Many of you might by now have established a profile on LinkedIn, the social networking platform for career professionals, for the purpose of self promotion through showcasing your bio, achievements, and other vital career information to share with other professionals.
As well as providing you with a means to showcase an update-able online CV, LinkedIn can be used for expanding your business network, finding new clients, bringing in traffic to your other sites and increasing your chances of being hired by those that see your profile.
Plenty of information on setting up your profile on LinkedIn as effectively as possible to get the most of out of the platform is provided on page 121 of my eBook on online self promotion.
With a complete, well-presented profile, you can now start to develop a network through LinkedIn.
Here’s how to build contacts and network through LinkedIn:
- Import people you already know by clicking on Add Connections at the top of LinkedIn.
- Search for influencers and contacts you’d like to network with and click Add ‘their name’ to your network.
Unless you’ve done business together, it’s probably best to add them as a friend under the options list. Put in a customized message with your invitation. Introduce yourself, explain how you found them/know them (LinkedIn will show you how connected they are to you), and say that it might be beneficial for you both to be part of the same network.
- Be available for contact requests within LinkedIn. If you have disabled any of these options, you are restricting your ability to expand.
- Display your email address within LinkedIn.
People cannot find you through email address if you have not either left it within your summary, or within your contact details on LinkedIn. Make sure it is made public.
- Promote the URL of your LinkedIn page.
You can do this within your email signature, leaving a link in your blog or base and by providing an image as an icon on other sites that people can click through. Facebook has an app that enables you to place a LinkedIn button within your profile, which you should add.
- Update your status frequently.
Don’t worry about this being yet another site to update your status in. There are tools like TweetDeck and Ping.fm that allow you to post updates to multiple platforms at the same time.
- Start a group that is related to your industry or blog.
Go to Groups > Create a Group to start one up. Invite members from LinkedIn and elsewhere, and provide content to it on a regular basis.
With good content, your group will increase in membership size, and it will provide a good platform to engage with your networks and promote your sites and work in a professional environment.
You can also use LinkedIn groups to find further contacts to add to your networks.
Those are the key elements of LinkedIn, and I will be sharing more ideas within this blog and through my weekly tips as usual, so keep posted!
For those who are interested, my LinkedIn profile is here. Hook up with me if you’d like!
Any thoughts, please share through the comments below.