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10 Quick Ways To Become A LinkedIn Star

10 Quick Ways To Become A LinkedIn Star

While we are always told as job seekers and business owners to cultivate a strong and integrated social media profile, a lack of meaningful metrics make it difficult to understand whether or not our efforts have been successful. This task is made even harder by the sheer volume of social media outlets now available, as each has their own specific benefits and unique purposes for users.

Some offer more value than others in the commercial world, however, with LinkedIn arguably the most effective networking tool for professionals. It is also one of the most productive, with recent reports suggesting that the social media jobs platform could add a staggering $2.7 trillion to the global economy. It may even benefit up to 540 million members by the year 2025 and increase global employment by 72 million full-time positions.

To capitalize on LinkedIn’s growing influence as a professional networking tool, you will need to optimize your presence and create a profile that captivates employers or potential partners. Here are 10 simple and time-effective ways in which you can achieve this as an existing user:

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1. Import your existing email contacts

No matter how long you have been using LinkedIn, you are likely to have an older email account that includes the details or previous employers, colleagues and freelance collaborators across multiple industries. Your email is therefore an invaluable source of information that can provide the foundation for successful networking, and LinkedIn allows you to benefit from this by seamlessly importing your contacts and searching for them on the site. This process is automated and takes a matter of moments, while it can boost your number of meaningful connections considerably.

2. Update your profile regularly to reflect your existing status

It is a cardinal sin to neglect your LinkedIn profile page, as this is the first resource that new and existing contacts will see when they search your name. You must therefore be proactive and regularly update your profile where necessary, ensuring that your work portfolio and existing skill-sets are accurately represented at all times. This is particularly important in evolutionary market sectors such as marketing and computer programming, where the requisite skills and training requirements are constantly been updated. By constantly realigning your profile to suit the market, you will remain in demand and in the forefront of employers minds’.

3. Ask your colleagues to leave recommendations and endorsements

The traditional letter of recommendation can make or break a job application, and LinkedIn have a unique feature that enables members to endorse each other’s work within specific job roles and organisations. While some may be loath to ask initially, these recommendations can add credibility to your profile and reinforce both current and future applications. The same can also be said for the websites Skills and Endorsements section, where members champion the skills of others on the basis of previous collaborations. There is strong evidence to suggest that those with a higher number of endorsements will rank more favourably in LinkedIn search results, so it is important to interact with others and share recommendations.

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4. Use existing video testimonials to reinforce your quality of work

The video upload feature on LinkedIn’s profile pages are criminally underused, especially by sole traders or small business owners with a strong, existing consumer base. After all, the vast majority of profile pages look the same, so the use of video can help to distinguish your brand or service even in a competitive market sector. Perhaps the best use of this resource is to record and upload genuine customer or client testimonials’, which are known to increase sale conversion rates across multiple platforms. In this respect, you can use LinkedIn to successfully distinguish your service and capitalize on a satisfied and engaged client base using existing testimonials on your website.

5. Optimize your profile for search

This should be common sense, especially when you compare the functionality of a professional networking resource with a branded website. After all, both are used to increase online visibility and engage others, and just as you would use the principles of SEO to enhance the reach of your website you should optimise your LinkedIn profile for search. To achieve this you simply need to research the keywords that relate to your industry or service, perhaps using Google’s analytical tools to drive accurate results. Then integrate these into your profile as naturally as possible, as this will help to improve your visibility on the site without using text in a repetitive manner.

6. Blog regularly and become a thought leader

The concept of thought leadership is best described as being the entry point into a relationship, whether this is between collaborators or businesses and a potential customer base. LinkedIn is therefore the ideal platform through which to initiate such relationship, especially if you make the most of the sites now universally accessible blogging resource. By committing to create original, relevant and insightful blog posts on a regular basis, you can organically advertise your expertise while also ensuring that your profile ranks well in relation to industry specific keywords. This need not take a huge amount of time either, especially if you focus on creating short and concise posts that hold the reader’s attention.

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7. Use LinkedIn’s trending content tools to publish relevant posts

If you do decide to republish posts, write new blogs or simply share some newsworthy content, you may as well make sure that you are this is in the user’s interests. To help you achieve this, you should take a few moments to use LinkedIn’ own trending content tools, as this will automatically analyse posts and updates before relaying those that are most relevant to you and your connections. This offers you best possible chance of engaging readers and ensures that you optimize your time when creating content.

8. Actively participate in LinkedIn groups

While this may sound time-consuming, it initially requires a willingness to search for relevant, professional groups that are within your industry. By being selective and choosing two or three groups based on their popularity, relevance in terms of keywords and existing membership base, you can then to subscribe to daily updates that are delivered directly to your email inbox. From here you simply need to take five or 10 minutes out of your daily schedule to respond and interact with other members, as you share your insight and build strong professional bonds.

9. Reinforce the values of human interaction

According to research conducted by Econsultancy, 74% of all marketers believe that personalisation increases customer engagement. This is part of a wider trend that is relevant to LinkedIn users, as personal messaging and the underlying values of human interaction remain far more powerful than generic connection requests or overly optimised text. With this in mind, you can improve your networking credentials and appeal by personalising the individual messages that you send to others, even if this is just to show an interest in their activities or business. This will help build longer-lasting and meaningful relationships that deliver value over time.

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10. Create a call to action

On a final note, why not conclude your profile summary with a succinct and relevant call to action? Although this is largely associated with businesses, the psychology of the call to action can easily be applied to individuals who are looking to network with others. So depending on whether you want individual to interact with your blog, visit a website or email you directly, be sure to add a concise call to action that shares this eloquently with other LinkedIn members. The key thing to remember is to keep your call to action relatively brief and clear, while also avoiding any overly optimized or sales-influenced copy that is likely to deter readers.

Featured photo credit: Smi23 / A Name Like Shields Can Make You Defensive via flickr.com

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Published on January 16, 2019

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

  • Are you a great strategist?
  • Are you an effective planner?
  • Is Project Management your strength?
  • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
  • Are you the ideas person?
  • Is Implementation your strength?

Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

4. Take Time for Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

You can take the time to think about:

  • What’s the purpose of the project?
  • How Important is it?
  • When does it need to be delivered by?
  • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
  • What are the KPIs?
  • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
  • Who is working on this project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
  • What tolerances can I add in?
  • What are the review stages?
  • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

5. Focus on Priorities

Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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    The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

    If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

    If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

    6. Take Time Out

    To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

    If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

    Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

    In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

    Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

    I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

    Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

    If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

    8. Stop Multitasking

    Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

    So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

    When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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    If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

    9. Work in Blocks of Time

    To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

    I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

    Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

    Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

    Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

    Then take another 10-minute break.

    Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

    By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

    10. Get Rid of Distractions

    Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

    “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

    Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

    If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

    11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

    You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

    Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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    Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

    12. Take a Time Audit

    Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

    Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

    You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

    Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

    Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

    At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

    If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

    13. Protect Your Confidence

    It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

    When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

    Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

    When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

    Final Words

    A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

    The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

    If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

    Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

    Reference

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