Still slightly puzzled about how to turn LinkedIn to your advantage? Follow these tips and you’ll lead the pack:
1. Have a clear purpose. Do you want to expand your network inside or outside your industry? Or would you rather work it? And why? Looking for mentors? Trade associations? The more you focus, the better luck you’ll have.
2. Clean up your profile. Would you walk into a sales pitch and tell your prospect you’re job-hunting? Of course not. That would be like saying you have no confidence in your company or its products. Yet, that’s exactly the effect of a LinkedIn profile that sounds like a job application.
3. Pick groups that matter. There are three good reasons to join a group:
- Stay in touch.
- Keep up with an industry or interest.
Use 15-20 minutes a week to weed through your groups and 45 minutes to maintain connections.
4. Use your network. Having 500+ connections doesn’t make you a networker. Every week, identify five connections and send them a brief invitation to catch up by phone. Look for ways you can help them professionally. And when you accept someone’s LinkedIn invitation, scan their profile and suggest a way you can help them. Keep it simple. If an idea doesn’t occur to you right away, move on.
5. Be generous with your time. The Internet has made people distracted and cynical. Once you connect with somebody on LinkedIn, really connect. Be a giver.
Source: Kevin Daum, Inc.