Make the most out of the professional networking site with a stronger LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is one of the most relevant and powerful tools available for business people. It can enhance your career, help you build a stronger professional network and enable you to maintain relationships that otherwise may have been lost. Despite the benefits, I am continuously surprised to see people deliberately not taking advantage of LinkedIn as a resource.
Because I believe so ardently in the power of LinkedIn, we are going to help you improve your LinkedIn profile and up your social networking game.
- Build a profile. The first step to successfully using LinkedIn as a resource is to build a smart profile that accurately tells your professional story. It starts with a photo. Make sure that you choose one that is professional looking (doesn’t have to be professionally taken). That means, appropriate clothing that reflects the image you want to portray to prospects and colleagues. The rest of your profile should share insights into your current role and past experiences. Maintaining your LinkedIn profile will be an ongoing process, so make sure to evaluate it regularly.
- Build a network. Once your LinkedIn profile is properly updated, it’s time to build a network. Connect with every coworker, client and key contact you have made over the years. Engage your personal network to connect as well, as your friends and family are likely to be very comfortable making introductions on your behalf. Every time you attend a networking event or are introduced to a new business contact, establish a connection on LinkedIn to stay in touch. Not only will it help you expand your LInkedIn network, it provides an opportunity for you to stay in touch with new business connections. Remember: The value of LinkedIn is the 360 degree connection, where personal and business interests intersect.
- Use it as a resource. Especially for those who are in sales, LinkedIn is a fantastic way to leverage connections, and has a highly useful search feature. When chasing a prospect, type in the prospect name, company, location or keyword, and see who in your network is a first or second degree connection. According to Salesforce, “By intelligently mixing the different filters you can get really deep and identify key individuals quickly and easily.” Once you have identified shared connections, ask for an introduction—which will automatically qualify you with the prospect. Check out our post on the value of 2nd degree connections to find out why.
The benefits of LinkedIn are yours for the taking, and should be viewed as a resource, not as just another social networking site like Facebook and Twitter. By joining the social networking site, and taking advantage of our guide to LinkedIn best practices, you have much more to gain than to lose. Contact us with any questions.