LinkedIn is continuing to grow, and as a professional network it’s much more than just a place to keep your CV online.
If you Google yourself or others, it’s likely a LinkedIn profile will be close to the top of the search results. Apart from your own network, second-degree networks (networks from your personal connections) make it a powerful platform for career opportunities – even if you aren’t looking. So to get the most out of your network, learning to promote yourself effectively is vital.
Although it’s important to have a professional photo and an up-to-date profile that includes links to your blog or other social platforms, there are many more ways to make LinkedIn an effective vehicle for your personal and business brand.
Here are five ways to promote yourself on LinkedIn:
1. Recommendations: Strong, quality recommendations are crucial on LinkedIn. They work like references and because they’re in the public domain, they hold value. Anyone can read them, see who they are from and explore the referee’s profile for legitimacy. It’s important to take care when requesting a recommendation though, as you don’t want one from just anyone. Carefully select whom you want to be recommended by.
2. Connections: I don’t subscribe to the theory that the more connections you have, the better your profile is. What is important is that your connections are the right ones for you, based on relevance to your industry and what you do. A connection that’s a ‘good fit’ can more likely bring better outcomes in the long run.
3. Groups: These discussion forums provide a place to share news with like-minded people, so it’s important to join groups and be active by participating. There’s also the added benefit of being able to contact anyone within the group, post new discussion threads, answer questions by providing your expert advice, which works to raise your profile.
4. Create Events: If you are organising an event or networking function then the event application on LinkedIn can give added support. By creating the event on your LinkedIn page, your entire network will receive the update on their homefeed, allowing them to explore the event. If they click that they are attending, then their networks will be notified as well. At it’s most basic level, this provides powerful advertising for minimal time and effort – and at no cost.
5. Create a Group: Do you have interests that you think are not promoted effectively enough? Why not start up your own group and connect with other well-matched professionals who share similar interests? Doing a little research before creating a group will support it in the long term, helping you ensure you have created a successful group that others want to join.
LinkedIn is an underrated platform, despite the fact that its benefits can be more powerful due to its being a professional social network. Don’t underestimate it – professionals connect because they want to associate with other like-minded professionals. Individuals want to be proactive in their career and LinkedIn provides an opportunity to do so. Make the most of it by using all that it offers.