LinkedIn – just another social media thingy?
I don’t want to spend my days LOLing and LMAOing with people I can’t really remember, and if I could, I probably wouldn’t want to! So, before I decide if I need it, I really need to know exactly what LinkedIn is!
What is LinkedIn?
Firstly, LinkedIn is not Facebook or Twitter. There are no children, no games and no causes (however worthy!)
LinkedIn is simply an online networking tool – and like all networking tools it only works if you use it. That said, it is probably the biggest network you will ever belong to, with over 175 million members in more than 200 Countries, and growing constantly.
What Can it do for me?
Keeps you in touch and up to date. LinkedIn offers you the ability to see at a glance where all your connections are, and what they are currently doing – the salesman you employed 12 years ago may now well be the Marketing Manager of a company you’d love to work with
- Find new Connections. LinkedIn makes it easy to connect to people who may be useful to you and vice versa – people who you may not even have been aware of without LinkedIn
- Find out who you might be working with. The importance of researching both clients and suppliers or service providers can be made so much easier through LinkedIn, and the information provided is often far more comprehensive than by any other means
- Find people you’d like to work with. LinkedIn has a search facility that allows you to find the services you need, and also let’s you know who might need the services you offer
- Improved Search Engine Ranking – Google does appear to rank LinkedIn profiles well, so including a link to your company website from your LinkedIn profile can help improve your
Apart from a personal profile you can create a page for your company, and there are ways of improving the presence of both within LinkedIn. Let’s start with a personal profile.
Creating a LinkedIn Profile
A LinkedIn profile is, at its most basic, a full CV.
Firstly, what email address do you use?
This is tricky if you are an employee and not a business owner. Using an email address that belongs to your company associates you with the company and provides additional credibility for both. However, if you are not the business owner, ensure that you have a personal email address listed as your secondary email, so that if you leave the company, it is relatively simple to keep your LinkedIn account.
I am not going to walk you through every step of creating a profile –you’re an intelligent person, and LinkedIn explains far better than I could! However, there are a few points worth bearing in mind:
- Make sure you have completed your profile – no profile is better than a profile that hasn’t been completed.
- Keep it simple – by this I mean avoid too much industry jargon that won’t make sense to people you might want to connect with.
- Keep it accurate – don’t make claims you can’t verify, but do remember to include all your achievements, skills and education – you never know what other people may be using as search terms.
- Start with a free account – it is usually enough for most people. Once you are familiar with LinkedIn you may prefer to upgrade to one of their paid plans.
- Get a vanity URL – select your first name and surname if possible, or add your business name too if you are self-employed.
Tomorrow – Part 2 – How to grow your LinkedIn profile & Creating a LinkedIn Company Page
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