Posted by Hiren Vaghela
April 19, 2014
Regardless of which business you are in, LinkedIn surpasses all the sources as far as helping in building a network of useful contacts in concerned. With its reach to over 200 countries with 250 million members, it has become the largest network in the world. If you are looking for clients, new job, or employees, or even want to share some suggestions and ideas, LinkedIn could prove to be valuable for providing the right connections.
Here are some tips to help you in leveraging the most from the site:
Have a complete profile
A majority of people with whom you connect on LinkedIn will be those whom you haven’t met personally. Thus if you meet on LinkedIn, your first impression will be created by your profile. Your profile on LinkedIn is like an extended business card. Thus, if your prospects are looking for the products or services that you offer they will first have a look at your profile. There is scope for including all sorts of information, so make the best use of the profile space. LinkedIn claims the users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive more inquiries through the site. Also, as LinkedIn has a completeness guide, there are less chances for you to leave the profile half-finished.
It is mandatory to have a professional looking photo. This is not a hangout place for teens, and nor does anyone want to see you in a childish avatar. Use the keywords that are relevant to your job or your industry. However, this should not be overdone. It is mandatory to appeal to the human eye and the bots as well. Detail your skills and experience and try to get recommendations. These are different than endorsements. Endorsements are those that help people search for professional with certain set of skills. In contrast, recommendations are like references that could be obtained from current or former employers, or business associates.
Enhance your contacts (in number)
LinkedIn is all about building contacts. It is vital to have a huge number of contacts, as this would also increase the scope of opportunities, however relevancy and quality of the contacts is also important. It is vital to send a personalized message when sending a connection request, trying to give a brief reason as to why you are sending the request.
LinkedIn has a wide range of search options that will allow you to focus on your efforts and search for targeted opportunities. In order to explore specific industries, one could use the advanced search option. Join pertaining groups in the target market and make sure that your information is available for the search engines.
If you’re looking for a new job, LinkedIn should be the place to be as around 77% of US openings are posted on this site. This is a huge figure considering that 54% jobs are advertised on Twitter and only 25% of Facebook.
Imagine that LinkedIn is an ongoing party or an event. You shouldn’t be shy and hide in a corner. Join in relevant conversation, but also make sure that you add value to it and not idle chats. LinkedIn is a great platform to share news on events that you are holding or some updates in your business; however it should be general and not seem like you are only promoting yourself. The updates that you provide should have relevant news accompanying it. Also provide links that could be helpful for your contacts. Put your privacy settings off while visiting the targeted profiles.
A majority of LinkedIn users are keen to know who have been viewing their profile and might respond to them, thus leading to a new connection.
LinkedIn Answers is a feature that allows users to ask questions for the communities on various niche is discontinued. However, relevant LinkedIn groups could be a great place to connect with other people who are from your field.
You could even start your own group. It could prove to be difficult in some industries to make a new group stand out.
Build and maintain relationships
It is important to accompany each connection request or acceptance with a personalized message, as it will get you set on the right foot. However, it could be more challenging to maintain the relationships, especially if you have thousands of connections.
Fortunately, LinkedIn could automatically alert you about certain changes in the connections and the new links that are being made. Offer free help of advice to your contacts, congratulate them on a new job, take part in conversations and more.
LinkedIn could prove to be a great tool for brand awareness and build useful contacts. It requires you to be proactive and responsive, however the benefits could be worth every bit of the effort that you have implemented.