Using Linked In to Win

Social media has become an expected tool to use in enhancing relationships.  With close to 75 million members,  Linked In has quickly turned  into the go-to social networking site.  Generally speaking, people are using LinkedIn exclusively for business networking, building connections one invitation at a time. There is also opportunity to create company profiles and discussion groups to build your brand. Here are a few tips for developing your Linked In into a habit:

  • Fully complete your profile. Fill in as many components as you can to get to 100% completion.  Give professional information so that someone can quickly assess your background and skills.
  • Add a photo of yourself.  Don’t feel like you need to use a professional headshot, but a business-casual photo will send the message that you are approachable.
  • Name your company website and link to it.  You are able to link three website, so connect your blog if you have one.
  • Add connections consistently.  Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t about the number of connections you have.  It is the way you build your network.  Send out invitations using recommendations from LinkedIn, your own contacts or by uploading your contact email list.  Conduct searches using your alma mater or former employers as well.  When you invite someone, personalize it with a note.
  • Insert an RSS feed URL from your wordpress blog if you have one.  This will help to populate your profile each time you publish a blog post.
  • Use the automatic Twitter feature so that every time you tweet, it becomes a status post on LinkedIn.
  • Post a status update frequently with useful information. Every time you post something, either through Twitter or directly via Linked In, people will see your name in their stream.
  • Join Groups that you are interested in or are relevant to your work.  Don’t only join the groups, but participate in the conversations by posted and answering questions.  Don’t ‘sell’ yourself here– the idea is to contribute to the conversation as a thought leader.
  • Follow companies that interest you.  Especially follow your clients.  It is simple– search for the name, open their page and click “follow.”

Using Linked In isn’t difficult, but it takes diligence.  Spending a few minutes on a regular basis will help you build your brand by giving you exposure to the people in your network.  This helps you stay top of mind– placing you in front of the right people at the right time when an opportunity for business arises.  Take Linked In in small steps. Ten minutes a few days a week is a good place to start.  You may actually see that it is fun, too!