If you want Linkedin to work for you, get started with the basics — essentially, this means making sure you have a standout profile and are building your personal brand. Click here to read the first post in our series about why LinkedIn matters.
When’s the last time you went to a tradeshow or networking event looking unprofessional and unprepared, with nothing to say to potential connections when you shake their hands?
That’s right. Never.
So why are you treating LinkedIn the same way? It’s essentially a 24-hour, global networking platform with limitless opportunities to communicating your brand, product or service.
If you’ve just signed up for LinkedIn, or if you’ve had it going for a while, but don’t know how to make yourself stand out and be effective, there are three key steps to fixing that. Here goes….
Step 1: Maximize your personal LinkedIn profile
It you are C-level executive, director, business development or sales lead, building out your personal LinkedIn profile is an essential first step. You might think what you’ve got is good enough, but here’s some tips you should follow:
- Make sure you have a professional headshot and a background image.
- Create a strong headline that tells people what you do, rather than just give your title.
- Customize your URL (in the ‘Edit Profile’ settings) to something that is easy to share, i.e. www.linkedin.com/in/ahardyalexander
- Use the Summary section as an opportunity to tell a story about your career and what you’ve accomplished.
- Tell your connections how you can help them. What can they expect from you and what value can you bring?
- Optimize your profile by working in searchable keywords that link back to your business and expertise.
Step 2: Share updates and content
Keep your profile fresh and engaging by showing people that you have unique insights to offer. Here’s a few ways to do this:
- Share industry articles on your Home page with a brief description of why you liked the article and why your audience may find it useful.
- Post your company’s blogs or other content on your Home page with a brief description.
- Publish your blog posts to LinkedIn Pulse: it’s like having your own blog within LinkedIn and it’s searchable in the social network and on search engines. Plus, they look pretty awesome….
- Show off your best visual content in the Summary section of your profile so connections will see it front and center. All you have to do is attach a link. and voila, your content will be shown.
Step 3: Join groups and start sharing
With more than 2 million groups to choose from, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t one that is a good fit for almost any business or profession. LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups, but for maximum success, focus on 20-30.
Start by searching for Groups using keywords that will fit with your business, i.e. geography, industry, prospects. Evaluate the group for fit before joining. Many groups aren’t well monitored and they simply may not have the collaboration that will lead to success.
Then start sharing, but be careful not to be too promotional. Instead, you want to ask questions and provide answers, contributing to ongoing discussions whenever it makes sense. Here’s an example of how you might engage and share within a group:
Learn more about how to use LinkedIn
These were just some of the first starting points to building your presence on LinkedIn. We’ve got lots more to share in our free eBook, I’m On LinkedIn, So Now What? Click the image below to download it and then be sure to connect with Digital Giants on LinkedIn. Happy networking!