10 LinkedIn Basics
LinkedIn is one of the leading social media platform for professional networking and is already used by a lot of professional across the world but at varying degrees. The below are the basics in order to create a strong and active presence to build relationships and make your existing relationships work for you.
- Customise your profile url – it is easy to do and makes your profile more searchable on google. On your profile page, you have a link to edit your public profile and url – this is where you can change your url. It is easy to do but more often than not it gets missed out.
- Upload a professional photo – if you don’t want your photo to be available on the net, change your privacy settings so only your 1st and 2nd connections see it. Present a smiling photo that communicates professionalism.
- Your headline counts – Your headline is the first thing people see about you. When you update your current job, LinkedIn updates your headline to this – you need to change this to include your competencies – what you are and what you do – insert words that you want to be known for and searched for. This will increase your chances in appearing in LinkedIn Searches.
- Your summary – this is where you tell your story – what you do, the value you provide and showcase your expertise. You can add in media/links, if appropriate. Write in the first person – be conversational, be approachable and be you.
- Connections – connect with who you know in the real world first – touch upon your school/college alumni, your colleagues, your clients, your suppliers and also your prospective customers. Use the LinkedIn search to look for potential clients or other people you wish to connect with. Send them requests to connect but don’t use the typical LinkedIn built-in message – personalise it and tell them why you want to connect with them.
- Skills – add your skills – at least 10. Encourage your colleagues and clients to endorse you. These are soft recommendations – these make your expertise stand out.
- Recommendations – don’t be shy of asking for recommendations – if your client or colleague has given you’re a compliment, ask them if they will write you a recommendation on LinkedIn – these can impact your “trust-worthiness” and also you will appear higher up in searches.
- Groups – Join groups – according to your profession, your interests and your passions. It increases your visibility and offers you more networking opportunities. Groups offer you opportunities to ask questions, read industry news, answer questions and stay up-to-date. You can edit the frequency of emails you get – so you are not inundated if you join a lot of groups.
- Sharing valuable content – share/post content that is valuable to others – it’s not about you, it’s what you bring to the others that is important. If you share industry topics, tips and advice, you improve your credibility and your connections will start to engage with you.
- Create an operating system – daily/weekly/monthly etc. – in an ideal situation, you would comment/like/share something daily. LinkedIn makes it easy for you by telling you who is celebrating a work anniversary, who has started a new job, who has been promoted etc. – it takes a minute to offer congratulations but it strengthens the relationships. On a weekly basis, make sure you are answering questions in your groups and on a monthly basis, make new connections, recommend and ask for recommendations – create a system that works for you, but to utilise LinkedIn to its fullest, make sure you reach out and build relationships.
Palak Tewary, along with being an ardent part-time writer, is a travel buff and photography enthusiast. She blogs at www.palaktewary.wordpress.com and tweets/Instagram at @palaktewary.