I have to admit, I’ve been a bit slack on LinkedIn lately. I’m a big fan, but busyness has taken over and I’ve not been giving this awesome app the time and attention it deserves – and I know I’m not the only one. So today I’m professing my love for on-line networking and sharing with you my plan of attack to romance my way back into LinkedIn’s good books…
I used to be fantastic at checking in and updating LinkedIn on a daily basis, if not more. But I’ve let that consistency slip and I know it’s time to overhaul my profile and my approach. So here’s what I’m going to do …. and if you’ve been a bit slack too, perhaps you might like to join me:
Step 1: Profile
It’s important to make sure that your profile is up to date and engaging, so check that your professional headline is still appropriate and relevant, update your summary and work experience, add as many skills as possible, and make sure that your picture if professional and still looks like you! (remember, no party photo’s – your personal brand is paramount!).
Just like writing a resume, it’s much better to keep updating and tweaking your profile from time-to-time rather than leaving it for years and then having to spend hours resurrecting it. When you learn something new, get promoted, get involved in a new project, or add a new service to your offering spend a few moments adding those details to your LinkedIn page – it’s SO much easier that way!
Step 2: Groups
Just like any network, it’s important to engage and have a conversation. Aside from interacting with your individual connections, the groups function is a great way to ‘meet’ new people, stay in touch with what’s going on in your industry, and expand your horizons into new areas. Take a moment to review the groups you belong to and see if a) you need to leave some – perhaps they’re no longer relevant or active, b) if there are any new groups that you can join and c) what discussions you can contribute to or start yourself?
I’ve been really slack in interacting with the groups I belong to recently so this is a big area of focus of me – it’s time to get ‘amongst it’ again and be a contributor as this is a excellent way to engage with people you’ve never met before.
Step 3: Recommendations
We would all rather hire or buy from someone that comes highly recommended – and that’s why it’s really important to keep your recommendations fresh and current. Make sure you’re requesting recommendations from the people you’ve worked with, and be generous in giving them too.
Step 4: Update Your Status
Networking is about connecting and being remembered by people so that you have a pool of resources to draw on, a great panel of experts to ask questions, and to be able to share valuable advice and information. So if you want to stay front-of-mind with your network updating your status on LinkedIn is a quick and easy way to do just that. Commit to at least one update every couple of days and make sure you check out your news feed so that you can interact with what everyone else is up to.
Step 5: Nurture Your Network
Finally, and most importantly, don’t forget about the people you’re already connected to. Build a plan to re-engage with your on-line (and off-line) network regularly, and try to do more than just emails … coffee or lunch is a great way to build a true relationship and the trust that’s required to do business or refer someone. Even if it’s just one connection a month who you actually get to see in person, as well as sharing articles and useful information with other members of your on-line network, you’ll be going above and beyond what many do when it comes to professional networking.
So that’s my plan. What about you? Is there anything you need to do to get the most out of LinkedIn? Post a comment below and give LinkedIn your commitment and lovin’!
P.S. If you’d like to connect with me on LinkedIn just click here and send me an invite!