LinkedIn is currently the largest professional network that makes staying in touch easy. With over 150 million users, this networking website is much more than a place to post your resume on the web for others to see. Whether you are looking for a job, in search of an employee or wish to find a new business opportunity, there are many great ways to promote yourself on LinkedIn.
If you were to ‘Google’ yourself or your business, the chances are that you would find that your LinkedIn profile appears at the top of the search results. This clearly shows that this networking site is very powerful and that the majority of us should be using it.
Here are a few ways to promote yourself on LinkedIn:
Create a Great Profile
It’s essential that you have a great profile on LinkedIn. Your goal here should be to make your profile so interesting that people will want to get in touch with you. Instead of focusing on yourself and your accomplishments, put your focus on what you can offer others. Do not use your profile to talk about your past history and achievements, but rather use it to state what you are currently doing and what people can expect from you in the future. People are more interested in what you are working on now rather than what you have done in the past.
You can add up to three website links to your profile so by all means take advantage of this. But instead of using the default settings in the drop-down menu, type in search engine-friendly text. For instance, instead of “My Company” type in “home builder in Phoenix” and instead of “My Blog” use something like “home builder in Phoenix, Arizona”.
Do take the time to fill out your profile completely. If you fail to do so, people will wonder if you are lazy or if you have something to hide. You certainly don’t want anyone who views your profile to think either of these things so fill it out and keep it updated.
Import Your Blog’s RSS Feed
If you are like most professionals, you probably have a blog. If you don’t, you can import the feed of your business blog. Doing this allows people in your network to read your updates as you publish them. Of course, you must see to it that your blog contains relevant and interesting information that people find useful so aim for fresh, high quality content.
Join Groups and Be Active
LinkedIn has thousands of groups you can join to discuss news and topics with like-minded individuals. When you are in a group you can contact anyone in the group directly and you are able to post new threads and reply to current ones. This all helps to make yourself credible and is a great way to make new connections with people. If you are already a member of several LinkedIn groups, review them to ensure that they are all related to your interests and profession.
Make Connections and Many of Them
Make a point of connecting to friends, colleagues, former work associates, previous bosses, clients and family members. Once you have connected with someone you can browse his or her network. If you run across someone in those networks whom you find interesting you can ask your contact to introduce you.
LinkedIn is very much like other social media sites in that your success depends upon how well you interact with other users and on how broad your exposure becomes. However, LinkedIn is far different from Facebook and the other major players in social media because it focuses on developing professional relationships. Making the most of what LinkedIn has to offer can go far in helping you succeed so use this powerful networking site to your full advantage so that you can expand your horizons and achieve your professional goals.
This article is written by Cynthia Rupp. LinkedIn helps to manage your professional identity.