LinkedIn Networking Essentials

LinkedIn IS a networking platform! Repeat this at least twenty times a day when you get up in the morning! I’m always amazed at how many people have LinkedIn profiles, but yet do nothing to actually network there. Okay, I get it. Maybe not everyone is a sales person, but surely everyone can benefit from knowing more people in their career field. What if you walk in on Monday and get the dreaded pink slip? What are you going to do then? When it comes to personal networks size (and quality) actually does matter. So, let’s talk about how even the most wall flower of all the wall flowers can network efficiently on LinkedIn.

Connections

Don’t be too picky about your connections, and at the same time, be very picky. This sounds contradictory, and it is. Here’s the deal, though. LinkedIn works like that old game, six degrees of separation. I’m connected to you. You’re connected to someone else. And, I’m only indirectly connected to you. But there’s massive power in that indirect connection! The more connections you have, the more your network expands. But…you need to be directly connected to someone in order to message them. (Inmails are so expensive!) You need both! A large number of connections and also targeted connections.

Networking

Reach out to people in your network regularly. Doesn’t have to be every month. Just at least once a year for those people who’ve fallen by the wayside. You’ll be surprised at how much business will just bubble to the surface just by doing this.

Status Updates

Keep your profile and your status updates up to date! Tell your audience what you’re up to, as far as work is concerned. What projects are you working on? How might that benefit them? What types of employees are you looking for? You’d be amazed at who’s reading your updates and who you can get to reach out to you this way.

Communicate

And, while you’re actually networking, how about really communicating with people? Ask them how the new job is going. How’s that move to Colorado Springs? Again, your goal is to stir up the proverbial mud and see what rises to the top!

How to Have Your Next Job (or Client) Find You on LinkedIn

One of the great beauties of LinkedIn is that it’s a search engine. Millions of people are using LinkedIn search every day to find other professionals both for jobs and to provide products and services. If you structure your profile right so that you show up in the right searches, you’ll find that the right job (or client) just might come to you easily, instead of you having to go out and find them. In this article, I want to talk about how to do just that. Make your profile very search engine friendly.

The first thing you need to do is to figure out how someone would search for you. You can get some small amount of help from LinkedIn’s analytics, especially if you have a paid account. What might be more useful, though, would be to go to Google and start typing in phrases you think someone might use. Look at the suggested searches that Google suggests. These are searches that have already been done by someone else on Google. And, it’s just as likely that someone’s doing these same searches on LinkedIn. Find a few that make sense for you, and then note down the actual phrase used. These phrases, by the way, are called keywords.

Once you’ve narrowed down to two or three keywords, you’ll want to optimize your profile for them. That starts with the headline. You’ll want to squeeze what you think should be the primary keyword into your headline, all without making it sound weird. The next thing you’ll need to do is to use your main keyword, and perhaps a couple related keywords, in your profile summary. Make sure it reads well, though! You don’t want to sacrifice readability for optimization.

Now that you’ve got your keywords sorted and your profile optimized, you want to make sure that it “sells” to an interested visitor who lands on the page. Start with a good, professional head shot for your picture. Next, you’ll want to beef up your recommendations and skills. The only thing you might want to do after this is to experiment with different keywords to see if you’re showing up in more or fewer searches.