So, you’ve decided to become one of the 380 million LinkedIn members. You’ve got your profile looking great, and now you want to get out there and network. But, where do to begin? 380 million is a lot of people, how do you find the right ones for you? Let’s have a look at 5 tips to help you get going on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site. It’s used for people and business to make connections. As such, you need to change the way you portray and market yourself and what you have to offer. Think of yourself as a brand. Take a step back and consider how you would market yourself as a brand. What message do you want your brand to convey when someone views your profile? What are the key skills/ aspects that your brand can offer? How are you different from other brands?
Join some groups. This is an excellent way to meet the kind of people you want to meet. Based on your profile, LinkedIn will automatically generate groups it thinks you should be interested in. But try and expand beyond that.
Find groups that reflect not only your profession, but also your interests, causes you believe in, alumni networks, and your hobbies. The list of groups you are a member of should correspond with what your brand is. For example, if you are a freelance creative writer you should join writing groups, literature groups, groups that promote literacy in children, groups about language.
You could also consider joining publishing groups or groups for magazines. There are limitless possibilities. Find groups that have a lot of members. Being a member of lots of lively and active groups means that you can reach out to the people within them. Currently, to reach out to someone who isn’t linked with you, means you would have to upgrade to premium, doing this through a group is a way to over-ride this.
Get your skills endorsed. Ask people to endorse your skills. If you have multiple endorsements it’s a magnificent way of looking professional and standing out. You don’t have to ask people through LinkedIn, email or text if they are willing to do this for you and ensure only your top skills are endorsed. What I mean by this is, only get the skills endorsed if they represent your brand. Reject those that don’t fit in with your brand’s skill set. So, taking the example of a freelance writer, you get all the skills you need endorsed. These could be skills like editing, writing, proofreading etc. You don’t need to have clay modelling, even if you’re good at it, as it doesn’t add anything to your brand. You only have a limit of 50 skills to add, so use them wisely. Put your main ones at the top.
Is your name commonly misspelled? Or have you previously been known by another name? It could be an idea to include any common misspellings or alias in your summary. This way anyone who is searching for you by typing ‘Billy Smith’ instead of ‘Billy Smyth’ can find you. Again, this is a good one if your surname begins with Mc or Mac.
AVOID INFORMATION OVERLOAD
There is really no need to include every detail of every job. If it has nothing to do with your brand, then consider either cutting it, or, create a post about what your very early jobs were.
Having too much detail will water down the message that your brand is trying to deliver. Every detail that you put in has to reinforce this again and again.
If you would like to learn more about LinkedIn, I have a FREE 7 Day eCourse delivered to your inbox that could help – LinkedIn Made Easy