Over the past few years, LinkedIn has become the ultimate place to be if you are looking to connect with like-minded business professionals and to keep touch with your peers. The user volume is impressive and given its popularity, it`s an ideal tool to use if you are looking to promote yourself or your business. I suspect that most people reading this blog will be LinkedIn users already or at least would have their profiles set up and this guide is to point out a few things you might have missed:
1. Profile picture
Having a clear, presentable profile picture is essential as it adds credibility. Someone you met in the past will be able to recognise you and it also represents your personal brand, particularly if you use the same photo across all your social profiles.
2. Cover photo
To add to your personal brand, the background picture allows you to say something about yourself – you decide what it is that describes you best. If you are looking to market your business it can be a good idea to use your business logo or a visual associated with your business.
This is the first thing people see, therefore it’s important to keep it as accurate as possible, using the keywords you want people to use when searching for your profile. It doesn’t have to be your current job title, but it should state your professional interest or activities.
4. Email address and phone number
To make it easy for others to contact you, include your business email address. There are no limits to how many emails you can use, so if you want to include any others, so add any that are relevant. Also, add the best number others can reach you on.
5. Custom URL
By default, LinkedIn will generate a URL for you. You can customise this on your profile, by clicking the “Customise” button next to the link and preferably making it your first name and last name. It works better for search engines and it looks much tidier.
Request recommendations from your colleagues and peers to increase credibility and raise your personal brand. In return recommend others that you worked with in the past.
Include a list of specialities in your summary to showcase your expertise. These are reflected in your skills section and your connection can then endorse you.
To connect with others, consider adding your email contacts, search for alumni, use advanced search and look for people you might know based on your shared connections.
Groups are an effective way to exchange ideas and knowledge with fellow members. You can search for groups based on your interests and apply for membership. All groups are free. Once you are a group member you can message your fellow group members as well as leverage groups for content sharing, polls and keeping in touch with your peers, clients and colleagues.
You can copy and paste a link to content that you find interesting or share updates shared by others. You can also create your own content and once published, the update will be attached to your LinkedIn profile and your connections will receive notification about your post. You will be also able to see how many views, likes and comments you have and the article can be further shared via LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.