Recently LinkedIn exceeded 400 million users, with more than 100 million located in the U.S.
The major reasons people are turning to this professional network is it’s a veritable powerhouse of hiring, selling and learning. People are able to build personal brands, establish themselves as thought leaders and even bring in new leads to a company. Here’s how to make LinkedIn work for you.
1. Personalize your job title and summary
Don’t use the default job title as your headline, instead opt for one that is unique. It should be customized to include keywords that can help people find you. That means no gimmicky titles that will ultimately render you unsearchable. For instance, my title is “Maren Hogan, Chief Marketing Brain at Red Branch Media”.
I chose this title for a few reasons. Marketing is the keyword that will help people find the professional they are looking for. “Chief Marketing Brain” is my way of letting potential clients know working with me is fun. (That said, if you are just starting a new career or trying to find work, keep it as professional as possible and save the personality for the interview.) Then I include the unique name of my firm and a summary that highlights not only my activities but HOW I achieved those things.
2. Become an instant influencer
If you’re using the right tools, creating and maintaining a LinkedIn profile, along with status updates, doesn’t require a ton of upkeep.
For instance, social-sharing software like Buffer or Sprout Social allows you to fill up a queue for the week or month and schedule publishing times and dates. You can hammer out shared LinkedIn content in just one cup of coffee over the weekend. Also, if you select “Public + Twitter” from the shared with drop-down menu, you can automatically share updates.
The most popular LinkedIn pros also generate a mix of original content. This could be from posting blog-like posts on the LinkedIn Publishing Platform or from linking a SlideShare account to the network and posting content that way. Make sure to add a picture and a call-to-action like “please share” to every third or so post. Here are a few other ways to build up your credibility:
- Share others’ posts when you think they’ll be relevant to your network’s interests
- Like posts from those who took time to craft them
- Join groups for your profession and also for your target market
If you’re using the right tools, maintaining a LinkedIn profile doesn’t require much upkeep. Click To Tweet
3. Throw away business cards
Well, throw them away after you make the connection. While I always recommend a personal email to important new contacts, I realize that sometimes that just isn’t feasible. Get through that stack quickly by connecting with them on LinkedIn with a short and simple note. You should also always customize your connection requests.
I would recommend writing why you want to connect with them. My most interesting interactions on LinkedIn have started with a genuine request or offer like: “I would like to buy you coffee and discuss working for your firm,” or “Your blog post made marketing seem simple, can you show me how to do that?”
You should always customize your LinkedIn connection requests. Read more tips: Click To Tweet
4. Make yourself accessible
Rule No. 1 of LinkedIn Club is make yourself so easy to find that users will virtually trip over you. A simple way to do this is to customize your profile URL. (Click here and the help center will assist you in claiming your vanity URL.) Other tips include:
- Put “Connect with me on LinkedIn” badges up on your site
- Use the Slideshare integration to show off your most recent PowerPoint presentation
- Once a week, take a look at who is looking at your profile and introduce yourself to the most promising folks
Want to know the last trick to standing out? Head over to Entrepreneur.com