I love being a part of so many wonderful groups, clubs, and organizations. I get to learn from a variety of people and have a pretty solid network by regularly participating in events with each organization.
Recently in my Toastmaster Strip View Speakers club meeting Brian Rice (@iambrianrice) shared LinkedIn 101 tips. His speech was a shorter version (just 7 minutes) that he pared down from a longer speech of about 90 minutes. The short version made me wish I had been at the event he shared the longer speech!
Brian shared great tips that anyone using the free version of LinkedIn can do to use this tool and expand and maintain their network online.
Here are Brian’s tips:
- Use the free account! You can have a network of 500+ connections and still be using the free version adequately. (I do!)
- Use an e-mail account you own. If you have an email you don’t own tied to your LinkedIn account and leave your job unexpectedly you will lose that network on LinkedIn you worked so hard to build. (Not to mention it doesn’t look very professional to have to keep requesting the same contacts each time your employment status changes).
- Fill out your profile to 100% completeness! You shouldn’t have anything to hide here.
- Use a professional picture that represents you and/or your work. (I personally have witnessed photos where I can’t tell if the person is wearing a strapless top or nothing at all – this doesn’t equal professional to me).
- Use the feature “other” when inputting your company website in lieu of My Company – then you can personalize and actually put your company name!
- Make recommendations. What a great way to share your feelings about those you have experience working with and for them to do the same!
- Use outside apps to even further enhance your experience with LinkedIn! (Like connecting your Twitter, LinkedIn accounts or the SlideShare app).
- Belong to several groups that are relevant to you. (I would add, and participate in those groups)!
- Provide an active profile with regular updates. (Not all status updates but adding connections and other account activity count here as well).
- Answers – use this section of LinkedIn and become an expert in your field by answering questions others have. Other users vote on how helpful your answers are which eventually ranks you and your knowledge in this area.