Stale. Boring. Corporate.
Some of the words that have been used to describe LinkedIn over the years.
And I get it. It’s not exactly appealing when it’s a self-described ‘Professional Platform’.
Facebook has the largest network effect. Instagram has the pretty filters. Even Twitter has the real-time news aspect.
By comparison, it can seem like why should you give LinkedIn any time of day.
But there is one big reason…
Looking for a job? Get on LinkedIn
Want to get leads for you business? Get on LinkedIn
Want to be on Podcasts (yes, even that)? Get on LinkedIn!
You might be asking why I say this with such conviction.
It’s because LinkedIn is the first thing I look at when I wake up, the last thing I check before bed…in a sense, it’s my best friend, and it can be yours too.
But how should I be using LinkedIn!
The best way to start using LinkedIn is to know what it no longer is.
Specifically, it’s no longer a graveyard where resumes go to die.
It is a thriving community of creators, entrepreneurs, employees, and leaders.
So let’s jump into the main ways to shape your LinkedIn presence to benefit you.
Optimize your Profile
If you’re like the majority, your profile probably reads like a digital resume.
This is great if you’re looking for a job, but what if you’re not?
Instead, reshape your profile to be a landing page for your business.
Whether it’s your company or the one you work for, we all know that generating potential prospects that turn into new clients is a good thing, both for our reputation and the company’s bottom line.
The focal point: Your Summary
Most people’s summaries read like an answer to the age-old interview question, ‘Tell me about yourself’.
Instead, reformat it to be about what problems your business solves and who has those particular problems that you can help.
At the end of your summary, remember to leave the reader with a call-to-action (CTA).
It doesn’t have to be terribly complex, but even a simple: ‘call (xxx) xxx-xxxx or email me firstname.lastname@example.org’ at the end can do wonders to convert interested readers into prospective leads.
2. Create Content
Once your profile now reads like a ‘landing page’, you’re ready to start creating content.
Text, Video, Photos, Document Sharing, and Articles are some of the different types of content you can create.
It’s important to experiment with all types to keep your content fresh and interesting for your audience — however, it’s ok to have a particular preference.
As a writer, I have a particular love for the short form text posts.
The key to remember when creating content is the purpose is to capture attention.
While I’m not advocating poor quality content, the substance of your content isn’t as critical as you may think.
Content acts as a signal that drives people to your profile to learn more. Once your audience visits your profile, if correctly optimized, that will fulfill your CTA.
Start experimenting to find the right voice for your content and see what resonates best with your audience.
You won’t know until you start!
3. Take online, offline
Ostensibly, LinkedIn started as a networking platform.
Indeed, this is still a characteristic it does very well.
But although LinkedIn takes on the heavy lifting when it comes to searching, you still need to put in effort when it comes to developing relationships.
So jump on the phone or Zoom with new connections and get to know them a little deeper.
In fact, my current role at High Speed Experts was from a referral from a friend that I initially met on LinkedIn!
Or you can try my favorite tactic, and meet in person via #LinkedInLocal events.
Search variations of the hashtag with your city (for instance, I co-host #LinkedInLocalLA), and you’ll find an energetic, networking concept that helps bring the online connections into the real world.
Can’t find one in your city? Then why not set it up yourself – if there’s one thing I know about the LinkedIn community, they are super supportive when it comes to LinkedIn-based events!
But that’s just the start!
You now have enough to get started, and that’s the key – to start!
Once you get more active, you’ll become part of a thriving community and opportunities that you could never have dreamed of will start opening up to you.
And maybe, after all that, you too will be saying to others, “You’ve got to get on LinkedIn!”