How much thought do you put into your LinkedIn profile?
LinkedIn is a great way to gain a professional edge as a business owner. Using the platform effectively allows you to connect not only with potential clients by expanding your reach within a business community; it is also a great way to make powerful connections and partners in your industry. I have connected with people who have helped to grow my client list significantly through referrals and partnerships with others in my industry. LinkedIn is a great way to start exploring networking online for those who may not have the time to invest in networking events.
Like all social media platforms, however, there are ways to use your platform effectively and ways to miss the mark.
1. Stop accepting every LinkedIn invitation.
Be picky with those you choose to connect with. Not everyone who sends you an invitation is someone you should want in your network. Like Michael O’donnell states in this insightful article published on LinkedIn Pulse, you should make time to review the profile of every person who invites you to connect, in order to make sure that all connections are relevant to your professional endeavors.
2. Don’t invite everyone!
The concept works the other way as well: you should not accept every invitation, and in turn, you should certainly not invite everybody. If your purpose is to use LinkedIn to grow professional network and to grow, extend your reach, veering of that course will create disorganization. Work according to your vision in order to ensure success.
3. Anonymous viewing is creepy; make yourself identifiable.
Anonymous viewing has its pros, but it doesn’t change the fact that for those who check to see who has viewed them, it looks creepy. There are many who use LinkedIn to take a look at the clients that their competitors have, which is another reason to be picky about who you choose to invite and the invitations that you accept.
Thanks to technology, there are always little ways to get around roadblocks, and there are those who find a way to uncloak their anonymous viewers. Tread lightly when choosing to browse anonymously.
- Click on your thumbnail image on the right-hand side, choose privacy and settings.
- Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.
- Click the option: Your name and headline.
4. Be involved.
Stay in touch with your connections by checking their status updates. Whether you are building your network or simply staying in touch with clients, past and present, follow their updates and stay involved by commenting, and more. It will keep you on their minds!
5. Hide your connections from creeps.
Protect your connections, LinkedIn Creeps by editing your settings. The benefits of protecting your connections is not just for your benefit, but for their benefit as well. Your competitors and recruiters can access your connections in order to contact them, keeping your connections private will protect their identities as well.
- Scroll to the upper-right hand corner of your LinkedIn profile, in the drop down menu select: Privacy & Settings.
- Then click on the link “Select Who Can See Your Connections” and from there choose the option: “Only Me” When this is done, save your changes.Managing Your Endorsements
6. Customize your public profile URL.
Customizing your URL makes your profile easy to find, remember, and share. You can create a custom URL by going to your public profile and choosing Create a Custom URL on the right-hand side of your screen.
7. Create a profile badge for your website or blog.
Create a profile badge that you can easily add to your website or blog, in order to promote your profile, and help to grow your network by making it easier for your followers to find you.
8. Get rid of generic anchor text links.
Gone are the boring days of generic anchor text links for your websites, whether business or personal. You can add custom text links to your blogs, and websites, by following some simple steps.
Increase your website clicks by adding some interesting text links that will draw page visitors and connections to your websites.
- Simply click on edit profile, and the contact info, link, a box similar to the one below should pop up.
- Under websites option, choose other, and add your custom text link.
9. Optimize your profile, and get found.
Simply have a LinkedIn profile page does not guarantee that the right people will find you. Optimizing your profile, however, will certainly help to increase the chances that you will be found through searches. Add keywords that are relevant to you, to your headline and summary.
10. Complete your profile.
This goes without saying, and yet, so many choose to leave their profiles incomplete. On a platform built for professionals, an incomplete profile makes you look like anything but that.
- Make the time to make sure that your history (summary, education, and work) is complete.
- Give those who would like to connect with you the ability to connect with you on multiple platforms, and add your websites and contact information as well.
- Remember to add samples of your work as well.
11. Build a kick-ass digital resume.
One of the many benefits of using Linkedin for job seeking is the ability to transform your profile into a kick ass resume. Make sure that you have a complete profile and use the Resume Builder Tool to choose a template, edit, and transform it into a PDF that you can print or share!
12. use OpenLink to expand your network.
As a premium account holder, you will have the ability to be part of the OpenLing Network, allowing you to be available for messaging with other LinkedIn members. Open Link gives an out for those who would like to connect with other beyond the first-degree connection.
13. Know who has viewed you.
Keep up with those who view your profile, not simply to keep up with potential stalkers, but in order to understand how you stack up against those that view you and to connect with those that may have been viewing you. You do have to make yourself identifiable in order to use this feature, no anonymous creepers need attempt.
14. Join LinkedIn groups.
Like Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups are a great way to expand your network and to connect with like minded professionals. You are able to gain access into industry circles and networks by simply joining groups and remaining active within the groups.
It also makes connecting easier, because you can message group members directly, by passing first-degree connections.
15. Share updates on Twitter.
Although automatic syncing your tweets to publish on LinkedIn is no longer an option, you can still post your LinkedIn updates to Twitter by simply selecting the Everyone + Twitter option in Share With dropdown while adding updates.
16. Use Pulse.
As a writer/blogger, I find Pulse to be a useful tool for promoting blog posts and articles that I have contributed to other platforms. I have found many clients thanks to my ability to promote my work through Pulse.
Use Pulse to stay updated on industry news, and share your work in order to increase your readership and connections.
Featured photo credit: Freelancers Union via Flickr via flickr.com