If you’re part of the professional world and do any sort of networking, then you likely already have a LinkedIn or are considering starting one, which you should. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with other professionals in your field or one in which you are passionate.
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About Our Guest:
VP of Growth Strategy - Double A Solutions
Adam Latham is the VP of Growth Strategy at Double A Solutions and not only is he one of the piloting forces of growth for our company, but he’s been working since the beginning to build and connect with his network through LinkedIn.
LinkedIn was always as robust and interactive as it is today. It’s always developing and evolving to meet its community’s needs and wants, much like all of the successful platforms today. Adam was on board, even in the early days, and the result is a network of over 11,000 valuable connections from all over.
Establish a Purpose
It is often that we create profiles without first establishing our “why.” Think of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok. I’m not talking about your business or artsy accounts. I’m talking about those that represent just you.
LinkedIn is different in that it is more directly tied to your professional life and, while the profile still a personal one, the people on LinkedIn are there for specific reasons. So what is your purpose for being on LinkedIn?
Are you recruiting? Do you want to be recruited? Are you in sales or marketing? Are you looking to expand your network in your chosen field? Whatever the reason, build your profile with the people you want to connect to in mind.
Pull Your Profile Together
Once you’ve established a purpose, it’s time to pull your profile together. If you have an existing profile, start by making sure all the information you have displayed is up to date and that you have provided ample description wherever applicable.
Next, make sure that you’ve completed all aspects of your profile. Some of these include:
- Profile image: Think clean and simple. Make sure the picture is easily recognizable as you. I have an entire article on good profile images on my own LinkedIn profile called Tips to Elevate Your Professional Headshot that should help.
- Cover image: Your cover image should be a clean image that represents either you, the brand you work with or the type of work you do. Think again of your purpose. Canva has many free or premium templates to help you get started.
- Header: This is the brief description at the top of your profile, right under your name. Make sure this is relevant both to who you are and your target network. Many people state their position and company, others list the type of work they do and others are different still.
- Work History: The great thing about LinkedIn is that you’re not pressured to keep it to one page! You can make your work history as detailed or simple as you want, but Adam recommends putting more in your LinkedIn than what you’re able to fit on your resume.
- Academic History and Certifications: Generally high school degrees aren’t included once you’ve acquired your first college degree since it then becomes assumed, but this is a way to connect to other alumni from your old school and boost the certifications and degrees you have.
- About: This is the part that falls just above your work history and where you can fill in more information about what you do and who you are. I like to put something about the podcasts I work on and our current seasons, but depending on your job you may include product/service information and more about what sets you apart from your peers.
- Recommendations: One of the least talked about areas of LinkedIn, in my experience, recommendations are a little further down your profile but a great opportunity to put the words of others who have worked with you on display on your profile and showcase your skill.
There is more to your profile than this, but these are some of the most noticeable aspects that you should make sure are filled out when you finalize your profile.
Time to Engage
You won’t build your network and accomplish your goals on LinkedIn by simply creating a profile. You must also connect to the people in your network by creating posts, reacting to others’ posts, and participating in the comments.
You should be posting thought-provoking posts at least once a week, if not more. Original posts (rather than shared content) with others tagged and a few related hashtags increase the chances of reaching more of your network. If you are going to share posts, Adam recommends only doing so if you can add to the post, rather than just reposting it.
You can use posts to sell, recruit, or evening just to share information that is relevant to your industry or that your audience could find interesting.
When commenting below someone else’s post, make sure that you can somehow add to the conversation or offer supporting comments for the post. Frequent engagement will introduce you to more contacts and allow you to learn more from your chosen industry.
Just remember that any engagement or activity that you do on LinkedIn also shows up on your profile, even just liking a post. If you spread negativity, support negativity, or interact with something slanderous to your company or others that will also show up on your profile. This feature is one you can essentially hide your activity from others, but the less open and transparent you are, the fewer people may want to connect or engage your profile.
LinkedIn has a lot of features that could benefit you and integrates with many software to help you follow up with contacts and/or better find people to connect with. There are also premium upgrades you can invest in if you’re hoping to take your activity to the next level and they’re specific to whatever your goals may be.
Adam and I talked in more specifics about how you can grow your profile, track your progress, and more in our podcast episode, so I encourage you to take a listen.