The best way to leverage LinkedIn is to actively engage on the social network before searching for a new opportunity, client or prospect.
I noticed a common practice among my friends and colleagues. They often increase LinkedIn engagement when searching for new opportunities or trying to solicit services. I explain how this habit is actually hindering their personal and professional growth. No one will take your efforts to engage as sincere if they haven’t heard from you in a while. That’s the greatest Linkedin tip I can provide.
Let me put it this way.
We can all agree that saving money for a rainy day is a great principle in which to live. You never know when you’ll need to pull from that resource.
Unfortunately, some people do not treat their social network as such. They tap into their “social savings” only to find it barren. They reach into their “social pockets” only to find the lint of their old profile picture and incomplete profile.
Does this sound familiar?
If you find yourself using LinkedIn only when you must, it’s time to step your game up. Use LinkedIn now before needing to reach into your “social pockets”.
Here are 10 essential LinkedIn tips for professional growth
1. Always send out customized invitations
Expanding your network is beneficial. Naturally, users want to connect with as many people as possible on LinkedIn and they’ll send connection requests to just about anyone. Unfortunately (or fortunately), many users are filtering these request and ignoring them from people they don’t know.
As a result, if you want to increase your chances of another professional excepting your request, include a personalized invitation.
LinkedIn Tip: Try reaching out to a few local people of interest each month and offering to take them out for coffee.
2. Make your profile more interesting
Try adding digital media such as documents, videos, and presentations. If you wrote a compelling whitepaper on your organization’s behalf, created a stunning presentation or have a news clip of your TV appearance, be sure to add it to your LinkedIn profile.
3. Tell your personal story
Another essential LinkedIn tip is story telling. It’s a great way to grab the attention of a client, colleague, or future employer. Try highlighting your expertise with the stories you display on your profile in a way that highlights your expertise.
In the summary section of your profile. Try adding in a bullet list of your different skills so you can be easily found through LinkedIn search.
4. Ask for Professional recommendations
Recommendations add creditability to your LinkedIn profile. Let’s face it, I can list NASA as my employer and astronaut as my position. Some may question this position but if you display a senior executive’s recommendation, it would certainly add more creditability.
If you are skeptical about asking for recommendations from past employers, simply send out a mass request. You may be surprised at who will take the time to recommend you. Ideally, get them from your direct managing supervisor or past customers.
5. Share activity updates on LinkedIn
If you are connected with me on LinkedIn, you’ll notice I post something at least once a week.
I like to share insights, research and rants on digital marketing.
Share insights, milestones in your career, ask your network questions and share valuable content.
6. Use LinkedIn Publisher
Whenever you post a blog post on LinkedIn, your entire network is notified. I use this feature to strategically build my thought leadership and you should too.
7. Claim your LinkedIn vanity URL
If you want to be a LinkedIn “power user,” you must have a vanity URL. Having a vanity URL will make it easier for people to find you in a search. It will also be useful when promoting your LinkedIn profile on business cards and other print collateral.
7. Optimize your LinkedIn profile
Just as you would optimize your website, do the same for your LinkedIn profile. There are several benefits to having a completed profile: one of which is more visibility in the LinkedIn search results.
LinkedIn Tip: Since rankings are personalized for each searcher, users with complete profiles can show up higher in the LinkedIn search results.
8. Always build your professional network
Another LinkedIn tip I recommend is to set aside a few nights a month for professionals networking events in your area. Join local industry associations and find networking opportunities on Meetup.com.
Also, check out the LinkedIn 5 Minute Marketing Plan.
9. Give lots of endorsements, referrals, and recommendations
Constantly engage with people to help them out. Provide value to your connections by offering resources that will help solve a challenge. No one likes takers, establish yourself as a giver and you will reap the rewards later.
10. Find a better job on LinkedIn
Browse the Jobs tab to find targeted opportunities for your skill set.
Apply these recommendations and you will be in a great position to get discovered and contacted by recruiters and new business contacts on LinkedIn.
One important takeaway from this post is to engage with your LinkedIn network before it’s needed. Take the time to foster stronger relationships with your professional network now so that you can reap the rewards later.
If you believe you’re secure with your current position, you can add value by lifting your profile within the LinkedIn community. All of these tactics can open doors, create opportunities or shed light on your organization’s mission.
Don’t take LinkedIn for granted. Begin engaging today. Start by executing these essential LinkedIn tips for your professional growth.
Question for you: LinkedIn is rapidly growing. How has it helped you in building your network?