LinkedIn can be a great way to use social networks for professional gain. At first, in may look daunting to a person who’s used to Facebook’s visual interface and lots of entertaining, fluffy posts. The tone on social media sites vary according to the users’ motives, and LinkedIn is definitely about getting ahead in business-building your brand name, reputation, and customer base. Here are some of the top tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Strategies for Dominance
Optimize your profile with keywords. Especially in your headline, your current work experience, past work experience and summary. Google Adwords is a great tool for keyword research.
Use a professional headshot. Your half-naked pose or picture of you at the bar will not impress. At least, not in the right way.
Complete your profile. Make sure to fill out all the sections and add projects, publications, awards, certifications, whatever you can to fill it out as completely as possible. You can use the Complete Your Profile button to get walked through this.
Take a look at some profiles of your top competitors. Not only does your profile need to be written with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, it should use effective marketing language with flair.
Build your connections number. 500+ seems to be the magic number everyone needs to have in order to be taken seriously. In this case, it’s quantity over quality, I doubt that most people actually know all of those connections personally. I imported my email contacts as a .csv file and hardly had anyone I knew accept my invitation to connect. I know some of them probably didn’t have a LinkedIn account or weren’t active users, but others, well…sheesh. The real topper is when you send a connection request to your coworker that doesn’t get accepted. Nice teamwork there, huh?
I eventually joined some open networking groups and that got me to 500+ quickly. (I did notice a couple of the coworkers who initially snubbed my connection request had a change of heart after I had 500+ and sent me one. Kinda made me feel like one of the nerds at school who suddenly gets invited to sit at the popular kids’ table at the cafeteria and now everyone likes you.)
Give endorsements. Sure, it’s nice when people endorse you back. However, if they don’t, don’t let that discourage you from taking the initiative in endorsing others. I always return endorsements as long as their profile looks like it matches the skills. It’s just the right thing to do for etiquette’s sake, and hopefully good LinkedIn karma.
Post updates. The Pulse feed is a good way to get visibility. I’d like to have time to post more often, but I try to share a blog post at least once a week.
These are some basic tips to get you started off on the right foot. Do you love or hate LinkedIn? If you do, please share your reasons.