Last week, I shared 4 must-have’s for your LinkedIn profile including: a professional photo, a strong headline, an engaging summary, and a detailed skills section. Now that we’ve established a firm foundation for your profile, it’s time for the real magic to happen. Here are three ways to take your LinkedIn efforts to the next level.
Participate in Groups
I recommend joining a mix of professional networking groups and groups that include your target audience. The latter is the tip that I find many business professionals tend to overlook. While there’s a lot of value in engaging with professional development groups, it’s important not to overlook your opportunity to join groups that include your ideal clients. For example, if you’re a real estate agent, it makes sense to join a local group of young professionals, as many first-time home buyers are in that demographic.
Once you join a group, it’s worthwhile to monitor the discussions and contribute your own comments when you have something relevant to share. I often share my content or blog posts when the topic relates to what others in the group are talking about.
Groups also offer the opportunity to connect one-on-one with your target audience, which I’ll explain in the next section.
Use Advanced Search
The advanced search option is a huge gem for LinkedIn. This versatile tool allows a user to search for other LinkedIn members by using parameters such as keywords, titles, industries, geographic locations, and more.
A key trick is to search for connections based not only on these criteria, but also based on people in your LinkedIn groups and those who are connected to others you know. Sending a connection request to those in similar groups is easy because you can use the group as the point of contact (and avoid having to search for their email address, which is often required to connect with someone.)
Once you’ve found someone you want to add to your network, remember that first impressions are lasting impressions. Be sure to personalize your connection message and tell them how you know them or why you want to connect.
Some people like to collect connections like baseball cards, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t preach that value of maintaining these relationships. Consider how you can enhance the connection further by offering something of value – and asking for nothing in return.
By implementing tips like these, you can ensure that your LinkedIn presence becomes much more than simply an online resume.