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Taking the Mystery out of Connecting Professionally on LinkedIn in 5 easy steps
•What is LinkedIn and how is it different from other social networking sites?
•How to create an All-Star LinkedIn Profile that stands out in your industry
•Relevant content that generates interaction and showcases you as a professional
•Networking to get noticed, find your next job or hire your best candidates
Easy as 1,2,3,4,5....
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site and provides an avenue to connect with other professionals. It has increasingly become a leading tool for individuals to expand their networks, recruit talent and find jobs in their field. As a professional network, it is best used for exchanging knowledge, ideas, and employment opportunities.
How is LinkedIn Different from other social media sites?
Unlike the content you may be used to posting on social media, LinkedIn is specifically used for professional sharing and networking. To illustrate how LinkedIn is different, here is a summary of the content shared on common social media channels, with LinkedIn content types at the end of the list.
Facebook- Current events, blog posts, images, videos, live videos and stories
Instagram- Images, videos, and stories
Twitter- Current events, trending topics, links, blog posts, images, videos
Pinterest- Images, videos, infographics- all with link to a website
LinkedIn- Industry related material, career achievements, awards, published articles on the LinkedIn platform
What is a LinkedIn All-Star Profile?
LinkedIn ranks user profiles to determine the strength of the profile. As with most algorithms in social media, this indicator is likely used to determine which profiles to show first and to sort the data coming from profiles. This means, the higher your ranking, the better your outcome will be when sharing content. In laymen’s terms; The higher your profile ranking, the better your content will perform!
There are 4 profile strengths available on LinkedIn, and you can see yours from your profile page, here’s mine for an example:
Yours may look different, and that’s OK! We all had to start somewhere. Here are the four profile strengths LinkedIn has:
As you can see, All-Star is the highest rating available, and the one you want to reach.
Why is a LinkedIn All-Star profile better?
Reaching All-Star status on LinkedIn means you have completely filled out your profile and provided all of the necessary information to validate you as a professional. The information you provide makes it easier for other professionals to find and network with you. In fact, professionals who have an All-Star rating are 40x more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn!
How to Create an All-Star LinkedIn Profile
Now that we know what an All-Star LinkedIn profile is, and why it’s important, let’s jump into creating an All-Star profile.
Step 1- Add a profile name
This should simply be your full name (first and last). Your profile name is not the place to get cute and use search terms or phrases.
Step 2- Upload a professional headshot
Ideally, you have a professional headshot to use on all of your social media and website channels. If you do not, and you’re not in a position to splurge on one, use the best photo of yourself available. It should be a close-up of your face with a very simple background. This is NOT the place for a selfie or “model shot”
Step 3- Complete your profile, including; Summary, Images & Documents
Complete the “Summary” field, be sure to include 5-6 or your biggest achievements Use bullet points to make it easier to read add media files, including videos- This is a great space for an introduction video!
Go beyond the resume and create a visual portfolio with images, documents, and media files, all of which can easily be uploaded to your profile.
•Clean up your LinkedIn URL by removing extra numbers and letters. Include this link in email signatures, social media pages and the like
•Fill in your headline(current job title or something catchy)
•Add location & industry
•Add any Volunteer experience
Step 4- Find and network with other professionals
Browse for people by name, industry or location, upload existing contacts, or join some groups and meet new people. There are several ways to find industry professionals on LinkedIn, just be sure to start getting those connections and making genuine relationships.
Unlike Instagram, for example, you’ll want to be strategic about adding people to your LinkedIn network. Try to find people with common interests, careers or those who offer a great deal of value.
When adding people you don’t know, or who may not remember you, make sure to send a personalized note with your invitation. A gentle greeting such as, “Hey Tom, it was great running into you last Tuesday at the local networking meeting, I’m so happy to connect with you on LinkedIn.” This simple greeting is friendly and reminds the person who you are and what your common interest is. Whatever you do, DO NOT use this message space as a sales tool. That will just annoy people and make them mad.
Note: Depending on the other user’s privacy settings, you may have to state how you know the person and/or enter their email to prove you, in fact, know them.
Step 5- Add value and engage!
There are several ways to add value on LinkedIn. The most basic is by sharing content that is both relevant and interesting to your audience. It doesn’t have to be boring, but it must be relevant.
Recommending or endorsing people in your network is another great way you can give back to your peers. This small gesture can be hugely beneficial to the recipient. Both recommendations and endorsements show on the user’s profile page and are viewable by anyone who looks at it. In a case of someone looking for a new job, or trying to land new clients, this social proof can be just what they need.
Additionally, you can introduce connections to each other based on common interests, helping them to grow their sphere.
This type of value engagement will put you in high regards with people in your network and help you when it comes time for you to ask for shares, recommendations, endorsements or introductions. No one will even question it because you’ve been such a valuable person to them.
Other ways to engage with your network is by liking, commenting and sharing their posts. This helps them to gain exposure and reach on their content, something we all love. Plus, it helps you to fill in the holes of your content when you’re out of ideas of things to share. A win-win!