LinkedIn Tips – Details Matter
Using LinkedIn Wisely
Don’t just use LinkedIn to collect connections. Make it a successful business building tool!
LinkedIn, today, is much more than a site for job seekers and HR departments looking for employees. It is also much more than a place to store your connections. As a business professional you can make worth while and fruitful business-enhancing connections on LinkedIn.
Here are Ten LinkedIn Tips to help you get more out of your LinkedIn account.
1. Your Profile
Think of your LinkedIn profile as a significantly enhanced Personal Marketing Resume. Your profile on LinkedIn can be much more powerful than a resume and can do a better job at presenting your skill than your bio page on your website.
Here are some ideas for your profile:
- Define Your Passion
- Suggest a Problem You Can Solve
- Define Your Key Services or Skills
- Connect To Your Website and/or Blog
- Define Your Experience as Building Blocks
- Display Your Cool and Interesting Projects
- Publicize Relevant Awards
- Post Relevant Organizations
Include things that are consistent and that will help you to differentiate yourself. Include details that will make prospective clients want to work with you and that mesh with your passion as building blocks to who you are and what you can offer.
2. Your Picture
It is a big mistake to create a LinkedIn profile without a proper photo. People use LinkedIn to learn about other people. We are human and we like to see the face of who we know (or are getting to know), like and trust. If you do not have a photo you hinder this process of knowing, liking and trusting.
Do not use LinkedIn like you would use facebook when it comes to your photo. They are very different.On facebook it is fine to show something funny or even silly. However, on LinkedIn you need to be more professional. Do not use a photo of you with your dog or your cat. This type of photo would be fine for facebook but not for LinkedIn. Your photo also needs to be current. I know someone who uses a picture from high school and they have been out of high school for 40 years!
You can be creative – but use good judgment – creativity can work but can also backfire.
3. Make Connections Wisely
Make connections with people you have a working relationship with and that you would feel comfortable recommending.
I know people who will connect with everyone who makes a request to connect with them. I have tried to use my LinkedIn connections to make additional worthy connections with the people that I know well on LinkedIn. In some cases, I have discovered that certain people – who have connected with everyone who made a request – do not know all their 1st tier connections. Because of this they cannot make a connection for me even if I ask them to connect with someone from their 1st tier.
The value of your network is not just how many people you are connected with but also the quality of these connections. When it comes to relationships quality matters and matters a great deal.
I also advise you to not use the default invitation text that LinkedIn provides when inviting someone to connect with you. This comes across as impersonal. My recommendation is to make a case for why the connection will be valuable and add a personal touch to the invitation.
4. Look at Who is Viewing Your Profile
People often view the profiles of their competitors.
People view the profile of people that they may be getting ready to negotiate with.
People view the profile of people that they are considering for a project.
In short, the people who view your profile have some interest in you and you should know who is interested. You may gain some valuable insight which can help your business.
5. Follow Companies of Interest to You
Follow the company pages of the businesses you want to build a relationship with. This will help you stay up to date with what they are doing, what they are interested in and may give you lots of other relevant information that could help you.
It can be powerful when someone you have been trying to meet with sees you are following their company. It might just help you get the appointment!
6. Join Groups
Join groups that are applicable to your business and the connections you are trying to establish. Joining groups allows you to stay on top of market trends and important information within your field.
You may also be able to comment on posts that are published by group members and this can help to project your expertise into the discussion.
7. Use LinkedIn to Do Research
If you are going to have a meeting with a prospect then you can use LinkedIn to find out more about them. It could even become a conversation starter if you and the prospect find out you have something in common based on your profiles.
8. Use LinkedIn to Prospect
LinkedIn has a search engine function. Search for companies you are interested in and then find out who the key people are. Once you find the right person, send them an email via LinkedIn. A message via LinkedIn can come off as warmer than a regular email. Try to add a personal touch and do not use any “default” LinkedIn text. Additionally, your message won’t get mixed in with the many other emails that person receives daily.
9. Get Recommended
A recommendation on LinkedIn is a very powerful addition to your profile. It demonstrates to prospective clients that you are an expert in your field.
Ask people to recommend you but ask them to keep it short and to the point. Two short paragraphs with a word count under 100 is sufficient.
Also, consider writing a recommendation for someone before asking them for a recommendation. This will increase the chance that they will respond with a recommendation for you.
10. Combine Resources
If you are involved in other organizations make sure you make 1st level connections with everyone else in your group you feel comfortable recommending. For example, I am a member of a Business Networking International (BNI) Chapter and to leverage the power of both BNI and LinkedIn makes the value of membership in both organizations higher for doing more and better business.
Always look for opportunities to collaborate and combine resources. Use LinkedIn and the other organizations you belong to in a collaborative manner as this is a good way to leverage your collective involvement.
LinkedIn is a powerful connection-building resource that can help you and your company. Build your business though relationships you form and enhance in LinkedIn by applying some or all of these ideas.