When it comes to social networking, many professionals say they don’t have a clue if they are doing it right. And those who do use it don’t always feel that they are getting anything out of it.
The truth is, social networking/media does work. In fact, I received speaking engagements, clients and job leads all from Linked In. How? By following these 5 simple steps.
Step1: Make an eye-catching profile. Believe it or not, your profile is the most important real estate on Linked In. It is (or should be) your mini commercial. Make sure it outlines in a succinct way, what you do, whom you do it for and what results you’ve achieved. You should also keep in mind that your public profile (if you select “full view”) will show up on Google searches. Therefore, you want it to encourage others to seek further information about you and to make a connection.
Step 2: Use keywords throughout your profile. Be sure to use relevant keywords for your industry or profession. Many recruiters and professionals conduct keyword searches. You want to make sure that they find you. A great way to find keywords is to look at the profiles of others who do the same work as you. Check out job postings by recruiters on Linked In and see what terminology they use.
Step 3. Update often. Be sure to update your status often with relevant information. A great way to drive business is to include updates on things you’re working on, when you obtain new business accounts or your recent successes. Whenever a client of mine is successful in obtaining a job due to us working together, I include that in my updates.
Step 4: Don’t be bashful about including your past. The mistake I see often is when new users put only their current company in their profile. By doing so, they limit their ability to connect with people from the past. Be sure to include past companies, education, affiliations, and activities. You will be surprised how much your connections will grow by doing so.
Step 5: Join groups and participate in discussions. It’s worth it to join groups as long as they are relevant, professional and about helping the members. I have joined groups in the past where the members were all trying to sell to each other. I hate that. Instead find groups where the members are about supporting each other. Then get engaged by sharing your expertise. I love helping others solve problems. By doing so, it led to an opportunity to co-author a book!
Big Tip: Be sure to post your photo! There is nothing worse than receiving an invitation to connect by a faceless person.
If you want to obtain the true benefits of Linked In, you must socialize and get involved. Think of it this way, if you went to a networking event and didn’t talk to anyone, would you be surprised when you didn’t gain any new contacts? The same is true with social networking.
Most of us post our information and wait. If only it were that easy. Unfortunately, this tool doesn’t take away the “work” out of networking. However, it does do its job in helping you connect to the world if you so desire.
Check out these other helpful links for tips:
Our monthly guest blogger, Jocelyn Giangrande, is a Marygrove Human Resource Management alumna who not only owns her own company, SASHE, LLC, but has over 15 years of corporate experience. Her career advice and guidance have been featured in Women’s Day, HR Magazine; she is also the author of What’s In Your Sandwich? 10 Surefire Ingredients for Career Success.