For most people, LinkedIn is used as an online CV, online address book or a research tool on companies and individuals. Others join groups, post articles, or publish status updates across multiple platforms- such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
But it’s simply not enough if you want to grow your business or your personal online brand .
I use LinkedIn for all of the above; but most importantly, I use it as a community builder and value generator.
If you’re after quality- it’s not about the numbers. Many pursue as many connections as humanly possible, showing little discretion in who they connect with. Others may limit their connections to only people they’ve known for sometime, or met face-to-face.
There are two ‘value drivers’ that are key to making connections meaningful.
1. The calibre of the connection
2. The quality of the conversation
Your LinkedIn strategy is not a set-and-forget approach. It necessarily is organic, dynamic and ongoing. So why not take action today with these nine steps and watch your profile grow.
1.Develop a personal and organisational LinkedIn strategy
Determine what you want to achieve through your LinkedIn profile.
2.Establish and/or update your LinkedIn profile to 100%
A completed profile is 40 times more likely to get found. If that means uploading your resume- do it. If that means requesting colleagues to write you a recommendation- do it. Remember to upload a professional quality photograph.
3.Invite friends, employers, suppliers, collaborators and influencers to connect
Remember to be selective in the people you ask- but at the same time, don’t narrow your search down to only friends and colleagues. Connections can be from your industry, groups you share or connection of connections.
4.Ask for testimonials
Ask for a variety of testimonials- from past and present jobs, suppliers and clients. It’s important to have recommendations from people you have reported to, and clients you have worked with. A raving review from the Director of the company you work for is going to carry more weight than a review from someone who worked for you.
5.Join relevant groups
6.Consider starting your own group
Read our blog post on starting up a LinkedIn group for more information.
7.Post relevant, newsworthy links and articles
Encourage discussion and debate, and get involved! Express your point of view in the articles you post, and encourage others to do the same.
8.Ask and answer questions
The more active you are with your network, the more potential you have to form meaningful online client/networking relationships. Importantly, this also provides you with an opportunity to showcase your skills and build credibility as a subject matter expert in your field.
9.Promote your LinkedIn profile on your website, email, blog etc
If people don’t know you have a LinkedIn account, it makes it harder for them to find you. Make sure people are aware- and always let a new colleague/client/friend know that you want to connect with them.