I’d like to invite you to think about LinkedIn a little differently. I have identified 3 stages LinkedIn: credibility, accessibility and platform. How ever you are using LinkedIn – as a entrepreneur, for sales, to gain industry influence in your position or to find a job – working through these stages can help you achieve your goal.
Many people visiting your LinkedIn profile don’t know you and are consciously or unconsciously asking themselves is this person credible or are they lacking what I need? While working on your profile focus on credibility and make sure your web presence reflects the expert you are. Specifically make sure a good, even professional headshot is used for your profile picture. Write a short and meaningful self-brand story that tells the reader why they should care. Invite special co-workers that know your best work to give you a recommendation and then return the favor. Within many of the profile fields you can link to past publications, videos, websites or images showing your past work. Strive for “all-star” profile completeness. Less can look sloppy.
Accessibility is a two way street. It’s connecting to all those you know well professionally and making it easy for others to find you. I tend to send invites via LinkedIn to folks I know fairly well. People I’ve met a few times over the phone or face to face. Using a keyword heavy headline and optimizing it over time gets get my profile looked at more frequently. Also stay up to date with any past employer company or alma matter name changes as LinkedIn users use these queries frequently in search.
LinkedIn allows you to share content in your profile and on your connection’s home pages. From the share box on your home page start by inserting a link, file or typing an announcement. You can share information with your connections about events you’re running or participating in, articles you’ve written or articles you’ve found and think will be useful to your contacts or special company or professional announcements. The rule of thumb is to add value with any content you post and don’t post more than once to LinkedIn each day.
Optimize your LinkedIn account by working each stage – credibility, accessibility and platform. This new way of thinking about LinkedIn can help you reach your career goals and use LinkedIn like a pro!