Don’t let the time and effort you have spent setting up a great profile on LinkedIn go to waste or –worse–fade out of sight of the people you hoped to reach. A complete profile is not enough to help you reach your networking goals on LinkedIn.
You need to be an active user. Here are five great ways to get traction toward your goals, whether they are networking, building your brand, establishing your expertise, and/or finding a great job.
- Share and Write Content: Sharing content is the best way to give yourself a context on LinkedIn. Each item you share associates you with content and keywords. You want to share your content as well as like and share content posted by others. Always add a comment, such as why you think the content is important or what you like about it.In addition to sharing content, be sure to write some longer posts for LinkedIn Pulse, which is designed to let you share thought-leadership content. Be sure to focus on the same keywords that you build your profile around and tag your content before publishing. A great header image will also draw attention to your post.
- Connect with People: Connecting with other users on LinkedIn is one of the easiest ways to draw attention to your profile. Send connection requests to everyone you know; even your old piano teacher can help you make business connections! When you send someone an invitation to connect, personalize the default request that LinkedIn composes for you. Remind the person of your connection and let them know why you want to connect.Connect responsibly, If you don’t know someone and you send them an invitation to connect, they can flag you as a spammer. This can lead to your account being restricted or disabled for a period of time.
Every time you make a connection, the news is automatically shared in LinkedIn’s feed. And, every one you invite to connect is likely to check out your profile to see what you are up to.
- Join Groups: Groups are a great place to discover people and content relevant to you. In groups, you can post content and comment on content posted by others. Remember to give as well as get.
- Follow Companies, Influencers, and News: LinkedIn allows you to follow news streams specific to your interests. This can help you stay up to date on topics and help you learn and grow in your career. Follow companies is a good way to get intel for places you want to work for and to understand the issues of importance to an industry. It also can be a source of content to share. Follow influencers is also an easy way to find content to share.
- Recommend and Endorse: You can write a recommendation for any connection and invite connections to do the same for you. Likewise, you can endorse and be endorsed for skills. All of these actions get your profile into the LinkedIn news stream and show that you are a respected part of a professional community.