[06.20.13]
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6 Reasons To Embrace LinkedIn

This is a guest blog post by Mark Lynch about why it’s important to embrace LinkedIn.

LinkedIn, Call To Action, Connect, Work Samples, Be Active, Portfolio

With only 30 connections and generic profile in January 2011, I looked at LinkedIn like most people; not really sure what to do with it. What is it? Where do I start?

What does it mean to embrace LinkedIn?

Fast forward to today any with 5,000+ first degree connections, I not only have found my passion of helping others on LinkedIn, I have developed solid business relationships with people all over the world.

I did this one step at a time and still learn new things every day. You can do the same by taking an approach of building your online presence in ‘chunks’ or steps one at a time at your own pace.

By taking just a little time every day or two, you will start to accumulate a larger network and start carving out your own niche of expertise! The flip side is, if frustrated and overwhelmed, you most likely will do nothing. No activity = no results! So just start anywhere and it will pay off quicker than you think!

Here are 6 ways to embrace LinkedIn.

And to effectively start building a network and your uniqueness on LinkedIn.

Why?

With 8,000 searches per minute, someone is looking for exactly what you do right now!

1. Connect

Grow your 1st degree connections by asking colleagues, getting business cards of folks you meet, through groups you belong to on LinkedIn and more. The goal is to grow your 2nd degree connection base as that is the number of people who can find you (and connect with you). Example: If you connect with 10 new people, your 2nd degree network will expand by the amount of connections each of the new 10 people have.

2. Be Active

The more you engage, the more you can get back. What I mean is if you build trust and credibility by sharing relevant content, engage in group discussions or post updates to your connections that isn’t too “spammy” or “salesy”, you will attract the exact audience you want. Secret! LinkedIn actually takes in to account ‘activity’ when ranking your profile for SEO purposes. 3-5 times per week is more than enough.

3. Call To Action

Use your summary as your call to action area. You have 2,000 characters of real estate to tell visitors what makes you (or business) unique. Please don’t forget to include a call to action! Tell them what to do next like “Connect with me” / “Visit our website” / Sign up for newsletter”, etc.

4. Portfolio

Think of your profile as a portfolio of your work and showcase what and how you can help others. Go to edit profile, and when you see a small box with a ‘+’ next to it, click that and it will allow you to upload any URL. This can include a website, a blog post, a YouTube video and more. Not only does it help you stand out, it also creates a colorful thumbnail to further enhance your profile from a visual perspective.

5. Add Work Samples

Under the new feature ‘Publications’ or ‘Projects’ you are able to add work samples. If you provided a seminar or speech for an organization, add your details into the Projects section. If you’ve posted an article to another website, include the link in the Publications section. Once again, it builds credibility and helps you set yourself apart from the crowd.

6. Why Are You On LinkedIn?

Understand and think about why you are on LinkedIn. What makes you unique? Once you can articulate that, be consistent in all the above examples. Use the same keywords that make sense for your brand or industry. The more specific you can get, the better. If stuck, visit competitor profiles for reference and keyword ideas. Claim your niche and own it!

So it’s time to embrace LinkedIn. What niche will you claim?

Thanks TheSeafarer for the great photo via Flickr.


Written by: Mark Lynch
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Categories: Using Social Media

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