Building a strong LinkedIn network takes time. Scrambling to build a profile and connections when your current position has suddenly become “qualified manager seeking opportunities” is not attractive. I hear this again and again from my speaking audiences– stories of folks who waited too late and then had to scramble.
And if you think LinkedIn really doesn’t matter, know that Pew Research found that 98% of Recruiters and 85% of hiring managers use LinkedIn.
Even if you’re absolutely sure you’ll never need another job again, know that for many professionals, LinkedIn is their go-to tool to see what the folks they are meeting are all about. A strong LinkedIn profile could be the tipping point for landing that board position, or inspiring your current employer to notice the diversity of your background and how your professional point of view is playing in the marketplace.
5 Ways to Become a LinkedIn Ninja
No. LinkedIn is not paying me to promote their site. I’m just worried that many in our LGL tribe have profiles that could use a little Ninja-like magic.
1. Leverage Your Weapons
LinkedIn provides you with all the tools you need to have your very own, completely free, easy to use, personal branding website. Why not?
Most underused tool: Blog posting
Yes. You can write a blog about anything pertaining to your expertise, and upload it to your profile. People read them, and learn about you and something you care about. This is brilliant. I wonder now if I ever would have started my blog if this were an option a few years ago. Even if you’re not considering becoming a blogger, a few well-written points of view will differentiate you from the crowd. P.S. If you’ve done this, add your link to the comments and I’ll help promote.
Second most underused tool: Video
Put on some make-up and brush your hair. Put up a black sheet against your kid’s bedroom wall, and share your professional message. It doesn’t take much to make your profile pop with video.
Ninjas show up strong prepared for battle. They do their homework. Get a great headshot in professional clothes. Take time to flesh out your profile with accomplishments (including % improvement etc), not just actions or job descriptions.
3. Take an Interest in Others
Pick a few salient interest groups and show up, first Ninja like, commenting, sharing information and inviting a few folks with shared interests to connect. Once your “group contribution level” grows, you can start initiating and engaging your own conversations, which I guarantee will draw attention to your message and catalyze new connections.
4. Exert Effort
Consistency is key. Carve out 15 minutes a day a few times a week to show up. Accept invitations, invite a few others. Take the stack of business cards you brought home from the conference and send each an invitation to connect along with something of value (e.g. a link to a great article).
5. Know the Nuances
Take a minute to understand how LinkedIn works. The biggest mistake is not turning “notify your network” to “off” when working on profile changes. If you screw this up, everytime you change a word due to spell check, your crew will be notified. Turn it off, make your changes and then notify them all at once with your spectacular new profile.
That’s a start. I’d love to hear your stories of LinkedIn Success. I envision a day when every LGL subscriber has a rock-star LinkedIn profile serving them well.