LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network, with a mission to connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful
To get started with LinkedIn you need to set up both a personal profile and company page - but then what?
Luan Wise explains what to do next.
1. Make a good first impression
Make sure you are presenting yourself in the best possible way - with a good profile photo, a strong headline, and all the key sections filled in.
2. Personalise your URL
Include the details of your profile on your business card, in your email signature and as a link from the 'About' information on your website.
3. Avoid the hard sell
LinkedIn is not a place for pitching, so remove any bullet-pointed lists about your services and add rich media links that highlight your work instead. Video and documents can be added to the summary and experience sections of your profile.
4. Make it easy for people to get in touch
Make sure your contact details are clearly visible on your LinkedIn profile. Include your phone number and email address as part of your summary section call to action, as well as completing the contact section fields.
5. Think about what you share
Check your settings and privacy. Ensure you know what information you are sharing with your network before you update your profile or post any content. Are you happy for your network to see all of your connections, for example?
6. Add existing contacts
Go through that box or drawer of business cards you've been collecting at networking events and meetings, and add them to your LinkedIn network.
7. Be personal
Don't forget to personalise the connection request! Always send a short note to highlight how you know each other.
8. Build your LinkedIn network
Search for new people to connect with. Use the 'Connect' button on someone's profile to ensure you can personalise the connection request.
9. Avoid making generic requests
Using a mobile? When you are looking at someone's profile there are three dots at the top right. Hit those and you will be able to personalise the connection request - no excuses!
10. Remember your manners
When someone accepts your connection request, say thank you. Continue the conversation.
11. Manage your LinkedIn requests
When you receive a connection request, you have three options:
- Ignore it - which is fine if you do not know the person and they do not fit your target audience criteria.
- Accept it - fine if you know the person. But don't just click on the green tick, or accept button. Reply, say thank you for the connection. Continue the conversation.
- Send a message. If the invitation is from someone you haven't met or you're not sure they fit your target audience criteria, go to 'My network' and 'Manage All' in the invitations section and you will be able to send them a message to find out more.
12. Check who's looking
You will only be able to see this information with a premium LinkedIn account. If it's someone in your network, that you haven't been in touch with recently, why not drop them a quick message to see how they are? If it's someone not yet in your network, you could get in touch to see if you can help. Acknowledge that they looked at your profile recently and use the information as a trigger to start a conversation.
13. Use opportunities to get in touch
You can find conversation trigger - such as job changes and birthdays - by looking at your notifications. Get in touch if it's relevant to do so.
14. Be helpful
Share articles (think of this as a long-form alternative to a standard update), photos, videos or ideas with your network. Try to share something at least once a week to stay in front of your network.
15. Consider the content format
Select the format that's most appropriate to the content you are sharing. An idea is short form (up to 600 characters), and can include links, photos and video in addition to text. An article is a long-form piece of content and should provide insight and opinion into a subject area.
16. Use hashtags
These help LinkedIn users and editors find your posts if they are searching.
17. Share the love
Like, comment and share content posted by your network. Do it when you wish to get in front of them, but remember everyone else in your network will see your activity in their newsfeed.
18. Give shout outs
Mention people within your content - they will receive a notification when you need this.
19. Keep up to date
Check out the 'Daily Rundown' for the latest top stories. If it's relevant to you or your business, jump in with a share and a comment.
20. Follow those in the know
Follow individuals, influencers and businesses to gather more news and industry information inside your newsfeed. Use relevant information to reach out and start a conversation.
Written by Luan Wise.