Unlocking the Power of LinkedIn Networking in Minutes a Day
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful professional networking tools you can use. No other platform allows you to network for business or career opportunities in one easy to use place. At Resume to Interviews we have helped many clients network by using LinkedIn for a few minutes each day to prospect for sales or career opportunities. Here are a few easy steps that will help you unlock the power of LinkedIn;
The first step to maximizing the networking power of LinkedIn is to have a profile that clearly speaks to who you are as a professional and what you can offer prospective clients and employers. Whether you are looking for clients, partners, or a new job, your profile must be up to date, clear, and concise. It all starts with the summary section which tells people on LinkedIn who you are and what you have to offer.
Next you will want to list all of your job experiences so that others can see the jobs you have had, your accomplishments, and the skills you have acquired. This helps prospective clients and employers understand if you are a good fit for their needs.
Your educational background and certifications will come next. Many people forget to list all of their certifications so make sure you do not miss this step. Once this step is done you will need to list all of your skills and have others endorse you for those skills. This is a great opportunity to use your network to help you build credibility since you can have many endorsements for the skills you are trying to emphasize. The skills that you are listing and being endorsed for are the same skills you should be emphasizing in your job descriptions.
It’s all about a consistent message on LinkedIn because you need to remember that not only are you looking for potential opportunities but others are looking for people like you to fill job openings or to buy products and services from.
Now that your LinkedIn profile is complete, concise and emphasizing your key skills and accomplishments, you need to get out there and connect with as many people as you can and build your network. Starting with friends and acquaintances is a great first step to building your network and reconnecting with people you might have lost touch with. LinkedIn has tools to import your email contacts to make it easier and more efficient to build your network. If you are doing this for just 60 minutes a day, it should take you less than 30 days to get to at least 500+ connections! This number of connections is an important milestone on LinkedIn. It shows others you are serious about using the platform and makes it easier to reach people. Additionally, you should ask for introductions to connections in your network.
Joining groups on LinkedIn is another important step to network with like minded professionals and it instantly creates a common ground to communicate with others in the group. This makes networking easier and more fun since you are interacting with people that have similar interests. Remember that some groups are more active and communicative than others, so monitor the activity in the groups you are in and contribute as often as you can. A great way to contribute is to publish posts and comment on other’s posts. By doing this, your influence and visibility in the group is likely to grow over time.
One of the best steps to build your network on LinkedIn and look for opportunities is to research the company pages on LinkedIn. You can find very good information about a company’s products and services, latest company news, company employees, job opportunities, and more. You can see how you’re connected to each company through your 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections and see statistics on employees, including where they worked before and after the company you are researching. Finally, follow companies you’re interested in to get updates from them on your LinkedIn homepage.
You can accomplish most of these steps using the free LinkedIn platform, but if you want to tap into the full power of LinkedIn, you should look at the different LinkedIn premium solutions. You will pay a monthly fee starting at about $60 per month. You can sign up for a 30 day free trial but we wouldn’t recommend doing this until you have taken advantage of the free product features and really understand what you want to accomplish on LinkedIn. Once you have a specific objective in mind, like finding a new job or new business opportunities, you should start your 30 day trial and take advantage of enhanced features like InMail so you can communicate directly with others on LinkedIn. LinkedIn Premium also gives you the ability to see who has viewed your profile, the ability to narrow job search results using the salary search filter and the ability to apply to a job as a featured applicant. Being a featured applicant moves you to the top of the applicant pool for the job you are applying to. This feature alone is worth the $60 investment.
The time that you invest daily in using the LinkedIn free or premium product will grow exponentially over time and you will see the full power of either solution in about 30 days. Get started now and watch your network grow!