I have been on LinkedIn now for almost 3 years. I was a reluctant convert but once I got in I went in with everything I had. At first I was slightly puzzled about how to use LinkedIn to my advantage. But slowly I began to understand how and what can work in our industry. Here are some tips to use with LinkedIn to make an impact.
- Have a clear purpose – Most people begin LinkedIn without a real strategy. This was my initial experience. Don’t make that mistake. And if you already have a presence now is the time to decide on what you want from LinkedIn. Do you want to expand your network inside our industry? Are you looking for opportunities? Mentors? The more you focus the better luck you will have.
- Have a Professional Profile – This means taking a hard look at the image you are presenting. Get away from the “job hunting” type of profile and focus more on what you are doing now and what you can do in the future. First impressions are everything so be sure to have a professional photo – no photo means you are not serious about LinkedIn…get a photo.
- Use your network Just because you have a lot of connections does not mean you are done with LinkedIn. Every week, identify five connections and send them a brief invitation to catch up by phone. Look for ways you can help them professionally. And, when you accept someone’s LinkedIn invite, scan their profile and suggest ways you can help them. Keep it simple. If an idea does not occur right away…move on.