LinkedIn can prove a strong ally in helping you expand your professional networks and present the best of yourself. Find out how to generate interest in your profile and build new relationships.
1. Polish up your profile
Great, you’ve uploaded a photo showing you in your best professional light! But have you made sure you’ve thoroughly completed each section of your profile? Does your job title really convey your aspirations to future employers and collaborators?
What you want is to show who you are. Include as much relevant information as possible and keep it up to date.
Did you know that by customizing your LinkedIn URL, you score higher in search engine results? What’s more, your lighter, catchier URL will enhance your business card.
2. Fine tune your profile summary
The few lines of this oft-neglected introduction give you the opportunity to surprise viewers and showcase your strengths. Make them concise, direct and punchy. Avoid clichés. Make readers want to learn more about you.
3. Showcase your skills
LinkedIn invites you to list up to 50 skills in your profile. Why restrict your repertoire to just a few? Add new skills and reveal the scope of your professional talents. Don’t forget to ask connections who know you and appreciate your work to endorse your key skills.
4. Show your accomplishments
One of the advantages of a LinkedIn page over a simple resume is the opportunity to include brief descriptions of your professional achievements. As well as posting your certifications, honours, awards and other publications, you can also mention projects of which you are particularly proud, adding links to images, videos or articles showing the fruits of your work. It’s a simple way to make an impact!
5. Keep it relevant
It’s been said before many times, but it’s worth repeating: LinkedIn does not have same social vocation as Facebook. This is not the place for family photos or videos of kittens! The platform is for sharing high quality content which reflects your professional personality, interests and thoughts on the working world and on your particular line of business.
Above all, keep your network’s expectations in mind. Stand out by giving readers something to think about. Share your company’s innovations and achievements as well as the general developments in your industry. Users will follow you with interest.
6. Be yourself
The best way to be original is to be yourself. Share stories or experiences that you relate to and that establish common ground by including personal touches that viewers will identify with. Take the same approach on LinkedIn as you would in life: openness and humility help build trusting relationships.
7. Engage viewers
It’s a fact: posts that elicit the greatest number of interactions with users during the hour following their posting get more views. To encourage your network to interact, start conversations by asking questions, suggest an interesting topic for discussion or invite contacts to comment on your post with the @ sign, followed by the person’s name.
8. Make the algorithm work for you
The LinkedIn algorithm works differently from that of other social media. A post with a supporting visual normally always works best. With LinkedIn, if an image really helps the audience understand the subject or message better, it is worth using. However, if the point of your post is best served by text alone, forget the visual. The general rule is therefore to add a visual only if it really reinforces the message of your post.
If you want to share an external link in a post, remember that LinkedIn prefers its users to stay on the platform rather than go elsewhere. If you really want to share an external link, do so in the comments section to avoid penalizing the scope of your post.
10. Target your connections
When you send an invitation to connect, send the person a personal message briefly introducing yourself and saying why you want to connect. One compelling strategy is to ask your prospective connectee a thought-provoking and relevant question.
Consider the old trick used at business get-togethers: ask a first-degree contact for an introduction to a third-degree contact. It’s an excellent way to launch trusting business relationships!
Now that you’ve mastered the LinkedIn basics, go for it and get networking. Comment on your contacts’ posts, contribute to conversations, join discussion groups and nurture current business relationships as much as potential ones. Most of all, remember that it is your commitment and your sustained activity in the network that will allow you to reap its benefits.