With so many social media outlets in use today, it’s difficult to determine where you should spread your social media presence.
People often think that LinkedIn is just for job seekers, but that’s not the case. In fact, it’s the exact opposite – life on LinkedIn begins when you land a job. Actively utilizing LinkedIn to get an understanding of who the thought and industry leaders are in their community and who’s most capable of handling their business needs is a key benefit for those in the professional services industry. Optimized correctly, your profile will help you expand your contact base and increase lead generation on LinkedIn. By revamping your LinkedIn profile and usage, you can substantially increase the visibility of your profile and increase lead generation on LinkedIn – just by investing 15-30 minutes per day. No gimmicks here, folks!
Be True to YOU and Update Your Profile
One of the biggest mistakes on LinkedIn is out-of-date profiles. Profiles with no picture and no updated work experience look abandoned.
You’ve worked hard to be where you are in your career, so take the time to make your profile reflect your current career standings. It’s not bragging – it's being honest about your achievements and milestones and gives the LinkedIn community a solid understanding of your certifications, experience, and community involvement.
GOAL: Do one substantial cleanup and optimization swoop of your complete LinkedIn profile and then make small tweaks to your profile each month going forward.
Engage in LinkedIn Groups
Unfortunately, the luster of LinkedIn groups has faded in the past few years. Spam, self-promotion, and disengagement have overrun what should be an honest platform for questions and concerns. All hope is not lost, though – there are plenty of groups that thrive by engagement.
LinkedIn groups allow you to flex your business muscles while helping prospects and colleagues solve their problems and get answers to their questions. Your LinkedIn profile will suggest groups to join, but for a proactive approach, do a keyword search. Join groups that are of particular interest to you, and where you feel like you can share expertise as well as learn from others.
Make a habit of spending a few minutes each week identifying new groups to join. More importantly, take 15 minutes or so each day to cruise through the groups that you’ve joined and share relevant news, content, and engage in conversation where you can. Using this approach, you’ll put yourself in front of prospective clients who are seeking an industry expert as well as colleagues who are looking to define thought leaders.
GOAL: Engage with five (or more) LinkedIn groups and offer solutions to problems and answer the community's questions for a minimum of 15 minutes per day.
Post Updates to Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is more than just your profile – it’s the value you add to the business community, too. You’ve heard us talk about the Cocktail Party Rule in our blogs, and LinkedIn is no exception. 80% of your updates should be other people’s content, such as blogs and articles, and 20% should be your own content. If you only post your content (think blogs, premium content offers, and updates about you and your company), you come across as self-serving.
Before you post content, make sure you’ve read it and that it resonates with you. Don’t just share content to share content. Reposting content and sharing it as an update is similar to an endorsement.
GOAL: Post content to your LinkedIn profile at least 3-4 times per week.
Give Credit Where Credit is Due
LinkedIn is not just about you – it’s about the community. Take a few moments each day to monitor your newsfeed and engage with your connections. Congratulate them on a new job, compliment them on an article they wrote, offer to write a personal recommendation, or endorse one of their skills. Be a community player and celebrate your connections' successes and career progressions as you would your own.
GOAL: Aim to engage with 3 people per day.
Add the Right People
Don’t add people on LinkedIn just to add people. Be strategic. If you don’t know someone, but would like to connect with them, send them an IN Mail or ask a mutual connection to introduce you. Also, you’ll likely get added by people that you don’t know. Don’t add everyone who sends you an invitation. Spammers have hooked into LinkedIn and are very prevalent. Remember, the people you’re connected with are a reflection of YOU. Choose wisely.
GOAL: Aim to expand your LinkedIn connections by at least 10 people per month. Choose quality connections. (Quality over quantity.)Don’t overthink LinkedIn, simply engage with the community members. The professional services industry – most industries, really – thrive on education, expertise, and relationship building. By identifying and mining conversational points through natural and pure relationship building, LinkedIn will not only help you expand your professional reach, it will also be a standout outlet to learn business perspective, insight, and incredible thought leadership.