LinkedIn is an opportunity to connect with professionals for job and business. LinkedIn is about forming a network of professionals from your industry. We all know that forming connections with professionals ‘who we know’ is easy. But more than any other social networking website on the internet – LinkedIn offers users tremendous opportunities to connect and grow your network.
This post is about revisiting the various facets of LinkedIn to understand – ‘how you as a LinkedIn user can add value to your professional profile’? In other words, we will talk about – how to make LinkedIn work for you!
Connect and Grow
As a LinkedIn user you can not only connect, but you can also help existing and new connections (outside your network) know more about you. Now, encouraging new connections outside your network to connect with you is a very subtle aspect of LinkedIn. You are not going out there to shout that ‘I exist’ and ‘so connect with me’ – we all know that never works. But by following certain tips you can become visible to a lot of professionals who would find it highly beneficial to get connected with you.
First and Foremost, it is a wise step to make your profile visible by acting on the following triggers:
You may love your dog more than you love yourself (I know cuddling pets is cute and awesome!) but it would look more appealing to the audience, if you just keep your own picture on the profile page. No Pets, No Children and No Spouse Photos. There was a time, when people viewed LinkedIn profiles as a resume and they still do – but it is more than a resume! LinkedIn is your entire persona both professional and personal which comes alive when you develop and maintain a great profile page.
Keyword rich title:
Google will highlight your profile in its search results only if it contains specific keywords. For instance: ‘Content Strategist’ is more convincing to the user than the generic term ‘Content Developer’. Content Writer is fine too, but then it is confusing because the obvious question: What kind of content do you write? So, if you are a resume writer then it is better to write that. Or if you are an academic writer and you specialize in admission essays, then it is better to write ‘admission essays’ in the headline.
Writing attractive headlines is as important as writing keyword rich titles. Keep it simple, yet descriptive. For instance: Content Strategist with 5 years of branding experience is more suggestive than only writing ‘Experienced Content Strategist’. But it is not ideal to mention more than one title. If you are both a ‘Project Manager’ and ‘Content Strategist’ then mention the title which explains more about the job that you do. Or just combine the terms – ‘Content Manager’ may sound ideal; and again it depends on your professional role in the company.
Communicate your professional expertise
We discussed earlier that LinkedIn is more than a resume because it brings to life the various facets of your ability to think intelligently.
Posting Updates :
Publishing content is one of the effective ways in which you can keep the audience informed about your professional expertise. For instance: You have designed a new website then you can write a blog about that particular designing experience and post the blog. Infact, it can work wonders, because you are writing about a specific & recent project. Yes, overall experience also counts a lot, but then you can always mention that in the ‘Summary’ section.
Keep the summary crisp and informative. The way you write the summary will either intrigue the profile viewer in knowing more about you or it will make the profile viewer skip to the next section. It is good to add links to your projects. Adding links to your projects will work as effectively as posting an article about your latest project.
You can elaborate about your purpose for connecting with a professional contact by sending that contact a message. Yes, there is a word limit to your message but you can be descriptive within that word limit. A personalized message can highlight your business agenda in a better way.
If you are a writer then, adding Apps such as the SlideShare or WordPress app will highlight your interest in using specific platforms to market your content. People using similar apps would find this interesting and this could turn out to be a rapport building initiative.
Using LinkedIn Tools
LinkedIn has done lot of innovation with tools in the recent times. It is also worthwhile to know that LinkedIn does not keep you engaged with a tool which eventually becomes outdated. LinkedIn constantly innovates to provide you with a better networking experience.
Rapportive is one of the latest tools published by LinkedIn. This tool is specifically for Gmail users. The idea behind this tool is that – if you know someone on your Google plus network then you can connect with that professional on LinkedIn as well. You can directly view information about your LinkedIn contacts in the Gmail inbox: Profile, Location, Job, Business, Interests and Connections. The Rapportive tool will simply give you more opportunities to establish contact with your professional network.
Who viewed your profile:
This tool has been around for some time now. However, the awesome part is LinkedIn has reinvented the ‘who viewed your profile’ tool as well. It works this way: In addition to knowing about ‘how many times your profile is viewed’, you also get to know about the importance of those views. For instance: LinkedIn would suggest that connecting with a certain group will enhance your profile views by 3% or connecting with a certain professional may increase your profile views by 5% and so on. The idea behind this added feature is to tell you about ‘how you can reinvent your own profile by adding new connections and following new groups’.
In conclusion, it can be observed that LinkedIn is about connecting with professionals intelligently and at a dynamic pace. You don’t stop at just connecting because you find more opportunities to express your business interests with your connections. LinkedIn brings to you seamless opportunities which can be unraveled with innovation. LinkedIn users will always find another reason to update their profile with new tools, apps and additional features.
Yohana Petrovic is a writer and a blogger. She has 10 years` experience in educating and now she is a proofreader at http://globalessays.org/. You can reach her on Facebook: Yohana Petrovic or on Twitter: @YohanaPetrovic