But much like a job search, you have to put the effort in when it comes to growth and opportunity; if we all worked on our profiles in the same way we do our Facebook or Twitter pages, we could reap the rewards of the business world sooner than we may think.
There are some superb ways to cultivate growth through LinkedIn. We caught up with our social media expert, Alex McCann from AltrinchamHQ, to give you some tips on how to get your network prospering in no time. Check out his video below and read the rest of the article for some extra advice before you get to work on improving your LinkedIn network.
On LinkedIn, selling yourself is of the utmost importance, so fill up your profile with plenty of detail. Make sure your picture is professional. Something snapped with your friends, or of you at a distance, is unlikely to make the best impression.
Likewise, does your title sum up your job in the appropriate manner and are you really using the space in the summary section to your advantage? Along with all your essential skills, don’t be afraid to inject a little personality into it – just be sure everything’s spell-checked and proofread. Simple and avoidable errors can make all the difference, and will make your profile look sloppy and careless in the long term.
Follow up on the impressions you’ve made during networking and business events by connecting with fellow attendees on LinkedIn as soon as possible, after the event has ended. Not only does it show attentiveness and a desire to progress, you never know who these new connections might be friends with.
In the digital age, nothing rings truer than the old “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” adage. The initial connection could lead to bigger and better opportunities, so be sure to capitalise on your face-to-face time with other people quickly and often.
The standard connection request is all well and good, but it can seem hollow, especially if you’ve already spoken in person to your new connection. If you want to make an impression, go a little further and personalise your message. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter most, and a personalised, direct message shows you’re keen to really get to know the person.
Don’t wait around for them to send the initial request, adding them first is a clear statement of intent, make it obvious why you’ve sent the request, don’t shy away from the fact you want to do business with them.
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After the initial request has been accepted, be sure to follow up with regular, personalised contact with your connections. Don’t be afraid to put the link back in LinkedIn, use it to check in on how people are doing, what they’ve been busy with, and if they have any opportunities you might want to hear about.
A lot of people don’t seem to use LinkedIn’s potential to its fullest. It’s a social network after all, it’s important to connect beyond accepting requests, so be sure to drop people a line when you can.
On Facebook and Twitter, everyone seems to have time to post selfies with their cat or show everyone how well they’re doing in the gym, but when it comes to LinkedIn updates, things can fall by the wayside a little.
If you’ve time to update your other social networks, then you’ve time to update your LinkedIn status too. You might find it’s less forward than a direct message, but it’s still a superb way of staying in the eye of the people you’ve connected with. Plus, it shows a bit of personality on your part, which is undoubtedly a trait people look for in business.
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