August 17, 2009 was a big day for me. It was the day when I decided to become a member of Linkedin.
It was certainly one of the best things that I have done from a business perspective, as well as for my own personal brand as a marketer. And when you consider the continued growth of Linkedin within the social media mix, and that nearly one-third of all professionals are members, it is incredible to think that there are still a lot of business people who have not yet joined.
With nearly 6 years under my Linkedin belt, I have learned a lot, and I have been very fortunate enough to become connected with some incredible and highly influential business leaders, who I am able to learn and engage with for guidance.
One such expert is Melonie Dodaro who is regarded as the number 1 Linkedin expert in Canada, and from reading her excellent book, The Linkedin Code, my entire approach to this very important business channel has changed for the good.
There is still a lot of confusion, misunderstanding, and lack of knowledge about how to best use Linkedin for your company, as well as for you as an expert in your chosen field.
But the following 5 tips for Linkedin success will give you a great platform to set you on your way to getting to grips with this very powerful social network.
1 Let Me See You
I am still amazed to see on Linkedin, many profiles in which there is no photograph of the individual. They say first impressions last and when I don’t see a profile photo it does leave an impression, the wrong one.
In my opinion, it creates a mistrust and a doubt about the validity of the individual. Why don’t they want to show their face, have they something to hide, can I believe what the person says in their profile? Just as bad as not having a photo, is having one which is poorly taken, trying to be creative but ends up looking ridiculous or is just an angry scowl.
I have seen all these variations and I often wonder what were people thinking of at the time. Remember, your Linkedin photo is a visual representation of you and your personal brand, so make it count to show yourself in the best light possible and please smile, it can’t hurt that much, as you may never know who is looking you up.
2 Tell Me Your Story
Your profile and biography on Linkedin is your chance to shine and tell the community what you do, your achievements and how you ultimately solve problems. But if you don’t put the effort into completing your profile and writing it with search in mind, you will become another member that will see very low profile views.
If you are familiar with Google Adwords or have been involved with Search Engine Optimisation for your website, you will no doubt have heard of the phrase ‘keyword’. In simple terms, a keyword is a word or a series of words called long tail key-words, which someone uses to search for the answer to a question, problem etc when they conduct a search online. Having certain keywords on your website will help and increase the chances that your website will be found.
The same goes for Linkedin. By using keywords specific to what you do and your expertise in your profile, you can improve the chances of being found when someone does a search on Linkedin for a particular person with a certain skill set.
The key thing to emphasise without going through this step by step is that it is imperative that you go through every part of the profile section and complete it to 100% and especially getting a couple of recommendations. Not only does it validate you as a professional, but you will be giving yourself an excellent chance of ensuring that your profile will be found by like-minded professionals, who may want to do business, discuss opportunities or connect to learn from you.
3 Personalise Every Invitation To Connect
I don’t know about you, but I tend not to accept a request from someone who has not made the effort to at least introduce themselves to me. There is something I think very cold about “I would like to add you to my connections” etc etc. So why do you want to add me? Maybe I am just making up the numbers for you so that you can get to that 500+ connections and look like a big hitter?
My personal rule is that for people I know and people who I don’t know but would like to make contact and grow a business relationship with, I always send a personalised message with my invite. The key thing is that you have to find that common ground and core reason as to why you want to link in with the person, and likewise for them, they need see some value from you.
So with this in mind, I would urge you not to send Linkedin requests via the app as there is no functionality within it to send a personalised message so this defeats the purpose in my opinion.
4 Go On, Say Thank You
This is a simple action that I feel really helps the start of a new Linkedin relationship. If someone you have invited to connect accepts, my advice is, send that person a little message to say, thank you. You would be surprised at how positive your new connection will feel when they are thanked, and it gives you that bit of extra professional polish and a personalised touch.
5 Get Into Groups
Linkedin, like all social media, is first and foremost about been social and engaging with your audience, target market, and all your connections. One excellent way to engage with like-minded professionals, share your opinions, give guidance and ultimately boost your own professional status as an expert, is to join relevant groups in your niche and sphere of interest. I myself have joined 5 groups with one group request pending but I have connections who are members in 40+ groups.
From my own personal experience, trying to be active in 5 groups for me is a struggle, so I would advise those of you starting off to maybe pick one group initially and see how you get on. The key thing is to just get started and join in the conversation
I will be writing more about Linkedin in future posts, but I hope you will find these 5 tips useful to get you becoming more linked in on Linkedin.
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Thanks for reading and please do share with your community.
Phillip (The Curly Marketer)
Thank you to freepik.com for the images used in this post