If you do one thing to promote yourself or your business this year, make sure you get yourself a LinkedIn profile and step your game up. LinkedIn is one social media site that can both improve your personal online presence, as well as your online business profile. In this article I will offer my insight on how and why you need to invest your time into LinkedIn and get your game face on.
Did you know?
• 25 million LinkedIn profiles are viewed everyday
• 35% of LinkedIn users log in daily
• 3 million companies have set a company page on LinkedIn
• 1.5 MIllion Linkedin Groups
stats from: http://wersm.com/top-linkedin-facts-and-stats-infographic/
Those simple statistics alone should immediately get you excited to update your LinkedIn profile and become more involved in its online community. But most of you are timid because you are unsure where to begin. Let me help.
Get Your Profile on Point
If this article influences you to do one thing, please let it be to sign up for LinkedIn and update your profile to your current role. Keeping your profile fresh and up to date is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business. Make sure to accurately link to your company’s websites and add some of your best work to your profile. Did you know you are able to add youtube videos to your profile? How about a picture of a recent project? Well, now you do, and its your time to impress your connections with an on-point profile.
Grow your Network
ProMat 2015 will be a perfect time to reach out and grow your personal network and stay acquainted with those you meet. I still collect business cards at the show because I like to reach out via LinkedIn to the people I’ve met once I return to the office. If you are really aggressive and smart you will send your new contact a LinkedIn invitation the same day you meet them. That way, you’ll still be fresh in their mind. By connecting with them on LinkedIn, you are taking your networking a step further because they will now be able to see your LinkedIn posts and posts that you’ve liked (such as your company updates).
LinkedIn is No Place to be Shy
One of my fears when I first started using LinkedIn was that people would be able to view all of my contacts and some of my main customers. That was until I realized that my relationship with my customers is stronger than that, and that I don’t really care if anyone reaches out to them because I have confidence in what I provide for them. So be bold and don’t be afraid to reach out, even to your potential competitors. Another fear of mine was simply not having people respond to my connection request. At first I would take it personally, but quickly realized that some people do not check their accounts on a daily basis, and others just prefer to keep their network extremely tight-knit, which is okay by me.
Who Should I target?
When debating who you should invite to LinkedIn, I recommend thinking outside the box. I have made some great connections on LinkedIn through people that I never would have imagined. These connections ranged from old classmates to industry professionals, and by reaching out to them I would be notified of posts they liked or recent connections they had made. This allowed me to capitalize and either follow a new business or connect to an individual that I previously didn’t know was on LinkedIn. First, target business professionals that you know and currently do business with. Next, try to connect with individuals that you know through the grapevine. Previous business relationships and related industry professionals are great targets to grow your network. Finally, don’t be afraid to view other peoples’ connections — it’s a great way to find new people to connect with. It’s also important to know that LInkedIn does have some guidelines when trying to grow your network, so make sure to take some time to review the guidelines before you begin: (https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/118/kw/Sending+invites+guidelings)
Join a Group
One of the easiest and most overlooked ways to grow your network on LinkedIn is to become an active member of a relevant group. It’s Social Media 101: provide value to your audience and you will see results. People enjoy and value contributors because they keep the group relevant and interesting, but keep in mind group members can sense a snake a mile away. No one likes a group spammer. LinkedIn is one social media site on which I truly believe in applying the 80/20 rule, or even the 90/10. This rule goes as follows: Use 90% of your time to add value to your connections and others, and use 10% for personal promotion or benefit.
On a final note — for all of my experienced LinkedIn readers — let me highly recommend looking into LinkedIn publishing… just sayin’.
Be a leader, not a follower!
If you have any questions or feedback on this article please connect with me on LinkedIn.