It’s no secret that LinkedIn is one of the best business networking tools on the planet. A place where millions of business owners, CEO’s, Directors and Business Professionals come together to connect and share.
LinkedIn is a perfect companion for your networking purposes. But are you getting the most value from your network? There are several factors that play a part in creating a great network.
Here we provide a little more insight on creating the best value you can from your own LinkedIn Experience.
A Great Profile
When was the last time you updated your profile? or at the very least when was the last time you read and reviewed it?
Your LinkedIn profile is a key success factor in creating great connections who will see the value in what you do or offer. It needs to tell your story in a way that reflects who you are.
Don’t go for the CV type profile, avoid this as much as you can. Show some personality and share some insights in to who you are and what makes you tick. There’s nothing wrong with displaying a proud and successful career but ensure that it’s done in the appropriate channel (Experience section) of your profile. Don’t clog up your profile summary with your work history, use it to tell your story. This is the first thing that people are going to see and possibly the last if you don’t grab their attention.
Avoid the mistake of not having a profile photo. This is a serious error. It tells the person viewing your profile one of 2 things. You’re either not wanting to be found or you’re not disciplined and driven enough to have bothered. Is this how you want people to think of you?
Make sure that you have a good strong representation in your photo of how you want to be seen. It doesn’t have to be a professional shot, but it does need to reflect who you are as a business person. That New Year’s Eve you dressed up in a silly wig and glasses might have been a fun time you want to remember, but is that how you want to be seen in a professional light? Likewise, your company logo might be something you are proud to boast, but you can do that in other parts of your profile. People come to LinkedIn to find people, not entities.
Making the Right Connections
It’s great that you are building a network, that’s exactly what LinkedIn is for. If you want to be a LinkedIn Open Networker (LION) that’s not a bad thing but ensure that you do have some strategy in place around those you are connecting with. Think about what value they can provide you or your customers and clients with. When reaching out to make a connection look at the WIIFM (What’s in it for me) from both sides, what do you have to offer of value, what do they have for you.
We always recommend adding a short note when connecting too. It doesn’t have to be formal, but it will set the expectations and be more well received than anonymous request which when accepted suddenly turns in to a selling frenzy.
Another key point to remember here is connections make networks, networks make opportunities So don’t consider your connections list to that which is a showcase of whose who in business. I have seen this tactic applied before and it is truly the opposite of what LinkedIn is about. Remember, people are looking for people.
Options for Execution
You have to invest some effort in to building your LinkedIn experience, it’s not the easiest thing to do when you are extremely busy and struggling for time or focus. You should know that there are people out there who can help, and I am not talking about the hundreds, maybe even thousands of LinkedIn Experts.
There are countless LinkedIn experts out there who will get you along to a webinar with the promise of sharing a million secrets on how you can use LinkedIn to increase your customer base and your experience. They charge you for the knowledge of what you should be doing, but they will still leave you to execute all of their advice, meaning you are back to square one after parting with the best part of a few thousand dollars.
Your best option if you find yourself time poor, unable to focus or short of ideas would be to approach an agency who have experience in LinkedIn. One that will help you develop a plan of action and deliver it for you. Whether it’s a profile review and recommendation plan, curated content, network development or a full lead generation plan.
They will work with you on the right kind of strategy for your experience before mapping out the best tactics for you. They will work with you on creating an experience that they will drive and you will own.