In the last post, we looked at basics of building a profile on Linkedin from scratch.
The steps discussed in the previous post included step one – creating a profile on Linkedin. It talked about how to fill in the headline, summary and completing your profile. Step two was all about further building the profile through engagement and recommendations.
In today’s post, we will see how to take your profile to the next level once you are comfortable with the basics.
STAGE THREE: GET MORE INVOLVED
Before you move on to the third stage, make sure that you’ve been regularly active on Linkedin -posting and commenting – for a few weeks.
Be patient but consistent on Linkedin
You may not have things happening right away – they never do! But things will pick up gradually.
And once you are comfortable with posting and engaging, it is time to take it even further. Here are a few things that’ll really help you get noticed and make the right kind of connections
Follow hashtags: Hashtags have become a big thing across social media. Initially introduced by Twitter, hashtags are a great way to follow the content feed you are interested in. Look up keywords relevant to your industry and find hashtags related to them. Even Linkedin might prompt you to choose hashtags you might like.
You can also choose to follow hashtags so that you’ll easily find them on the left hand bar of your home page as shown below.
As you can see, the recent ones are right on top and the ones followed come below. (The groups you have joined can also now be easily accessed from the same panel) This way you can look them up any time you want without having to search for them every time.
There are 2 advantages to hashtags on Linkedin, apart from helping you keep track of the content of your choice:
1. Engaging actively with the posts in the feed will ensure that you are seen by the people who are interested in that topic. For instance, if you contribute to #HumanResources, you will get noticed by HR and recruitment people helping you find a job (if you are looking for one)
2. Adding relevant hashtags to your posts will also help others notice your content since it’ll show up on their hashtag timeline. For instance, when I posted to #10tips10days on #PublicSpeaking, my content got noticed by people who don’t follow me. (To access all the tips, you can follow me on Linkedin here)
Follow influencers: This is another great thing to do on Linkedin. And also something I started doing recently. It took me a while to get a hang of it but I figured that following influencers gives you easy access to their great content and also keeps you motivated. I follow Richard Branson, Simon Sinek, Tim Urban among others and their posts are not just inspiring but also full of learning. You can also engage with them – remember one word comments or thumbs up doesn’t matter – and if you do it consistently, you might also get a response from one of them. Like hashtags, engagement with influencers also keeps you in the social circles that matter.
Send personalised invites: You may hit “connect” initially but it is a good practice to start sending personal invites – at least to people you’ve personally met at meetings or a prospective client you wish to work with in the future. In the invite, give reference to how you know them and if you haven’t met, refer to something in their profile that prompted you to connect with them. Make it nice and polite. Don’t just bluntly ask for a job right at the start.
For instance: Hello Mike, I can see that you have some great programs in training and I’d like to be connected with you on Linkedin.
Even one line that makes sense in the context will go a long way.
Blog on Pulse: If you want to build a brand for yourself – and not just use Linkedin to get a job – publishing on Pulse is a great idea. Linkedin Pulse is a great substitute to starting one’s own blog. Pulse lets you publish posts and what more! once you publish, your followers are directly notified about your post. So it’s like building a blog on Linkedin without the additional hassle of maintaining a blog and enticing your followers to drive traffic to your blog.
You will need to learn a bit about the basics of blogging and content marketing here. A few questions to begin with are:
1. WHY do you want to blog?
2. What are some of the topics you’d like to write about?
3. Who are you writing for?
4. What is the frequency with which you will post?
As an example, my answers to the above questions are 1. I write to build credibility as a communication trainer and add to my personal brand 2. Topics related to my expertise on skill development 3. My clients – ranging from managers in corporates to students applying for placements 4. Since I have a full fledged blog, I don’t post very regularly on Pulse. But I still have close to 45 articles on it.
To help you get started, here are a few resources:
Continue to be consistent: Once you have built a foundation, you can’t afford to relax and let go. I know this sounds never ending but you can schedule posts and use the phone app to keep up with the timeline. You will have gotten comfortable by now and look forward to interacting with your Linkedin community.
Analyse: This is another thing that struck terror in my heart for the longest time – the analytics of how your posts are doing. For a long time, my aim was to post consistently everyday. I was happy with the views I got and it all ended there. But gradually I realized that that wasn’t enough. Things had changed on Linkedin, hashtags were in and analytics are an important thing to understand. Unless you dive into statistics for your posts, you will not know if something is working or not.
Success depends on doing more of what is working and less of what isn’t.
So look at the number of views. Click the views and check out the people who’ve clicked on your post and where are they located. The free version gives you limited stats but that’s a good start. Figure out what times work best for your content. Although you’ll find a lot of articles online about ideal times, you can always tweak it to fit in with your specific target audience.
Keep up: Another lesson that I have learnt over time. Social media – or the world for that matter – is changing at a rapid rate. When I started my blog in 2014, I combed the internet for hours everyday reading articles about brand building and blogging in the training industry. And I figured once I set everything up, it’ll take care of itself. But sadly, by the end of 2 years, I realised that blogging itself had evolved so much let alone the rules of brand building and content marketing. And by the end of another 2 years last year, I moved my blog to a different domain altogether to enable features that go with the ever decreasing attention span of readers and the increasing popularity of videos.
Linkedin also has been an evolving over the years. It now has a lot more features than it did initially. The key is to explore them one at a time and keep it relevant to your goals. Like I mentioned, you can figure out hashtags first. And then influencers. (or the other way round, whatever suits you) There’s Linkedin Learning, Marketing solutions, Sales Navigator and a lot of other features. Some may be relevant to you, others, not so much. But ensure that you keep up with the changes that happen so that you aren’t left behind.
I have tried to put in all my experience over the years with Linkedin in these 2 posts. Is there something else that you’d like me to add to them? If you have any questions, feel free to put in comments below. If I have enough questions, I’ll write a separate post on it. If not, I’ll answer your questions right here.