LinkedIn is the top social media platform for professionals. From doctors, to lawyers, to social media marketers, everyone is getting on the LinkedIn platform and trying to use it to grow their careers and advance their company profiles. As a job seeker, or professional, or consultant working in different industries, using LinkedIn has become a must. From helping you gain visibility in your content marketing efforts to advertise your professional services, to forming a core part of your digital branding/marketing plan, the benefits of using LinkedIn cannot be overemphasised.
Here’s how LinkedIn can help you in your career plan:
Build a Great LinkedIn Profile:
- A simple LinkedIn search will show those who come up for the different search terms you use. Thus, it is important for you to build a very killer profile. After you go through the LinkedIn login, you fill ALL the boxes when filling your LinkedIn profile details. I personally think it is vitally important to leave nothing blank. Here’s what can help you:
- Your LinkedIn headline should be filled to reflect your core beliefs and chosen profession. It can also showcase a short summary of what you do for people.
- Your LinkedIn profile summary should be captivating and capture your professional essence. Write this preferably using the first person narrative and make sure that this summary captures your professional path. It could also showcase how you add value to other professionals.
- Upload Slideshare presentations and other media that can showcase what you do or what you have done in the past for clients and customers.
- Write to professionals who have worked with you in the past and ask for recommendations. Many will be glad to write recommendations for you if they feel that you are worth it. This will serve as a profile booster as many professionals [myself included] will not write a recommendation for a fellow professional unless they are absolutely sure of the professional reputation of the person they’re writing the recommendation for.
Consistently provide high-quality content
There are thousands of professionals on LinkedIn. However, the ones that become the stars of LinkedIn are those that consistently provide value. By providing high-quality content for the other professionals on the platform, you showcase your thought
leadership; you display your thought processes and also showcase your take on Industry-related issues.
Your content can take the form of simple posts. LinkedIn restricts their simple posts character count, so a LinkedIn writer doesn’t have much space to play around with. However, it will make you learn to maximize your minimal space and use it well to capture exactly the essence of what you want to capture for your reading audience.
Articles: You can take to writing articles for your LinkedIn audience. With LinkedIn articles, you have more space to play around with. On the plus side, the articles written and published on LinkedIn Publisher are permanent in nature and also ranks in search engines.
One strategy that can help you to create content consistently for LinkedIn is to create a content calendar. Your content type can be split into thought leadership posts [that will help you showcase your industry knowledge in your field of operation] and other content types. You can also harness the power of LinkedIn video to reach your audience and use hash tags to maximize exposure to prospective readers who are interested in the topics you write on.
Top Tips: Find your own voice. Be unique. Some people are bogged down with other people’s ideas of how to write or not to write on LinkedIn. What I can tell you is to find your own unique voice when writing for LinkedIn. Just look for a way to pass your message across to your audience and you will be fine.
Network network network. Networking is extremely important for professionals, particularly among young professionals who are seeking to gain footholds in their chosen careers. A professional network of people either in the same exact profession or those in sister professions can help your career growth.
“Your network is your net worth.”
Harnessing your professional network is extremely vital, and what better way to seek your network out than through LinkedIn?
Networking in this sense goes beyond sending and accepting connection requests. It goes beyond liking and commenting on other professionals’ posts on LinkedIn [though these help, anyhow]. Networking in this sense means reaching out actively to your connections; sharing interesting posts. Calling these networks if and when the occasion calls for it. Are they working within the same area you are? Meet up for drinks or coffee. Are they looking for jobs and you “happen” to know a job that may be a good fit for their unique skill sets? If you know that they are a good fit, why not refer them? Are you attending a conference which other members of your professional network is attending? Great, send them a message to see if you can meet up.
No other network helps like-minded professionals to come together than LinkedIn; use this to your advantage. It can open some doors which you don’t expect.
Reach out to old colleagues and old classmates of yours. Join LinkedIn Groups of your choice and contribute actively to the conversations there.
Follow the News . . .
There are literally thousands of companies on LinkedIn. Many of them regularly publish updates, press releases and job offers. If you are interested in LinkedIn Jobs, then the latter may particularly interest you. Many companies post their job offerings exclusively on LinkedIn; if you are not on LinkedIn, chances are that you will not find this job opening. Furthermore, if you are not following them and actively using the platform, you wouldn’t know of this, so you still lose out.
LinkedIn is a great platform to be on, particularly if you want to grow your career and leverage industry contacts. It does not pay to be dormant on LinkedIn; it pays better to go beyond that LinkedIn login and LinkedIn job search and get into the real networking part of it. You also have to look beyond LinkedIn Jobs; seeing the platform as merely an avenue to hunt for jobs. You have to plunge into the ecosystem and really become a part of it.