So You’ve Created Your LinkedIn Account, What’s Next?

Career, Social Media

Congratulations! You have created your LinkedIn account! You are now part of the world’s largest professional network with over 700 million members and executives from ALL Fortune 500 companies. (and if you are reading this without having created an account, read why you should today).

Add your photo

I know we all think that no one could possibly forget us, but the truth is we remember faces more often than names. As well as if you have a common name you need a photo to go along with your profile to distinguish you from the other three thousand Kelly Smiths. (even if you spell it Kelli with an “i”, most people won’t know that either.  People I work with on a daily basis still write me e-mails saying, “Hello Christine”.

Grab your individual LinkedIn Link

link Right now your individual LinkedIn Link may look something like this:

“www.linkedin.com/pub/firstname-lastname/9/6a0/966″.

When editing your profile change this to your full name, www.linkedin.com/pub/firstname-lastname”.

Fill out your profile

This seems like an obvious one and LinkedIn gives you lots of prompts to get your started, yet I still come across those who leave their profile blank.  Leaving a profile blank makes you look lazy, not a great reputation in the job world.

Connect with everyone you know

Connect with everyone you know past and present: friends, co-workers, family, clients.  See my post on Linking up on LinkedIn Credibility for more information on how to pick and choose when to not link-in with someone.

Follow Influencers

Influencers are people on LinkedIn that write articles to share with the LinkedIn community.  They are the top voices in the professional world and becoming an Influencer is by LinkedIn invitation only.  Pick Influencers to follow that release content relevant to you and your network.  The more you follow the more articles you can see posted to your home feed. LinkedIn will also suggest relevant Influencers for you to follow.

Why Follow Influencers? influencers

Once you start receiving their content you might just find that it’s extremely relevant and beneficial to you. You can there share it on LinkedIn and Twitter becoming your very own Influencer to your followers and industry.

LinkedIn: The one social media platform everyone should be on

Career, Social Media

No matter where you are in your career LinkedIn is one social media platform that is always a great idea.  Whether you’re still in school, raising kids, a fresh graduate, changing careers, drumming up new business, or maintaining connections, LinkedIn becomes an invaluable resource.

Think of LinkedIn as your virtual Rolodex and handrail along the corporate ladder.

This social media platform gives you an opportunity to connect with people that you have met at any point in your life.  Be it classmates, colleagues, clients, or friends, LinkedIn gives you the ability to showcase your connections as well as build a resource list that you can refer to over your entire career.

LinkedIn May 2014 New Features

LinkedIn May 2014 New Features

*New* for May 2014 LinkedIn offers the “Where you met” feature where you can store notes about:

i) Why you are connecting with this person,
ii) Where you met them, and
iii) if someone introduced you.

These notes are kept private for you and no one else is able to see them.

 

Reminder Feature

Reminder Feature

Another *new* component is the “reminder to connect” feature where you can set reminders to follow up with each of your connections. This is a great tool to help you stay top of mind with your connections as well as track your touch points throughout the year.

Lastly the new abilities to write notes and create contact tags (a great way to organize your contacts).  All of these new features are extremely useful, helpful, and most of all strategic.

Linking up on LinkedIn: Creating your Online Credibility

Social Media

LinkedIn is a powerful tool and not to be overlooked when considering social media platforms.  It’s the one social media platform that you should to be on. However it’s not all social and maintaining your profile and connection list credibility is extremely important.

LinkedIn should be authentic.

My personal opinion and advice for LinkedIn is to treat it less like twitter and more like facebook.  Where you connect with people you know or have done business with.  I personally reserve my “connection membership” to strictly those that I have shaken hands with at some point in my life.  That way if someone asks me about a contact then I can honestly say where the connection stems from.

Be leery of those who want to connect that you don’t know.

As you are building your online brand and reputation you will also receive invitations from those you don’t know.  Sometimes if there is mutual contacts or circles you may want to connect with them and that’s fine, (although I stick to my shaken hands rule).  However Ive experienced those who have false profiles, those who just want to see my contact list, and those who want to be able to say that they are connected to me and create a false sense of security to those that know me.  Be careful of these types of connections as they ruin your LinkedIn credibility.

Remember that LinkedIn is not a popularity contest.  

It’s about quality of connections not quantity.  Don’t feel like you need to be in a rush to get into the 500+ category, especially if you’re just beginning your career.  Build your network through meaningful connections.  The goal here is to be putting the energy into a social platform that will work for you professionally.  To have contacts you can reach out to and clients you can keep in touch with.

 

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” – William Shakespeare