With 200+ million members on LinkedIn you are really missing out if you are not using this professional social media platform to your advantage. I had Ben Casnocha on my CBS radio show Career Coach Caroline recently and he co-wrote a book called The Start Up of You with LinkedIn founder, Reid Hoffmann. We talked a lot about being entrepreneurial in this job economy and showcasing yourself as a marketable product if you are job searching or looking to grow your career.
LinkedIn is a wonderful way to ramp up your career presence with a new professional audience to create the brand you want others to notice. Here are a few strategies to make sure you are using LinkedIn so it can serve you in the best possible way:
Seek Out the Authors of the Articles Your Read – What are the articles you are reading on social media and more importantly – who is writing them? Consider these social influencers and check out their presence online. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Comment on their articles or blogs and share content you find compelling. Giving a compliment or sharing feedback distinguishes you to a new audience and can showcase you as a thought leader.
Write Content and Share It – the best way to join in on the conversation is to write about a topic. Stick to what you know and branch-out as you feel more confident in your writing. Chances are you have a lot to say and by putting it out there you will be more recognizable and this will stimulate others to leave comments to keep the conversations going. Look to your Groups on LinkedIn to find common interests, topics and ideas that inspire you.
Meet the People Who are Looking at You – when was the last time you looked at the people who have recently viewed your LinkedIn profile? You may not even realize that you are being considered or at least researched by others. Even if you haven’t upgraded your LinkedIn account, you can view who is checking you out by allowing for this in your profile settings. Scan these regularly to see who is interested in you and if the professional feeling is mutual, ask to connect. This shows you are open to new professional relationships and that you are observant of your online presence.
You must be active on LinkedIn to use it to your advantage. A dormant account won’t generate much activity so get out there and be seen and heard.