LinkedIn is a social network for professionals, it allows you to connect with people online, that you have business relationships with. This could be as a supplier, client or peer. The connections that you form in the real world, can be replicated online on networks such as LinkedIn, to provide an efficient way to keep connected, access knowledge, insights and opportunities.
Should I be on LinkedIn?
If you’re a business, or represent one, there’s a very good chance that you can find value in LinkedIn. Your profile can be used to allow existing connections to find you, customers to engage and interact with you, and for you to keep up to date with what your clients (and come to that, your competition) is up to.
LinkedIn isn’t the flagship platform for everyone, but not only can it provide value to you and your business, but you may well have connections that are using it as their sole network, so by not having a presence on it, you’re eliminating those connections from your community.
What type of community will I find on LinkedIn?
There’s a huge number (over 300 million according to LinkedIn) of members, with many having company pages to represent their brand, and there’s thousands of groups connecting people of similar interests or geography or sector together. You will likely find a lot of people you’ve worked with, and for, on the network and where appropriate, you should reach out to them to connect.
What should I be talking about on LinkedIn?
As with most all social media, you should establish what your blend of promotional versus informative information will be. Few people are going to be interested and want to connect with you if all you ever do is try to sell to them, time and time again. Look for opportunities to enrich your community’s timeline, look for information that is interesting, establish yourself as an authoritative figure in your field – this will be much longer lasting, than that 15% widget sale you’re always ‘going on about’.
The Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn
Here’s a few pointers if you’re just starting out –
Get a great headshot photo
There’s a very chance that people won’t immediately place you by name. I for one, am absolutely useless with names (I can forget someone’s name after just being introduced to them) – but if I can clearly see your face, I’ll recognise you and accept your connection request.
If you don’t already have them, invest the small amount of money in having professional headshots taken – it makes all the difference.
Complete your profile
It really doesn’t take long and will not only help people find you, but it’s your chance to say what else you’ve done – a lot of people can potential see your profile, here’s your chance to show the journey you took to get where you are today.
LinkedIn is a bit like your online resume/CV. Never lie. Explain what you do, and how you do it, and let your success speak for itself. The same applies the ‘other way’, no matter how funny you think adding “Mindless drone at CompanyX” may appear – clients, customers, peers and potential employers won’t find it at all funny.