Gordon Brown has this week pledged to spread excellence. And, many Northern Ireland politicians are spreading promises of excellence via Twitter. We shall see. But just think, are you spreading your excellence across the web too? Here are five ways you can use LinkedIn to Set Out Your Manifesto, just like the big boys and girls. Except, they’re not using LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is centred around people you’ve worked with and for. Ask for recommendations.
If you miss this, you’re missing a vital piece of the kit. People buy from people. If you’re selling something, especially where you are the product for hire, personal recommendations are crucial.
- Recruiters, partners and head-hunters often check your qualifications, and it is becoming increasingly common to receive phonecalls and emails from people looking recommendations on others, before they ask them for a meeting.
- Ask for recommendations when you’re at the end of a period of employment or the end of a project with a client. Remember, you can choose which to display publicly on your profile.
Craft your profile carefully. People will read it.
Pay special attention to the keywords you use when describing each past and current position. Highlight achievements and passions.
- Avoid gaps; they create question marks in the minds of those viewing your profile. If you left paid employment for 13 years to raise a family or care for an older relative, then state this. Family Responsibilities/Caring Responsibilities is acceptable. This also applies for those who have left work to enjoy a Sabbatical.
- Employ a copywriter if you feel your writing skills are not concise enough.
Join a group or three, not thirty!
There are so many! Which do I join? Unless you’re setting up or helping to promote a group, set simple criteria for making the decision to join.
Remember the more you join, the more emailed updates you will be trawling through.
- My new rule is, if the group has less than 200 members, I won’t join. Yes, I sometimes break my own rule. But, rules are made to be broken, n’est-ce pas?
- Think whether you’re going to engage with group members or not. If not, it’s only taking up space on your profile. This is like following everyone on Twitter, yet never replying to anyone or asking any questions.
Ask and answer questions.
Do you want to establish yourself as an expert? Ask and answer questions. Begin by answering a few, until you get used to the type of thing people are interested in.
- Don’t poke your nose into marketing unless you’re experienced in that area. Keep on topic, and you will get known as someone who knows stuff.
- This takes a long time, and it must be combined with similar efforts offline, like public speaking, writing articles and papers, or informative emails, for example.
- And, don’t forget to answer messages sent to your inbox! Treat the inbox like your regular email inbox – respond promptly!
Add your Twitter stream.
Update: since this post was written, the facility has been removed (we’ve greyed out the advice for now).
If you use Twitter for professional networking, marketing, market research or sales and support, display your status updates on LinkedIn. You can also use a tool such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite to send one status update to multiple profiles, without having to log into LinkedIn each time.
- Avoid getting into the habit of sending every status update to every network; those who belong to lots of networks soon tire of seeing your update multiple times. Choose what you want to use LinkedIn for, and tailor the status updates you send there to this goal.
- An advantage is that those on LinkedIn who prefer Twitter have an alternative way to keep in touch with you. And, your Twitter profile may supply a different angle on what you do.
LinkedIn may seem like a stolid, static social network profile option. It doesn’t have to be so static, however, by employing these simple strategies. Keeping it fluid and up to date is the key to being remembered and found. When people go searching for your profile, your name is not too far down their Updates list.
- Monday, at 15:05pm, when this post was written, my name appeared first on Google in a search for my name. The first result was my LinkedIn profile.
This is type of the result you want! Just make sure that when people find you, your profile draws them in!
Image credit: Coletivo Mambembe.