LinkedIn has always had the reputation as being the more serious of social media channels and indeed it is a highly effective platform for building both a professional network and personal brand. There’s huge value in this. It’s a way to discover new technologies, learn about what’s happening in the broader industry and connect with other professionals. We share some best practices to leverage LinkedIn to progress your career.
- Personal over polished
For those just starting out, overthinking what to post can hold you back. There is the perception that a post has to be perfect in order to get any traction. Of course grammar and punctuation matter, but perfect wordsmithing shouldn’t be your goal. Authenticity matters more. Social media is flooded with content and the vast majority of it is generic and uninspiring. The posts that stand out are the ones that tell a genuine story based on personal experience or perspective. When thinking about how to write about a topic, don’t think about what will impress your network. Instead discuss it as you would with friends or colleagues as if you were having a casual conversation over a cup of tea. That way it becomes easier to write and the end result will be more engaging.
- Start small
LinkedIn focusses on engagement as a core driver for deciding which posts gain more exposure. If your goal is to expand your reach and connections on LinkedIn, start out by commenting on industry related posts rather than writing lengthy articles. The articles have value, but they will take longer to gain traction, whereas comments can get you immediate exposure to a much broader audience.
- Update your profile
Typically, when people read your comment and you’re someone they don’t know, the first thing they’ll do is view your profile. If they like what they read, they’re more likely to respond to the comment, follow you, or send a connection request. Rather than be a copy of your CV, your profile should describe what value you deliver – i.e. how you can help other professionals or businesses, as well as your career passions and personal interests. Share a bit about yourself. It’s uniqueness that make profiles more interesting.
LinkedIn can be a very valuable tool to build your professional network. Don’t overthink it, just get started, keeping these three basic tips in mind, and you’ll soon find it easier to engage more and build your network.