Sunday, March 01, 2015

If you are not on LinkedIn, get on now! | Entrepreneur

Read the Danish version here: Hvis du ikke er på LinkedIn, skal du på nu!

The title says the most of it but down below I will explain why you should use LinkedIn and give you some good advice, which you can get very far with. ;-)

Me, without LinkedIn
Before I made a profile on LinkedIn, I thought I did not need it. I said to myself “I already have Facebook and a mobile. Why do I need LinkedIn?” Until the day that I needed a person whom I could not get in contact with. If I just had a LinkedIn profile at that time, I would have found that person before it was too late.
So I created a profile on LinkedIn. One should not make the same mistake again, right?

Visibility
Build up your business network with LinkedIn
Yes, LinkedIn is another social medium but your LinkedIn profile is not as difficult to maintain. I myself only log on a couple of times a week. I Share an article I have found or my own blog post. I like five to ten posts and write a quick comment. In that way your connections will remember you and people you do not know will check out your profile. I typically get somewhere between two and five new invitations a week, just by doing that.

Remember, if someone comments on your post it is important to answer back. People are generally not that active on LinkedIn, so if you just do a little extra, you can get a lot out of it.

Be Professional
I see this mistake over and over again. People think that LinkedIn is Facebook. No, LinkedIn is not a place for boyfriend troubles, wars, your bad day, strong religious beliefs, dating and other things which either are or can quickly turn into something negative. Would you in real life talk to a possible business partner about how your ex-boyfriend treated you, no right? Keep that on Facebook and other social media where you have people who care about you. The person who takes their profile just a little serious deletes the connections that focus on above negativity.

Fill out your profile
Your LinkedIn profile is your online resume and it is not even as hard to maintain as people think.
  • The profile’s language: It is very important to choose if you just want English or in English and your native language. You have to remember that LinkedIn is an international medium and by only writing in your native language your profile will not be very attractive.
     
  • Education: Whether you are a craftsman or a CEO, your education is an important part of your profile. Briefly write what classes you have taken. It gives others a sense of where you are on a theoretical level or just a confirmation of who you are.
    Subjects and courses you have taken should of course also be on there. It may be that you are not educated in that particular sector but you have taken a lot of courses or just single classes, which also belongs under education.
     
  • Jobs: A resume without job experience, no… just no. Write each job down and give a brief explanation of what you did or do there. Do not write too much then people do not bother to read it at all.
     
  • Follow: By following opinion makers and companies you will give your connections better pictures of what kind of people and companies you find interesting. At the same time, you can stay up to date with your favorite business persons and companies.
      
  • Groups: Join different groups which are interesting for you. For example if you are bad at SEO you can join SEO groups and thereby learn more about that. It is also a really good way to get more connections.
     
  • Languages: Choose all the languages that you can. It does not matter if you can talk them fluently or just a couple of words because you can choose different levels. For example in my profile it says that Danish is my native language, while I speak Japanese at a elementary level. When you know a language a little it is easy to learn if you for example need it for the next job.
     
     
  • Skills: You can have 50 skills in total. This means that you can show whole 50 skills that you are good at. Additionally you can get others to recognize those skills, which makes your profile more trustworthy.
Profile change message
Turn if off! I just do not understand why LinkedIn has made this feature. It is annoying and unnecessary. Why should it be interesting for all my LinkedIn connections to know when I make the slightest change in my profile? I do not know…
You can easily turn it off by following the path: Edit profile > Right side, the box at the bottom > No.

500+ connections
LinkedIn only counts your connections up to 500. Anything over 500 will be shown as 500+. By having 500 connections it will show that you are engaged in your profile and have used your time wisely. And who does not loved engaged people? ;-)
Try reading this… I have 580 connections on LinkedIn, which gives me access to 18,100,000 professionals. Yes, 18.1 million! I wonder if it just gives me a few opportunities.

Your connections
Now, if I need a SEO expert and do a search on LinkedIn, the results will show me multiple profiles. They will be divided into:
  • 1st degree (your connections): These are your contacts on LinkedIn.
  • 2nd degree (your connections connection): Your contacts’ contacts on LinkedIn.
  • 3rd degree (your connections connections connection): The contacts you have on LinkedIn, these are their contacts’ contacts.
  • Group members: All the groups that you have joined have members and all those members, you can contact directly.
  • Outside your network: These are the persons whom you can contact if you have their contact information or you are paying for a premium account on LinkedIn.

Use your network
Now you have a large network and what should you use it for? Let us take some examples. First: You are looking for a particular job. You find a person whom you get to know a little and you ask him to put in a good word for you. Second: Maybe you want to sell a product on B2B-market so you can find customers on LinkedIn. Third: You are looking for a new employee and will find a better match through LinkedIn. You get the point, right? :-)

Profile picture
No, not your profile picture on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. It has to be a professional picture, preferably a picture for the purpose of using it on LinkedIn. You will find “a few” advices for your profile picture.
  • First and foremost the picture has to be of you!
  • You are smiling, so you do not scare people. You can show your teeth.
  • Get your whole face, so people can recognize you. 
  • Do not look away from your profiles text as it expresses uncertainty. 
  • Do not show us your new weekend outfit, we do not really care. Do not show more than your shoulders.
  • Save your selfies for Facebook.
  • No pets!
  • No cigarettes in your mouth or anything like that.
  • No piercings.
If you click into my LinkedIn profile you will see that I use the same profile picture on all the social media which I am on. It is simply because I would like you guys to be able to recognize my profiles.

Last but not least, it is a great idea to keep your profile updated. You never know when you might need it.

If you follow these tips, you should be pretty good going on LinkedIn. Do you want to be my contact on LinkedIn? You can just add me here: Hafsa Farooq.

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