LinkedIn is a networking platform that was designed to connect business professionals, promote industry news, and help candidates find job opportunities. However, many professionals don’t take advantage of the platform’s full range of capabilities. Using LinkedIn to its full potential will help you build meaningful connections, improve your credibility, and become more visible to the right audiences.
Optimize Your Profile
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for building your personal brand and attracting clients. But even if, at a glance, your profile looks great, there’s a strong chance it’s missing something important. Many LinkedIn users tend to overlook a couple of seemingly simple components.
First, the headline is the most important part of your LinkedIn profile. It appears directly beneath your name and should not just state your job title, as LinkedIn will automatically suggest, but should also highlight the results you deliver. Instead of simply stating that you’re a real estate agent or a coach, for example, you should explain what makes you unique and how you help your clients. Sum it up in a few key words. This will immediately communicate the value you offer and make your profile stand out from the competition.
Second, the “About” section is a key opportunity to showcase your personal brand and create a connection with potential clients. The first two or three lines of this section are particularly important, as they’re the first thing people will see when they visit your profile. Write in the first person, as if you’re having a conversation, and focus on the results you deliver. This is your chance to expand on your headline and dig a little deeper into how you approach your work. The idea is to make the first few lines as engaging as possible and encourage them to read on.
Remember to focus on the value you offer and to write in a way that connects with your desired audience. With a thoughtful headline and an engaging “About” section, you open up the opportunity to showcase your expertise and build your credibility.
Building connections and networking is a must if you want to increase your exposure to thought leaders, mentors, and other professionals who influence your professional growth. LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool, but it’s important to be thoughtful about how you reach out and connect with other users. Unfortunately, the platform is flooded with bots and people who send out requests without any personal connection or consideration for the recipient. This sets you at an immediate disadvantage, as many valuable connections may be wary about accepting your requests and responding to messages.
To avoid being overlooked it’s important to personalize your connection request by mentioning something you have in common with the recipient or by expressing a specific interest in connecting with them. Don’t try to sell them on you or your product, but aim to make a genuine connection and clearly state your desire to develop a mutually beneficial professional relationship.
Once you’ve made a connection you must put in the effort to maintain it. Engage often in a meaningful way by commenting on their posts, sharing valuable insights, or asking thoughtful questions. If you come across an article, event, or opportunity that you think might be helpful to your connections, share it with them. This will keep you top of mind with your connections and help build stronger relationships over time.
It’s important to be intentional and selective about the connections you make. Building strong relationships with a smaller number of connections will ultimately be more valuable than having many connections with little to no personal connection. So, take the time to build meaningful connections and nurture those relationships for the best results.
Spending just a bit of time to optimize your LinkedIn profile can set you apart and accelerate your professional growth. To learn more, check out our 1-hour program, “Standout on LinkedIn: Boost Your Credibility and Visibility,” led by the LinkedIn Diva herself, Rhonda Sher!