Enjoy this guest post by Kerry Butters while we are at SMX East!
As many of you will already know, LinkedIn is the choice of professionals when it comes to social networking. Whilst Facebook and Twitter are a great marketing tool, LinkedIn is a professional networking tool where you can find like-minded people within your industry, as well as search for jobs and connections which are valuable to your working life.
With around 150 million users, the demographics on LinkedIn are very different to the ones you will see on other social media sites and is predominantly used by males between the ages of 25 and 57 years, although this is something that is changing.
What isn’t changing though, is the ethos of the site and so if you really want your profile to make a professional impact, then it’s worth spending some time on your bio. This will ensure that you show up in search results and you can really use the site as a platform for showcasing your professional interests.
What works best?
First of all, in order to get the most from LinkedIn, it’s essential that you complete your profile in full. Consider it your executive biography and ensure that you carry out the following:
- Work history, skills and qualifications should be completed comprehensively on the site
- Upload your resume and ensure that it’s fully up-to-date at all times
- Provide a professional-looking profile picture, nobody wants to see a photo of you and the family at the beach
- Give and request recommendations, ask anyone you have worked with in the past to provide you with one and do the same for them
- Provide key skills, think about what you want people to pick up on that you can deliver professionally and use as keywords on your profile
- Use the site’s Outlook Social Connector tool, this will add a widget to your email signature so that clients or potential employers can instantly find you on the site, increasing the likelihood that you make good connections
- Don’t add people randomly and often, make sure that you add connections who are most likely to be valuable – also avoid flip comments and don’t put up personal updates, LinkedIn is about work, not a family wedding
It’s essential that your profile is fully fleshed out if you want to be noticed and it’s also vital that you keep it up to date. Once you have your profile in place, you can then begin to look at how best you can network; this will, of course, depend on what you are using the site for, personal or company.
Saying that, if you’re part of a company that doesn’t have a LinkedIn presence, then approach the boss and insist that they get one. If people can see who you’re affiliated with, then they will have an even better idea of your skills.
Finally, start a group that’s very relevant to those you invite and begin discussions that encourage others to get involved. This is a great way to engage with other users within your industry and helps you to show them who you are, as well as showcasing your expertise and voice within the industry, thus giving you more credence and extending your network.
Author Bio: Kerry Butters contributes on behalf of Broadband Genie, the advice website for all things internet and broadband.