Are you in business? Do you need to network? Would you like more work, or better paying work? Okay, let’s get something straight. You don’t need to take a “Marketing on LinkedIn” Webinar to understand these fundamental requirements. Makes me think of a funny line from Scottish comedian, Billy Connolly, “So [explicative] pay attention!” You need to get your house in order on LinkedIn. As they just crossed 200 million users, you can expect them to continue to be THE FORCE in business networking.
1. Where’s Your Photo?
I used to understand seeing the generic human image, maybe in the case of a beautiful woman who didn’t want to get trolled on LinkedIn, but today. Pull it together. Take a picture that looks professional. Or do something fun with your picture in a way that highlights what you do. But don’t be Mr. or Ms. Generic Gray. I never forget a face, but I forget names all the time. If you’ve got no visual reminder…
2. Not Up-to-date?
The truth is Google is your resume. But LinkedIn is the 2nd resume. And your WORD or PDF resume… Well, you’ve probably got to submit it for the massive job database type openings. But for everyone else get your LinkedIn information up-to-date!
3. Your Headline Sucks
You’ve got about six words to catch someone’s attention. Make sure your LinkedIn headline summarizes what you do with concrete role-based words. Things like “Online Marketing Professional,” really mean nothing. And thus they are invisible. We’re all online marketers. This thing called the internet has transformed that title into generic and vanilla. What KIND of online marketing is your specialty? Tell us. Advertise your strengths.
4. Not Networking
You need to work your network. LinkedIn has added this “endorse” thing. Sort of the lazy man’s version of writing a recommendation But it alerts your network you’re alive and still think they are great. So if you don’t want to go out to events, at least network on LinkedIn.
5. Not Endorsing Your Rockstars
There are a few people in your career who were instrumental in getting you on the right path, or keeping you from going down the wrong path. And people who have worked for you, who you’ve worked for, who are now collaborators. Don’t forget to write them a Recommendation. It’s easy. You don’t have to ask for a recommendation back, if they believe in you, it will come back at some point.
6. Not Saying Thank You
Even a simple “Thanks.” Let’s people on your network know you appreciate even the endorsement. Again, any PING (a momentary notification) is a good thing. Keeping your network fresh and up-to-date is hard work. LinkedIn makes it easier. Do say thanks. And give thanks when you can.
7. Not Adding New Connections
Look at the recommended for you links. It’s a good idea to keep adding people to your network. And it’s okay to NETWORK UP, meaning aspire to join with someone above you. Maybe not Michael Dell, but the last VP of a division you were in. They may not know you or remember you NOW, but as they see your professional activities on LinkedIn they will remember you. And when they have a future need for a “Social Media Strategist” for example, you might just get the call.
Do you have other LinkedIn best practices? I’d love to hear them. I’ll add any WINNERS to this list.