Thursday, 11 July 2013

5 Ways to Make LinkedIn Work for You

LinkedIn Logo More then 225 million people have profiles on LinkedIn.  Needless to say not all will be relevant to you, but undoubtedly some will be.  If you’re not set up properly and using LinkedIn positively then you’re missing one of the best opportunities in the social media sphere.

There are a lot of people who put up a very basic profile on LinkedIn, leave it to sit there, and then think of LinkedIn as a waste of time.  Well of course for them it will be.

LinkedIn is a great opportunity, to get yourself out there, to say what you do, what your areas of expertise are, and to communicate with others, whether in the same industry or one you’re interested in.

The first way to make LinkedIn work for you is to either set up your profile, or go back, revisit and augment it, this really doesn’t have to take very long although it’s your starting block and so worth the effort. 

Make sure your headline reflects who you are and what you do and you’ve completed properly the experience section with regards to your Summary, and Work History. Don’t even think of leaving any of these as one liners.  People don’t want to read essays, but they go to your page to find out about you, and so you need to make your information succinct but interesting.

Then put up a profile picture.  There are so many out there who haven’t bothered to dFacebook 2012o this, either because they’re not sure how, or they don’t think they’re photogenic, or they don’t have a good picture.  This is simply detrimental to your page, and will cause many (like me) to disappear as  soon as they land on it.  Let me put it simply….if you don’t have a picture people will wonder why. 

Your LinkedIn picture must not be a daffy Facebook or Twitter picture, but should reflect what you look like in a way that is commensurate with what you do.  So wear what you would wear to work, whether glamorous, or arty, or lawyer-like.  And look friendly.  You don’t have to give a bared teeth smile, but if you look friendly and interesting people are more likely to be drawn to you.  This is mine.

Make your page look professional by customising your LinkedIn URL.  This is really easy but it’s amazing how many haven’t taken this simple step.  Why would you want a series of numbers after your URL rather than your name?  I have written about this before so you can find the instructions as to how to customise your LinkedIn URL here.

Make sure your contact details are correct, so that if someone wants to reach out to you they can.  LinkedIn is the place I will always go first if I want to get in touch with someone as it makes it so easy.  You can use your business or personal contact details.  Or you can put your mobile number if you want to (although most don’t).  But put something at least and don’t make people have to go to your website, and then call your company and ask for you there.  The whole point is that LinkedIn makes it easy.

Connections – Reach out.  I don’t go down the whole ‘connect with everyone in my contact list’ idea, I prefer to go to people in my industry and related industries with whom I may be interested in starting a conversation.  I don’t befriend everyone who comes to me either.  Yes again if they’re related work-wise and industry-wise, or people I have worked with in the past.  But no if they’re from a totally unrelated field. 

This is just the start – there are plenty more ways of making LinkedIn work for you and I’ll be coming up with the next steps in the next week or so and another post, however if you haven’t got around to these……I suggest that you do them today.

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