LinkedIn holds a paradoxical position for many professionals – we know we should use it, but so many of us have accounts that mostly sit stagnant, benefiting no one. In part, this is because LinkedIn is a tool that we don’t understand as well as we should. We set it up just like all of the other vital social media accounts we have, but then what?
It’s time to learn more about some of the overlooked but powerful tools the site has to offer and how to tie your presence across platforms together. These 4 tools can tell those perusing your profile a lot about the skills you have to offer, but you need to invest in your profile as a networking tool.
Are there videos of you at conferences or giving a presentation on YouTube or your company site? Consider embedding the video in your LinkedIn page as an example of your work. Even if you don’t have a formal presentation to offer, making a short introduction can be an excellent way to present your professional face to the world. Text falls flat and it’s hard to make your introduction sound that different from others in your industry, but videos display your personality.
Amplify Your Endorsements
LinkedIn provides plenty of space for you to list your skills, and once you’ve selected them your connections can endorse your knowledge. Make sure you’re listing as many of these skills as you can come up with and even work with your colleagues to make sure others vouch for you.
When it comes to skills, it’s one thing to say you know about “Business Development” and another to have a profile where, like on Kirk Chewning’s page, 79 people endorse your knowledge on this topic. This helps potential clients feel secure about your specialized knowledge and increases their desire to work with you.
Research Your Competition
When you build your LinkedIn page, you share things that you want colleagues and clients to know, but what about your competitors? Many of us don’t consider what our competition can learn from our pages, and that makes them a valuable source of inside information. Don’t ignore accounts belonging to your competition when you’re scrolling through LinkedIn – spend some time on their profiles getting to know them. By researching the competition, you may learn some intriguing things that can give you an advantage.
Connect, Don’t Cold Call
Today, even in business, many people are phone shy. It’s the result of a culture that enables us to communicate in so many other ways, but it also means that potential connections may not pick up or want to engage if you just call up their office. Instead, consider sending them a LinkedIn connection instead. Just as you would do in a cold call, put a little pitch into the first message and see what happens. You may find you have better luck with this networking approach.
LinkedIn may not be our favorite social network, but its focus on business sets it apart from the rest in a powerful way. It’s time to invest in this platform – you’ll quickly see the payoff.