LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site, with over 200 million users in 200 countries. The site is available in 19 different languages. LinkedIn helps users to build relationships, research companies, and establish yourself as a professional.
LinkedIn has so much to offer that is not always taken advantage of by users. Let’s set some LinkeIn goals and talk about how to implement them.
Make sure that your profile is at 100% completion: As you are filling out your background, education, and work history – LinkedIn will display the percentage that your profile is complete. Continue to provide the requested information until you reach 100%. You want your profile to look as good as possible for all of the views you will be receiving. Lucky for you, LinkedIn just launched a new media feature.
Customize your URL: A customized URL is always more professional, easier to share and distribute on collateral, and helps to brand your social media channels. You can set your profile page URL by going to Profile > Edit, and you will see an option to edit your URL directly under your profile photo. If you can, set your URL as your full name.
Gain quality connections: LinkedIn uses the method of degrees of connections. You can be connected with someone on a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree level. The most valuable connections, however, are your 1st degree connections. 1st degree connections are people that you are directly connected with and can see your entire profile and updates. Any one that they are connected to would be your 2nd degree connection and the people connected to your 2nd degree connections are your 3rd degree connections. If you find that a profile reads “Outside of my network” that means that you gave zero connections in common with that user.
There are a few good ways to gain connections on LinkedIn. You can use the feature that will search through your email contacts or CRM lists and locate those that are on LinkedIn and send them an automatic request to connect. You can also manually search for connections by name or company and send them a connection request. Any time you send a request to someone that is not a 1st degree connection, it’s best to avoid the generic message provided my LinkedIn. Instead, customize your own message and include value and credibility. This will increase the chances of them accepting your request. LinkedIn also has a feature that allows a 1st degree connection to introduce you to his or her connection.
Join LinkedIn groups: LinkedIn groups are a great place to build relationships with those that are in your industry. If you click the ‘Groups’ tab, you have the option to view ‘Groups You May Like’ or ‘Groups Directory.’ You can use either of these tools to find groups to join. Once you join a group, make sure to stay active in posting and commenting on member posts. You can make connections, establish credibility and gain information on what is going on in your industry through staying active in your LinkedIn groups.
Endorse and be endorsed: Part of building relationships with other business owners and people in your industry, is to tell others about what they do. One form of this is by endorsing the skills that your connections have listed on their profile. If you have experienced a presentation with KWSM President, Katie Wagner, you can go to where she lists ‘Speaking’ and click ‘endorse.’ Most of the time, as soon as you view a profile, LinkeIn will ask at the very top of the page, “Does John Smith have these skills or expertise?” you can then click the ‘Endorse’ button to endorse or ‘skip’ if you do not wish to endorse the listed skills.
Endorsing is a way to reach out to a connection, vouch for their expertise publicly, and draw attention to your LinkedIn profile and skills in hopes for endorsements. Be aware that endorsements build credibility on LinkedIn, so it’s not always a bad idea to ask for them.
Now that we have established goals for your LinkedIn, it’s time to start using them. Feel free to endorse my blogging skills while you’re at it. See you there!