With hundreds of millions of subscribers who engage regularly on the platform, LinkedIn is an essential vehicle for communications. An effective presence on LinkedIn will connect you with decision-makers, influencers, and people who work daily with the same kinds of tools and technologies your company offers.
What does it take to create and maintain an effective LinkedIn presence? Start by tackling these five aspects of LinkedIn, and you’ll be well on your way.
Make a Great First Impression
Your profile is the first thing other LinkedIn users will see when searching for you. Together, elements including your profile photo, the banner or background shot across the top of your profile page, and the headline on your page work together to tell the visitor who you are.
So, take a minute and think about what that message should be. Professional? Yes. Experienced? What else? Make a list — in your head or on scratch paper — of the messages you want your profile to send. Do they match up with what you see on your profile page? Look for yourself, and ask a trusted friend or colleague for an opinion. Do the images and language all stack up the way you intended?
Make the Most of Your Experience
Experience can mean many things. Don’t sell yourself short when compiling information for this section of your LinkedIn profile. Sure, employment typically will be at top of mind for a prospective employer. You do need to include details about past positions — ideally with links to past employers’ LinkedIn pages as appropriate — and your relevant achievements in those roles. But you’re more than the sum of your past job titles and responsibilities.
If your education reinforces your status as a knowledgeable professional, or opens doors to networking opportunities, by all means include it. You also should include any certifications that reflect your expertise or ongoing pursuit of knowledge in a specific subject or industry. If you decide to add information about volunteer work and other activities, you give visitors the chance to know and relate to you a bit better.
Make the Most of Your Successes
Recommendations on your LinkedIn page offer you a way to demonstrate your ability to work well with others. They lend credibility to your claims of expertise. They show that you’ve been successful and helped others to be successful as well.
Contributed by a colleague or customer, a recommendation can bring a valuable outside perspective to your profile. Go for a minimum of three recommendations, and try to be sure they reflect the achievements and skills for which you want to be recognized. At the same time, hand out a few recommendations of your own to deserving colleagues.
Make the Most of Your Expertise
By giving you the opportunity to post articles, LinkedIn nearly begs you to show off what you know. If you can offer expertise in a manner that brings value to others, you’re doing it right! Take a look back at recent projects to see if you’ve got a fresh or timely topic for an article. What have you learned lately that might also benefit others? Are there questions you get frequently that might make for a good story? Don’t think too hard about it; just set aside a little time and churn out a rough draft. You can tidy it up later and present your LinkedIn connections with some insights they may well welcome.
Post, Post, Post
If you want others to engage with you on LinkedIn, you need to engage with the platform. The best way to do this? Post, post, post. Regular updates can serve a variety of functions.
Regular posts let your connections know what’s going on with you. It’s simple, and it’s important. By posting regularly, you’ll keep your name in front of connections. You’ll generate opportunities for conversations on topics both mundane and critical to your business. You’ll show your connections that you’re making things happen!
Whether you’re building your LinkedIn for the first time or (more likely) revamping your existing profile, start by crossing these five things off your list. They will give you a solid foundation on which to build effective communications with the people you most want to reach.