Marketing April 10, 2012 Last updated April 10th, 2012 392 Reads share

How To Network Effectively On LinkedIn

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There are now over 100 million people on LinkedIn, people you can do business with, people you can impress with your profile and your knowledge. Most business people have a profile on Linked In and I’m sure you do. However, is your Linked In profile as professional, effective and engaging as it could be? I‘ve noticed more and more business people failing to update their Linked In profile effectively; leaving it incomplete and not making use of the many benefits within Linked In. Here’s our recommendations for ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’ on LinkedIn.


10 Ways To Improve Your Linked In Profile

  1. Ensure your profile is 100% complete. Different sections carry points, for example, adding a completed summary will earn 5%. Having 3 or more recommendations earns Linked In kudos too. A photograph earns 5% but ensure it is a professional one, rather than one you might use on facebook.
  2. Optimise your profile by including relevant and highly searched keywords within your job title, your summary and your specialities.
  3. Ensure your summary reveals your expertise, your accomplishments, your ambitions and gives readers a sense of who you are as well as including a select number of those all important keyword phrases.
  4. Giving your website its full name looks more professional ( Linked In provides the wording ‘Company Website – change this to the name of your business) and include a link to your website and blog.  Remember this link will contain good SEO juice too.
  5. Many Linked In profiles are not unique and individual, ending in a long number. It is easy to create a personalised Linked In url by clicking edit beside the url, inserting your name and clicking save.
  6. When requesting a connection, always change the standard message and personalise it.  Refer to when you met the person and why you would like to connect. You never know, the other person may have forgotten all about you.  A friendly request means that it could be the start of a good working relationship.
  7. When asking for a recommendation, do personalise the request.  Asking the person to focus on particular areas of your expertise will ensure that their recommendation includes optimised keywords and focuses on the areas you wish to highlight.
  8. Joining groups that are relevant to your industry and taking part in discussion should get you noticed for all the right reasons.
  9. Look for questions within the ‘Answers’ section and become involved in the discussions and contribute by answering any queries, thereby building on your credibility as a trusted source of knowledge and expertise in your area.
  10. Starting a group and inviting others to join will also position you as a ‘thought leader’ and a ‘doer’.

Related: 10 Reasons You’re LinkedIn, But Still Not Tuned In!

Related: How Can I Look Amazing On LinkedIn?

5 Actions We Don’t Recommend For Linked In

  1. DON’T send a connection request to people you don’t know stating they are your friends – your requests will be ignored or refused.  Don’t ask people to connect just because you are both members of the same group, especially if there are hundreds of people within that group.
  2. DON’T send out standard recommendation requests to 200 contacts, even though the facility is there. If you are expecting someone to spend time writing a recommendation for you, invest a few minutes in writing them a personal note.
  3. DON’T use Twitter to update your Linked In profile.  Twitter is much more informal than Linked in, hence the vocabulary and tone used for both social media platforms should be very different.  Seeing people’s casual or conversational tweets on their Linked In profile does not do their brand image any favours. By all means, let your Linked In updates feed  into your tweets but never the other way around.
  4. DON’T post personal updates on your profile but ensure they all relate to your business and your professional standing. Posting an update twice a week would be deemed sufficient in my opinion.
  5. DON’T ask for favours before you establish a good working relationship.  Look upon Linked In as an effective networking tool where you work to help other people if you can, then they will help you in turn.

Related: Successful Fundraising Using LinkedIn – Goshido Case Study Of “Crowd-Funding”

Linked In offers you a means to control the identity of your brand, of your business.  Use it well to optimise the success of that message and build relationships that will be beneficial to your business success.

Image: ricardogranda.com

Lorna Sixsmith

Lorna Sixsmith

Lorna Sixsmith is a social media trainer at Write on Track, providing mentoring, training and content creation services to SMEs. Particularly passionate about blogging and Pinterest, Lorna also teaches these courses online at We Teach Social. Married to a dairy farmer in SE Ireland, Lorna recently self published her first book 'Would You Marry A Farmer?', a humourous look at life married to an Irish farmer.

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