone with a “2nd” near their name is a potential new member for your network.
LinkedIn is full of groups from all niches of all markets. In the groups you can find job advertisements, forum style group discussions, and meet new contacts. Try to track down some of the groups where your customers and clients visit, this will help you gain understanding to their mindsets. Can’t find anything that sparks your interest, or want something that is more focused? Create your own group and invite relevant parties.
Encourage Discussion Outside of LinkedIn
Too often we get caught up in the idea that there are different worlds. We have the offline world and the online world, and rarely do we want them to overlap. We also have the LinkedIn world, and the Facebook world (among others), and for some reason we don’t want to mesh them. If you put something on LinkedIn, and you would like feedback, ask a friend or colleague to check it out and encourage them to post a comment. Often when a posting gets one comment, more are quick to follow.
Add More Skills
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you really need to add all of your skills to your profile. Just like adding small pieces every day, your contacts will be notified of your new skills. Remember, now is not the time to be modest. If you are stellar at WordPress, put that on there. All of your skills should be bragged about (work related of course). The point is that you do not want to be humble. A potential client wants to know that you are a rock star, they want to hire the very best and you want to show them you are the very best.
LinkedIn is a fabulous tool for connecting to other professionals. But it will only work for you if you work on it. If you want to continue to expand your online presence, start maximizing your LinkedIn usage. You will be surprised how many new opportunities come along through this networking site, both directly and indirectly. Employ these ways to use LinkedIn and get networking.