How to Start Using LinkedIn

December 1, 2015 |

LinkedIn is a powerful tool. Just to put it in context, I’ve had two previous connections speak to me in the last week asking us to pitch on projects. A lot of new social clients come to us wanting basic training for business on the platform, so I thought I’d pen a quick guide on where to start and a few tips to stimulate your personal (and business) brand.

LinkedIn, for the purposes of this post, is split into two elements. A personal profile and a business profile. One is you. One is your brand. Let’s start at the beginning.

When you create a personal profile, or if you have one already, make sure everything is filled in to the best of your ability. Be sure to add a (at least semi) professional profile picture and follow the simple ‘how-to’ that’s part of the platform, which will guide you through best practices in getting everything complete. Be sure to add past jobs and tag yourself with previous companies as you do so, this is a great start in making old connections. If you have a complete profile it makes it much easier for people to connect with you, from old classmates to current and former colleagues.

Like, comment, and share. It stimulates awareness and connections. Showcase your knowledge and your interests. Set yourself apart as a voice in the industry you work in.

Include your profile URL on your business cards and email footers. LinkedIn is the new Rolodex. There’s a ‘Connections’ section, which makes finding folks a lot easier, if you’ve completed all your data. There’s also an ‘Add Connections’ in the drop down where you can use Gmail, Mac Mail or Outlook to look through your contacts to find them by their email addresses. Also keep an eye, if you’re on a desktop device, on the ‘People you may know’ over on the right hand side for further suggestions.

Next, get in there and make contact. Recommend people (not all at once, just one or two each to start, there’s plenty of time) for their key skills. Then write some references (just go to their profiles and it’s all fairly obvious from there). This creates and cements connections and is a great way to put you on people’s radar. If people have an anniversary or you get another notification, comment and like as appropriate. Share your own blog posts and other peoples posts. Take a look at communities.

When you create a business profile (you can do so from HERE) be sure, once again, to fill in everything and tick every box. Make sure all the images are optimised at the sizes they ask for – it’ll look scruffy if you don’t. Post any business news and things that your customers would find interesting, regularly, and be sure to share posted business content to your personal profile as well. Having a company policy of sharing this type of content to personal profiles works really well.

The above advice details the absolute basics of LinkedIn and there’s a lot more to this, but it’s a good start. Foundations are important. Remember to keep sharing and keep under the noses of your key customers. It certainly pays off for us.

If you need to know more, give us a ring about some one to one expert training.