How to Use LinkedIn Like a Pro

LinkedIn is important to you in 3 ways:

LinkedIn graphic

  • It can help you get a new job (if you’re an employee)
  • It can help you get more business (if you’re a business owner)
  • And it can help you increase the number and diversity of people you know – for whatever purpose you want. If for example, you like helping people, having a larger number of connections is great. If you like learning from others, you’ll be able to do that, too.

How to start out on LinkedIn:

  • Fill out your profile as fully as you can, incuding the summary, your current and previous jobs, your education and your interests.
  • Make sure you add a recent photo that is businesslike, not casual
  • Invite people to connect
  • Join one or two groups that share your interests and start contributing
  • Put up posts of items that are interesting and relevant to your business. It’s ok to share other people’s but it’s best to create your own.

Increasing your network:

When starting out, invite all your business colleagues. These will be members of staff where you work, friends in business, members of your business networking groups, people you know in other business organisations, businesspeople you’ve met on holiday and at conferences – anyone and everyone in business that you know. Use your businesscard file as a starting point. LinkedIn makes suggestions of people you might know, so trawl through these too. Just be aware that inviting people this way means they receive a standard invite not a personalised one.

You will quickly start to receive connection requests. When you do, check you the person’s profile before accepting. There’s much less spam activity on LinkedIn than on other social media sites, but you still need to look before you accept.

Increasing your standing:

Write recommendations for people in your network. These are different from endorsements (which carry very little weight) in that they take a few moments to do and are more detailed. They therefore are seen as more important than endorsements. Do NOT request recommendations from people you know. Work on the principle that giver’s gain and wait for them to come to you. It is acceptable however to ask for a recommendation on the completion of a bit of work, if the client has expressed satisfaction or delight with what you’ve done for them.

Standing out from the crowd:

  • When someone asks to connect, accept and send them a thank you. Take the opportunity to tell them what you do (but not in an aggressive sales way) and ask how you can help them.
  • Be active. Add posts. Endorse and recommend others. Accept connection requests. Congratulate people on new jobs or work anniversaries.
  • Offer insights, evidence of your expertise in your field, and tips that help others.

Above all – ensure your profile is as complete as you can make it.

If you would like help with your LinkedIn profile – from a review of its content and effectiveness through to posts and updates – the Word Wizard team is here to help. For an informal chat with no strings attached, please contact us.