LinkedIn has been around for a while. When it first appeared, we effectively uploaded our CVs, looked for people we knew in the space, and didn’t think about it again until we were looking for work.
While that’s still true for some people, LinkedIn now provides us with a space to be seen professionally whatever our current situation; sharing our thoughts, being visible and keeping in touch with connections we’d otherwise lose.
In an era where building a personal brand is important – regardless of your current role or situation – LinkedIn is a great place to do that. Yes, this may seem obvious to those of us out there trying to sell our services, but even for people happy within an organisation creating a reputation as an expert and building a strong network is key.
What Do You Want From LinkedIn?
- To hire
- To be hired
- To get clients
- To keep in touch
- To learn
I’m not going to spend much time looking at the last two bullet points here. For most of us, these are incidental, they aren’t the reason we log onto LinkedIn but it’s important to recognise the benefits they offer us.
Our connections, and the interactions they have with us, can bring us into contact with opportunities we’d otherwise miss out on. The people we know can act as advocates or referees for someone looking for our particular skills – I looked at this in my previous post Is Your LinkedIn Profile Important?
Similarly, LinkedIn offers us the opportunity to learn from experts – within the platform itself or otherwise. And in these spaces, as well as gaining knowledge and experience, we’re likely to make new beneficial connections.
For each of those first three bullets, however…
You’re Looking for Someone
Whether it’s someone to fill a role, give you a job, or buy your service.
So, how can you make the most out of the platform?
- Ensure the right people find you.
- Ensure they connect with you.
- Ensure they find you interesting.
- Ensure they know how to take the next step.
So, to get LinkedIn working for you, these are the areas to look at.
Do you know who you are talking to?
Whether you’re hiring, looking or selling, make sure you know who you’re looking for.
You’re creating a platform where people will get to know you – what your skills are, what interests you, and why you’re somebody worth connecting with.
As an employer, you want to attract the right people.
As a candidate, you want an employer who will value you.
Selling products or services, your customers must recognise your expertise and value what you’re offering.
1. Does your profile stand out?
Will the person you’re looking for, find you and want to connect with the person they find?
I’ve included some tips in my post – The 9 Step Solution for Your Best LinkedIn Profile; think about the keywords your audience are looking for, how to frame your headline and whether or not your profile really reflects you.
2. Create connections
How do you connect at the moment?
Personally, I connect with people I meet at events, those who post things I’m interested in and sometimes connections suggested by LinkedIn.
If someone sends me a connection request, I check them out and normally I’ll agree to the connection.
You might have your own ideas about what works for you, but don’t be scared to make new connections – LinkedIn is all about building your visibility and your network.
3. Show your working
Again, how much you post on the platform and which posts you engage with, will be a personal choice – but it’s the best way to get seen.
Whatever you’re putting out there, it needs to reflect you. Post things that will draw the right people in and get them interested.
Engage with posts of people you want relationships with, they’re more likely to be interested in you if you’ve shown interest in them.
4. Action, that’s what you want
Whether it’s on your posts, in your headline or profile summary, make sure those who engage with you know what you’re looking for and how they can help you get it.
Are you “Hiring”, “Open to Work” or “Offering a Free Consultation”? Should your reader connect with you or give you a call?
If you don’t tell people what you want them to do – they will likely not do anything.
Has anything here surprised you? Is there anything you’d add?
I think LinkedIn is a valuable platform for lots of us and I’d love to hear how you’re making sure you find the people you need there – let me know what you love about LinkedIn.