Chances are, if you are a business or a business professional you already have a LinkedIn profile. If you don’t, you want to!
Today, there are more than 300 million people on the platform, building their network and engaging with their audience. It may be “just another social platform” to you, but we highly recommend LinkedIn for every business or business professional.
If you have been on the mobile application recently, you may have been walked through some new steps (or you may have pressed “Skip” a bunch of times!). LinkedIn wanted to take the time to show users what is possible through their service.
If you weren’t prompted, here’s the steps we are referring to:
Step 1: Connect with people you already know
LinkedIn allows you to keep track of what is happening with the people you are connected with. This includes:
- Anniversaries/milestones at a job
- A promotion
- A change of job
- New contact information
Step 2: Connect with people you already know – Part 2
Now, you may be saying “that name sounds familiar!” or “they look familiar!” Don’t worry… LinkedIn understands (and so do we!). As business owners, we network with a lot of people. The social platform tells you how many connections you have in common.
If you click through to their page, you can even see what degree of connection you are (put more simply, how are you connected?). A first degree connection means you are already connected. A second degree connection means you are connected with someone who is connected with them, and so on.
See someone you don’t want to connect with? Simply skip over them.
Step 3: Join groups relative to your industry
Join groups such as Social Media Marketing, TED Talks, etc. LinkedIn has groups for nearly every industry. If you see a group that you are interested in following and want to contribute to, click the same blue plus sign as you did when adding individuals you may know.
Groups are another great opportunity to share your expertise and knowledge. As people post comments or discussions in the group, you have the opportunity to chime in.
Step 4: Follow LinkedIn’s Influencers
Who is it that you look up to? Whose opinions and business decisions do you trust and model your own after?
Also, who within your industry is the go-to person? Who is it that everyone knows and talks about within your specific industry? These will be your LinkedIn Influencers.
Note, however, these people do not appear in the same area that your personal connections appear in. Visitors to your page will see these Influencers at the bottom of your page so choose wisely. Who you follow says a lot about you and your business.
Step 5: Follow the companies you like & value
Not only is this a great way to stay updated with news from your favorite companies, but it also provides a great way to learn! See what they are doing and what is successful. What is being liked or commented on most? What is being completely ignored? See what industry leaders are doing and adapt your strategy to incorporate similar tactics.
If LinkedIn doesn’t give you some recommendations, you can always search for them later!
Step 6: Are you really done?
At this point, it’s a good idea to briefly go back through the above steps – just to make sure. The more well-rounded your network, the more you’ll benefit from being on the platform.
This is also a good excuse to go back and review your profile. Are there sections you need to update? Job descriptions you want to beef up? Contact information that needs updating? Or maybe you have a more recent headshot to add. It’s always a good idea to review your profile every few months to make sure the information is current, accurate, and representing who you are and what you do well.
Step 7: Add your phone number in case you get locked out
Getting locked out of your account can be a hassle, and we recommend utilizing this feature. We all have more accounts, usernames, and passwords than we know what to do with. Having your phone number listed as insurance for accessing your profile will save you the time it might take calling to regain access.
You can also use your phone number to incorporate two-step authentication to your account, making it more secure than just using the usual username/password combo.
Are you using LinkedIn for either yourself or your business? We’d love to connect with you!