Of all the social networks I participate in, Linkedin is perhaps one of the most versatile in returning a tangible benefit to its users. Like the old adage 'its know what you know, it's who you know', one's level of engagement as a Linkedin user is a clear indication of their networking skills.
In my humble opinion, every established and up and coming professional ought to have a Linkedin profile and actively try to build it up for establishing their own brand equity of sorts. What better way to form an impression on current or future employers than to show active engagement with industry mavens, participation in questions and answers, and endorsements from professionals from all walks of life?
One of my goals in 2008 is to unleash the true potential of Linkedin by being an active user and a true evangelist of the network. Here are three things I've done boost the number of connections I've formed over Linkedin in the recent past
- Brand Your Title - While the Linkedin search function is quite good, I've found that it is easier to connect with people when their designations or industry specifications are clearly visible in their name/title. Accordingly, I've changed my title to include my experience in the SEO/Social Media/SEM industry and voila, I've seen an increase in the number of people viewing my profile.
- Complete your Profile to a 100% - Think of Linkedin as your permanent professional portfolio on the web. Now isn't that something worth investing time in? Including appropriate descriptions of past and present job positions, along with associated skills can give industry peers or future employers a very good indicator of your talents.
- Participate in Linkedin Answers - I've been guilty of not having been as involved as I could have in answering questions, but this is perhaps the best way to expand your network. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a wrong answer and as such one should always attempt to answer a question posed by another professional.
- Be Proactive - Just like in any networking event, the onus is on you as an individual to be proactive in making connections and expanding your network. Linkedin is no different, and you will have to be proactive in requesting connections and recommendations in order to optimally leverage the power of the socio-professional web.
Leveraging these tips will certainly help you better your professional networking skills on Linkedin. You can start by connecting with me by checking out my linkedin profile.
8 thoughts on “4 Ways To Be a Proactive Linkedin User”
Great Post, Dev!!
I signed up for LinkedIn months ago and haven’t done too much more than that. I have heard such wonderful things about the Power of LinkedIn and It is one of my Social Media Activities that I wanted to work on for 2008. This post should help a lot with that. Thanks!!
I agree about LinkedIn, its also a great B2B tool, the facebook for businesses!
I’ve also been guilty of not doing LinkedIn Answers but I definitely need to start.
I completely agree: I put a profile up and waited for something to happen with no results, but once I got active, the site has had some real benefits.
Pound for pound, I’ve gotten a lot out of Q&A, including a couple of solid leads and interview requests. I try not to be one of those people who piles on the answers, but I take 10-15 minutes each morning, look at my main categories, and only answer a question if I have something to offer.
Thank you kind SEP readers!
@ Shana – I’m really glad you liked the post! You should give Guy Kawasaki’s post on Linkedin a read if you haven’t already – http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/01/ten_ways_to_use.html
@ Matt – The facebook of business indeed! Although Facebook is slowly but surely becoming to connect on a semi-professional level as well.
@Utah SEO – Start now! I’m going to go answer some questions tonight for sure 🙂
@Dr.Pete – I agree with your approach to only answer relevant questions in a manner that is valuable to the OP. I’ve recently noticed that the quality of some of Linkedin questions has degraded, and this is a golden opportunity for professionals such as yourself to shine through and show your experience.
While I appreciate social media and social networking in particular, I’m wary of LinkedIn (also XING and the likes). These services sell back to you what is already yours. You “connect” with people you could otherwise email, chat with or even meet while here you have to be a paying user to be able to contact them at all.
I have a free LinkedIn account I rarely use because of this. Some bloggers do not even display their contact data beside the LinkedIn button which leads to a page where the average citizen can NOT even contact them.
I am rather showing off on my blog what I am about than being owned by LinkedIn which is already rumored to be bought by Yahoo if I remeber right.
Well, I’m a Brit and I do find it a bit tricky bragging too much on linked in about how utterly brilliant I am…joke!. But then I got over my britishness and added the name of my website into the bespoke url that you can select for the profile.
I still feel that I haven’t really committed to the linked in, self publicising thing 100% but I’ll get there. Still, I bought the domain name for my name the other day. And parked it. The day when I build my own willwynne.com website is the day when I’ve finally given in!
What a great post – i have recently embarked on a campaign to start properly managing my own online brand and reputation. Cause frankly I never took the advice that I have been giving clients. I grabbed a linkedin in December but really haven’t done anything with it. This post really inspired me. Thanks!
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