For some, LinkedIn is a form of social media that you joined (because it seemed like the thing to do), set up a profile but then let it fall to the wayside. Maybe you’re not looking for a different job, never really learned how to utilize the site or didn’t understand how you could benefit from it. But in actuality, it’s a handy way to gain valuable connections, increase engagement and get your name out there, whether or not you’re looking to change careers. Six local professionals share their advice below for ways to make the most of your LinkedIn account.
Show enthusiasm. It’s important to present a professional image on LinkedIn for your network of business connections, but make sure that your personality and sense of human connection don’t get lost in the process. Positive connections are sparked and fostered by the sincerity and enthusiasm that you demonstrate through your interactions. Don’t just write that you’re passionate about your job—show your passion by joining groups and engaging in thoughtful conversation that highlights your unique value. Whether you are connecting with industry leaders, searching for jobs or contributing to a discussion, make sure positivity and enthusiasm are the foundation of your actions!
—Maria Soliven, Chief Creative at DelMar New Media and Video Editor at Jpixx
In your LinkedIn profile summary section, include a line that explains why you’re passionate about the work you do. Why do you wake up every day and put in the time? What problem(s) are you excited to solve? That kind of line is a great way to show your authenticity and draw people in as they read the profile.
—Danny Rubin, Vice President of Rubin Communications Group
Our policy is to send out LinkedIn requests as quickly as possible when we return to the office from any event or program. We’ve found that LinkedIn works best when you’ve had a quick face-to-face first. The closer that request is to the time you’ve met a new contact, the more likely they will be to recognize you and add you to their network. Nike’s “just do it” applies perfectly to building your network.
—Kathy Howell, President & Creative Director, Howell Creative Group
Make use of your profile cover photo because it is prime real estate on your LinkedIn profile. When hiring, we always look at a LinkedIn profile, and no cover photo means no attention to detail or a lack of effort. Same goes with accepting a connection request. I look at their profile and decide whether I want to connect with them.
Your profile cover photo can and should help you sell yourself, a product or a service. Make sure you are in the photo and that your personality shows through.
List your expertise with legible text, graphics or bullets. Let people know what you do and how you can help them. Use social proof. If you have a photo with an influencer in your industry or if you are on a stage presenting or teaching others, use it as the background of your cover photo. Show validation. Include small icons or logos for awards or certifications you have earned.
—Kevin Daisey, Founder/CMO of Array Digital
Along with your profile picture, your personal headline is one of the most frequently viewed pieces of written content about you. Most people have their current job role listed in their headline, but you don’t have to keep it that way. To stand out in your industry, use the 120 characters in your headline to tell how you guide clients and stakeholders and help solve business challenges. For instance, as a marketer, my headline reads, ‘With a clear message and a plan, I help you find & retain the most desirable clients to grow your business. #ClarityWins.’ The character limit forces you to be brief and to the point and also focus on how you best serve your company or your clients.
—Mandy Berkowitz, Founder of The Image Marketing Group
-Showcase your customers. Publishing content around your customers and clients is a great way to show what you can do and inspire new customers.
-Post more videos. We find that video outperforms photos on LinkedIn. We get more engagement and views per piece of content. Posting natively to the platform versus sharing outside videos seems to perform better for us overall.
-Publish original content (long form). If you can take the time to write long form content 1,000–2,000 words of original content about your space or experience it will set you apart from the competition. This will help you expand your brand to customers and clients who choose to read versus consume other forms of content.
-Reply to every comment. We take the time to leave thoughtful comments on other accounts including our account. Small accounts and large accounts can lead to business development or other opportunities by sharing expertise and thought leadership.
-Post audio content. Post media types for every potential customer. Some customers may only read, some may only watch video and some may only listen to audio. Have a presence where you can be potentially found.
—Hamilton Perkins, Founder of Hamilton Perkins Collection (bags and accessories made from recycled materials)