With more than 200 millions users, LinkedIn is the most powerful social networking site specifically for business professionals. But having a profile alone isn’t enough to create a powerful personal brand presence and get the most out of LinkedIn.
Building a Powerful Presence on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has often been described as Facebook for business, but that isn’t entirely accurate. Facebook is inherently more social in the traditional sense like going to a coffee shop, and LinkedIn is much more like attending a business tradeshow. It is a place for business professionals to network, connect and share information and best practices. But just like a tradeshow, in order to make the most of it, you have to be visible and active! So here are 9 ways to help you build an active and powerful presence on LinkedIn.
1. Complete your profile and achieve All-Star profile strength
Your LinkedIn profile might be your first introduction to a potential customer or connection. LinkedIn says a 100% profile gives you a 40% greater chance for networking success. This is the first step in building a powerful presence on LinkedIn, so if you don’t have your profile completed, we’ve outlined 7 easy to steps to help you achieve all-star profile status.
2. Optimize your profile and URL to get found
Be sure that your LinkedIn profile is publicly visible to everyone. You want people to find you, so edit your public LinkedIn URL to be your name (i.e. linkedin.com/in/yourname). Include relevant, personal and professional information, but unlike Facebook, you shouldn’t have any personal information that you wouldn’t want everyone to know.
3. Grow your network connections
To help grow your connections, upload contacts from your email account to see who of your current contacts has a LinkedIn profile. Once you connect with them, LinkedIn will show you their connections and you will be able to build your network even more. An important thing to remember when you are requesting to connect with people is to personalize the message! (See point #9)
4. Give and request recommendations
One of the best ways to receive recommendations is to first give them. When you request a recommendation, include specifics about your request. Recommendations don’t need to be long; one to two paragraphs are sufficient. The key is to make sure that the recommendations give specific feedback and context for the feedback. Try to avoid vagaries and flattery.
5. Join groups and participate in discussions
To help build your presence, join groups related to your industry or expertise. But don’t just join, respond to threads and join discussions to highlight particular content. By participating in these groups, you will share your knowledge and grow your network. Be careful not to post anything that could be viewed as SPAM by the group. These groups are for information sharing, not a place to pitch your products and services (unless you are asked).
6. Share activity updates regularly
When you share an article or update your status on LinkedIn, all of your connections will see it in their network updates. Be sure your activity updates are publicly visible. You can also share your status updates on Twitter. By sharing industry articles, blogs and other industry-related items, you will be seen as an expert and more people will want to connect with you.
7. Add projects, publications and other content
Adding projects and publications is a great way to display your knowledge and expertise. Click on “Add Sections” on your Edit Profile page to see a list of the profile sections that you can add to your profile. You can even embed SlideShare presentations on your profile as well.
8. Make your interactions personal
While LinkedIn helps with creating default messages, people ultimately want human interaction and want to know you really want to connect with them. Personalize your invitations to connect. Don’t just use the generic LinkedIn message, but rather give people some context for your connection request. Share your personal voice in your status updates and in your summary. Any way to show your personality is a great way to stand out on LinkedIn.
9. Be active and keep your profile fresh
Keeping your profile updated and fresh matters to LinkedIn. So be sure to update your profile frequently if you want to keep your profile strength score up. Set aside a short amount of time for LinkedIn each day. Share industry and company content regularly. Have business cards sitting around? Go and connect with those people right away!
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The best way to build your presence on LinkedIn is to be active and involved. Once you have achieved All-Star profile strength, connect with people and share status updates. Don’t let your profile sit dormant. Join groups that interest you so you can share your expertise while also learning from others. Doing this will grow your connections and help you build your brand.