by Jo Saunders

LinkedIn is often disregarded in conversation about social media.  To dismiss this platform is really missing a huge opportunity.  It is the largest professional network and is continuing to grow.

LinkedIn is not as ‘social’ as the likes of Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.  It is more ‘wordy’ with a more formal language and focus.  Where Facebook is fun, sexy and visual, LinkedIn can be seen as boring, dull and disjointed.

I believe that LinkedIn has a place for all in every stage of their career, from the university student, to the graduate, employee, supervisor to CEO, from those who operate their own business to large corporates’ and government.

It has so many uses, from qualifying job candidates, finding industry experts, showcasing your work history, building your expert status, finding clients, suppliers, trainers and coaches to upcoming events, there are so many benefits from using and having a LinkedIn profile.

Top 7 Tips to Leveraging LinkedIn

  1. Make sure you have solid foundations. Create your profile using positive but authentic language, convey a clear message while using the relevant keywords in your niche.
  2. Use a current professional photo to show you in your ‘business shoes’ , i.e. be you on your best day, rather than a happy snap at the pub.
  3. Connect to relevant people in your past, present and future.  Be sure to approach connecting with social etiquette in mind.
  4. Join groups where your network and prospects hang out.  Listen first, then help others before trying to sell.  Build relationships to build trust and become the expert in your niche.
  5. Monitor your account, respond to Messages and Connection requests and  continue to build your network.  Connect to people you meet at events for example.
  6. Post regular updates in line with your strategy.  Your Status Updates may be around current projects you are working on, problems you have encountered, tips with links to your blog or events or articles others may be interested in.  Re-read before posting and put on your ‘Spam Goggles’ to ensure your posts don’t appear ‘spammy’ or ‘salesy’ in your approach. And think about what’s in it for them, what value will your network receive from reading your post.
  7. Pay it forward by always giving credit where due and giving authentic recommendations to those who have helped you, as their client, as their student or possibly as their supplier.  Think outside the box and give without expecting anything in return.

Apply the above 7 tips over the next 3 months and see your network and opportunities grow.

If you need any help or have specific questions, please contact us or head to our Facebook page.

Jo Saunders is the director and creative strategist of Wildfire Social Marketing, a Perth based marketing and events consultancy specialising in social media and online marketing strategy, implementation and support.  We offer training and coaching in the use of LinkedIn and Facebook, to small business and organisations Perth, Western Australia and beyond.  We help you get fired up and found in the social media space, by leveraging social media tools to sell tickets to events, build your profile, increase your brand exposure, grow your business and increase profits. With 20 years’ experience in office management, graphic design marketing and event management, working in person and virtually, Jo brings passion, creativity and innovation to the table.