LinkedIn is the place to be when it comes to building a professional network. And not only if you are looking for a job, but if you want to build your personal brand, to find a partner, or if you are looking for exclusive and updated information about your line of work.
But with 414 million users at the moment, you can imagine how tough is to stand out there. That is to say, that, understanding how to sell yourself on LinkedIn, is the only way to achieve your goal in that social media network.
Improve your profile
The first thing that you have to do to improve your LinkedIn presence is to perfect your profile. This will be your business card, portfolio and CV all together, so you need to take good care of it.
And in order to do it, you will need to do a few things:
Take a great picture
Come up with an exciting headline
Write an engaging summary
Connect to your clients, ex-employers and colleagues
Your picture is the first thing that they will see, so it has to be professionally taken and of high quality. The background should be neutral, and your outfit should follow what is expected from your industry. And, yes, do not go on a budget for this one.
Your headline, the text just beside your photo also has to be the best one that you can come up with and excite your target audience. It must sell you in a few words, so choose them wisely. Work on your writing skills, stay clear from boring titles but don’t try to be too creative, especially if you deal with a more conservative audience.
Then you will have to write your summary, which is very similar to what you would do for your CV’s personal profile. And yet, you need to remember that reading something online is a different experience from doing it on the paper, so make the necessary adjustments.
And just after completing the other fields at your disposal, search for your clients, employers, school mates and colleagues, both previous and current. This way you can start creating connections that will help you to get in touch with key people already on LinkedIn and get your first endorsements.
Ask for recommendations
If you have just arrived on LinkedIn, and you aren’t that famous yourself, you might want to ask for some recommendations. They can come from a previous boss, teacher or colleague, but the best is to get them from people with plenty of connections, so the word about you will be spread away.
Of course, you might not have many options, so don’t be picky here. And let them write whatever they want. But don’t refrain yourself from asking them directly for a recommendation, as it helps people to trust you, validate your work, boost your social media profile, and will help you to achieve what you want from LinkedIn.
Participate in groups
Your next step will be to search for groups related to your area of expertise, so you can share your ideas and learn with your peers. There is a large number of groups available, but remember that you can only join up to 100 – and let’s be honest here, it is very unlikely that you would have the time to productively and actively participate in 100 groups anyway.
And here are some more reasons to join a LinkedIn group:
It drives traffic to your website or blog
It builds personal network
It generates leads
It helps you to create better content
It becomes your support group
So go ahead and start your own discussion. It will make people see your face (I mean, your picture) and read your name, what is a great starting point itself. You can also create your own group if your niche is so specific that you haven’t found anything that matches what you were looking for. In this case, you will have to attract people to join your group, maybe by doing what is suggested on our next topic.
Write a post
LinkedIn publishing platform, Pulse, was a very welcomed surprise a couple of years ago, and it has been intensively used by the users. Experts and gurus have been publishing their best tips there, and even some exclusive content.
But if you aren’t one of them, you might be feeling intimidated by the level of expertise found on Pulse, but they are just the minority, honestly. Most of the articles posted on LinkedIn are pretty basic, and others are just teasers for full texts published on websites or blogs. So rest assured that you can do better than that. On the other hand, write only about what you actually know.
The tool itself is easy to use and intuitive. The resources are limited but enough for what you are going to do (write a post). Just pay careful attention to the tagging feature, where you can label your article and make it easier for people to search.
Also, spend a little time deciding when you will publish it. Mondays and Fridays seem not to be the best choice while Thursdays rank higher on average total views. Also, look for statistics and tips about it, on how to write headlines and which resources you should add to it.
If you want to sell yourself on LinkedIn, you will be happy to know that there are many ways to achieve it. You just have to start by making your profile shine, so it will make you stand out. Then, you can get ready to build your personal brand and to show off your expertise.
Just have in mind that LinkedIn is a professional social media network. Meaning that whatever you have been doing on Facebook or Twitter is very likely not to work here. Understanding its particularities is mandatory to become successful on LinkedIn, as much as it is to find out the tools and strategies that work best for you.