When physical networking is not possible, turn to your LinkedIn profile. By making the most of this valuable online tool, you can grow your connections, establish your expertise and build relationships.
How to use your LinkedIn profile as an online networking tool
- Use keywords with intent
Keywords are important, especially when people search so often on LinkedIn. Using the right keywords on your profile is the difference between being found and being invisible.
Identify the words you want to be found for when people use LinkedIn search. Then, include those keywords in your headline, summary, and profile. Using the right keywords will expose you to more potential connections and opportunities.
- Pick the “Other” website option
Under your contact information on your LinkedIn profile, you have the option to add links to a website or blog. We would recommend adding links to multiple pages within your site rather than just the homepage. To do this, select the “Other” option when editing the “websites” area of your profile. You can then customise the categories to showcase exactly what you do.
- Personalise your LinkedIn profile URL
By default, you will find a combination of random letters and numbers at the end of the web link for your LinkedIn profile. We recommend deleting these to keep it consistent with your other social profiles. Customise your URL within your contact information so that it reflects your personal or business brand. This will also make your profile easier to find.
- Tidy up Endorsements
People are going to endorse you for all sorts of things. That said, it doesn’t mean you have to show your random skills to other LinkedIn users (unless, of course, fire-eating plays a critical role in your professional life!). Remove any irrelevant endorsements from your LinkedIn profile. In this way, you can clearly demonstrate what you want to be known for.
- Connect with people you don’t yet know
One of the biggest mistakes people make on LinkedIn is failing to reach out to connect with people they want to know. You needn’t just add contacts you’ve met in real life. The whole point of networking is getting to know new people, not just seeing those you already know. There are lots of benefits to building more connections on your LinkedIn profile. You get seen by influencers and get more endorsements. That means more people see and share your content, visit your website and ultimately become valuable customers.
- Personalise invitations to connect
“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” This default message LinkedIn provides is so impersonal. When you invite someone to connect, make it personal. Mention where you met or a topic you discussed in a LinkedIn group, over email, or during a phone interview. Let them know why you feel there would be a mutual benefit to connecting with one another. This personal touch will increase the odds they’ll accept your request.
- Publish amazing posts
LinkedIn posts are an important way to grow your influence, gain more visibility, and acquire new connections. To make them amazing, always think about the audience you want to reach. If you post about things that are interesting, relevant and helpful to them, they will be likely to engage. This will make you more memorable but also establish your authority in your network. To make it easy for your audience to find your content, use hashtags and post consistently. They may begin to follow your LinkedIn profile.
- Find and join groups
One way to start connecting with relevant people is to join LinkedIn groups. Whether it’s a group run by a major publication, a group for people with certain job titles, or a group dedicated to a niche topic, there are millions of groups to choose from. Find them by typing topics you’re interested in into the search bar.
- Find people through Search and Advanced Search
LinkedIn search is your gateway to future connections. To begin, search for people by name, company, or skill. Then you can go much deeper. LinkedIn’s Advanced Search helps you find people by job title, school, relationship, location, industry, current/past company, profile language, and nonprofit interests. There are even more search options for Premium members. This is a great opportunity for you to find and connect with exactly the right people for your business.
- Ask for recommendations
Haven’t received as many LinkedIn recommendations as you’d like? What can you do? Ask people for them! LinkedIn makes it super easy with the “Ask to be recommended” link. You can specify what you want to be recommended for, who you want to recommend you and add a personal message. Pick specific people. Don’t just randomly ask all your contacts if they can recommend you. Be selective. Share details in your message to your connection. If there are specific skills you want your contacts to highlight in his or her recommendation, then don’t be shy, tell them.
If you need support with your LinkedIn profile please get in touch with the team at Pick & Mix Marketing on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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