In today’s business world, we are always connected. This constant connectivity and access to information and social networks brings, along with an abundance of opportunity and diversity, certain challenges. With social networking, you face the challenge of identifying how to use each unique social networking platform to ensure maximum benefit.
Each network will have its own specific nuances requiring a tailored approach. Here we focus on some key points of LinkedIn which are often overlooked. Following these simple steps will help ensure the best results to align with your goals.
Use a Professional Profile Photograph
The importance of this point cannot be overstated. LinkedIn, more than various other social networks, is a business oriented, networking platform. This is your opportunity to showcase your professional career and character. Like it or not, many peoples first opinion is based upon looks, therefore it is essential to get off to the most professional start possible. Think of this as the front page of your resume. You want to present a composed and friendly image. We would also highly recommend business attire. A collared shirt as a minimum requirement.
Choose Your Connections Wisely
Undoubtedly, it’s fantastic to expand your network far and wide. The opportunity to market yourself to such a vast network is one which should be embraced. That said, being selective in who you choose to connect with is not a negative choice. You want to ensure that the people you are connecting with both welcome your connection and more importantly, add value to each other’s network. As an example, a financial consultant would be best served focusing on building a network broadly connected to that sector.
Engage With Your Network
Having built your network of connections, it is essential to interact with them. This is your opportunity to communicate with influential people and decision makers, who, in turn can shape your future. It is vital that you find a good balance when it comes to communicating with your network. Like other social networks, LinkedIn users do not want to be bombarded with a constant flow of needless information.
As a more professionally concentrated platform, you should have higher selection criteria for what you do choose to share. Industry related articles or reports which you can speak authoritatively on when questioned are always a good starting point. Even better if you are the author of these pieces.
This is another area where you can set your LinkedIn profile apart from the crowd. By putting the time an effort into requesting endorsements of your skills and unique written references from past employers or clients, you help to build and solidify your image as a trustworthy and capable individual.
When requesting recommendations, it’s important to request from those with whom you have actually had a meaningful business relationship. Try also to abstain from repeating the same request multiple times or sending a generic request message.
Writing Recommendations for Others
When writing a recommendation for others, you should ensure to firstly, take the time to customise your writing. There is nothing more obvious than a generic piece of text. This could also have an adverse influence on your future dealings with that person. Similar to requesting a recommendation, you should also only provide to those with whom you have had some form of working relationship. This helps to maintain a trustworthy system.
From a business perspective, LinkedIn is a highly valuable platform for growing your professional network, increasing your stature among groups of like-minded individuals or marketing your skills to potential employers or clients.
To achieve the greatest possible benefits from using LinkedIn, it’s important to both be aware of and adhere to the etiquette within the network. By doing so, you give yourself the best possible chance of enhancing your business position.