At long last, the fourth and last installment of our LinkedIn Profile Best Practices series. We’ve talked about completeness, concise summaries, tired buzzwords, photos, links, portfolio samples, adding keywords for LinkedIn search, headlines, recommendations, and company pages. Allrighty, now for the final five LinkedIn Profile best practices:
11. Add Contacts
It’s common for our business contacts, colleagues and prospects to change jobs. It can be a hassle to keep emails and other contact information current. That’s why LinkedIn is a powerful business tool. You’ve probably added many of your contacts. The trick is to keep adding to your network. I often get the question “I don’t know this person; should I add them to my LinkedIn connections?” My answer is “it depends.” How you use your LinkedIn profile and network is a philosophical question, where there is no black and white answer.
Only you can decide what works for your business situation. Will you be a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) or not.? It’s best to establish criteria about who you’ll add to your LinkedIn network. Limiting your connections means you are limiting your reach and influence. Whatever you decide, a best practice is to regularly add to your network. When you do connect, use the “Notes” area to jot down how you met. It’s a handy place to put important information about your in-person or LinkedIn interactions.
12. Join Groups & Engage in Conversations
Groups are a great way to connect with others who share the same interest or where your prospects hang out. Joining 50 groups may be tempting, but probably won’t serve you in the long run. Choose which groups best fit your business goals. Then listen to the conversations/discussions. When you’re ready to join in, post a response to an existing thread. Once you’re comfortable with the group, post a question for the group. Note: blasting out your latest blog post isn’t interesting or provocative. Many group moderators have strict rules about posting guidelines. Shameless prospecting can turn people off and get you kicked out of the group.
13. Contact Info
Once you are connected with someone, they can view your contact information in your LinkedIn profile. By the way, keywords in the contact section are ignored by LI search. Be sure to include your email address and phone number. The point here is to make it easy for people to reach you. You’ve already distribute this information on your business card and website; don’t make folks jump unnecessary hurdles to reach out to you. Yes, even sales people can be good connections as they actively broaden their network and may be able to refer you. There’s a place “In the Additional Info” section on “Advice for Contacting…” This is yet another place to include your phone number, email and include suggestions on how people should communicate with you.
14. Consistency Across Social Media Networks
Building brand recognition requires consistency across all channels. The logo you have on your website should be reflected on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc… If a prospect is checking you out, they may look at various mediums. Do a quick audit of your social media profiles. Do they say similar things? Is your message appropriate for the specific social media audience? Once everything is in order, update your LinkedIn profile to include the latest social media links.
15. LinkedIn Profile Reflects Your Evolution
Your LinkedIn profile should keep pace with your experience. I recommend that my clients review their profiles at least every 6 months to make sure the information included is still relevant and current. Plan on a summary overhaul once every 12-18 months.
We covered a lot of ground in this four-part LinkedIn profile series? What would you add to my 15 tips?
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