LinkedIn isn’t just a social networking site. It’s a tool that anyone can use to find a job, network with other professionals, build a business, or gain exposure to establish a personal or company brand. In other words, LinkedIn is what you make of it. Following are 20 ways that you can use LinkedIn to reach your goals. None of these tips are difficult, so you can implement them immediately!
Complete LinkedIn Profile
When you create your profile, it’s the face of your online identity and brand. A barebones profile isn’t going to help you reach your goals. Instead, you need to take the time to build your profile so you reach the 100 percent complete marks.
Create a Great Headline
Your profile headline should do more than just state your current job title. Your headline should communicate your story in a few words and make what you do obviously to anyone who stumbles upon it. Create a headline that is relevant to your goals.
Prioritize Your Information
You can move most elements of your profile, so the most important information is listed first. Always lead with your strengths as they apply to your goals. In other words, when the people whom you want to see your profile land on it, make sure they see the most important parts of your story first!
Keywords should be used in your headline, summary, and throughout your profile. When people search for LinkedIn members by keyword, you want to make sure that your profile has the best chance of showing up in the results where people can find you.
Get a Custom URL
Take a minute to customize your LinkedIn profile URL, so it’s memorable, easy to find, and uses keywords, if possible.
Make sure as much information as possible is visible to the public when they land on your LinkedIn profile. The more information you can share through your profile to tell your story without requiring someone to connect with you first, the better.
Publish Updates and Interact
You have to be active on LinkedIn, which means you need to publish your own updates to your profile news stream. However, you also need to interact with other people in order to build relationships that can turn into opportunities in the future. Like and share other people’s updates, and comment on their updates, too.
Integrate Online Presence
Use plugins to encourage people to share your content on your blog and website with their connections. Invite people to connect with you on LinkedIn through an icon on your blog or website, in your email signature, in your forum signatures, and so on. Use the tools provided in LinkedIn and through other social sites to cross-publish your updates to your Twitter profile, Facebook profile or page, and blog.
Get & Give Recommendations
When people write recommendations about you, they appear on your profile and act as verifiable testimonials. Reach out to appropriate connections and ask them to write recommendations for you. At the same time, you need to write recommendations about them, too.
LinkedIn groups give you opportunities to learn, interact, build relationships, and provide your own expertise. Join smaller, niche groups and actively participate in establishing your expertise. Join larger, broad groups related to your business or your goals to build your LinkedIn network. You can be less active in these larger groups.
Use LinkedIn Answers to find questions related to your industry or goals and answer them. This is a great way to build one-on-one relationships and boost your LinkedIn exposure.
Increase Your Connections
You should always look for people to connect with on LinkedIn. Start by searching LinkedIn for former colleagues and classmates. You can invite people from your email list or personal contact list to join LinkedIn by sending them invitations. You can also ask for introductions to people you want to get to know. If you don’t know someone personally and don’t have a common member in both of your networks, you can send an InMail message to them to invite them to connect with you.
Promote Your Events
Use the events app to promote your upcoming events. This is a great tool for speakers, charitable organizations, and more. You can track who is going to your event and share it with your network for greater exposure. Furthermore, use the events app to find events that you’re attending so you can network with other attendees before the event.
Your LinkedIn profile only tells so much of your story. In order to reach your goals, you need to share as much of your story as possible, and several LinkedIn apps can help you do that easily. For example, use the SlideShare and Google slides to share your presentations with the LinkedIn audience, or use the Behance app to show off your portfolio.
Create a Company Page
If you own a business, create a LinkedIn company page for it. You can share news and events on your page, publish job openings, gather reviews and recommendations, and build relationships with LinkedIn members directly with your company.
You can publish your job openings on your company page and in groups that allow it. Pursue both options to get the most exposure.
Upgrade Your Account
The free basic LinkedIn account is satisfactory for most LinkedIn members, but you can upgrade your account if you need access to additional features. For example, the paid Job Seeker account is very useful to people who are actively hunting for a new job.
Whether you’re an individual looking for a job or a business trying to sell a product, you can promote your efforts with LinkedIn ads. They offer several advertising options, so you can choose the one that’s best for you.
For optimum success, you need to spend time off of LinkedIn, too. That means you should cross-promote your content across your varied social media profiles. You also need to converse and network with people on their own social media destinations to acknowledge them and deepen relationships with them.
Use LinkedIn as a listening tool, so you get a better understanding of what your target audience (be it employers or customers) wants and needs. With that knowledge, you can tailor your activities and content to better engage with that audience. You can even conduct your own informal research using the polls app!