As a business professional you already know that LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site. It has attracted over 120 million members and that number keeps on growing. LinkedIn is a powerful resource that can be used as a means to stay in touch with your valued contacts and also as a way to share ideas, tips and opportunities with a massive network of professionals, like yourself. So to help you make the most of your LinkedIn here’s a little list for you:
Your LinkedIn Do’s and Don’ts
1. DO connect with people that you actually know.
It is very tempting to create your LinkedIn profile and instantly start inviting all kinds of online professionals to join networks. And of course, it can be an excellent way to meet new people, but never neglect your real-life friends. Immediately after you create you awesome profile, start inviting your friends and professional acquaintances to join your network.
I know, I know, you mean well but sending “connect to me” invitations to every profile you come across is rude and annoying. If you want to connect to a specific someone whose profile you have read, then simply send them a Contact request. This allows you to gradually build up a relationship with them, instead of instantly expecting them to Connect and start recommending you to others. It’s less pressure, and you are a lot more likely to make a true contact.
3. DO abide by the Golden Rule.
If you want to reap the benefits of LinkedIn, then you should be willing to help boost other people’s careers as well. If you are sending out invitations to others, then you should also be accepting invitations. It is bad manners to be all take and no give. If you want people to recommend you to others, then never specify in your profile that you won’t act as a request to forward. This is one of the key features that LinkedIn is used for! If you want to be a part of an online professional network, then you should be willing to help others as well as receive help from others.
4. DO clearly express why your request should be accepted.
When you send out invitations, be sure to state exactly why the other party should link up with you. Are you fund-raisers for the same non-profit? Do you know them from college? The average person is pulled in lots of directions throughout the day, so don’t assume that the boy who sat behind you in second grade will instantly remember your name. If there is an opportunity for mutual gain in your connecting, then cut to the chase and say what it is.
5. DON’T let your profile get stale.
If you are too busy to keep your profile current, then don’t bother at all. You are basically selling yourself. If you appear to be too busy or absent-minded to keep your profile up-to-date, others won’t want to engage with you. If your request doesn’t match the information you have on your profile, then you seem unreliable and untrustworthy. Don’t forget, each time you update your profile, you can send that one-click message that your network that informs them of your news! Of course this should be reserved for truly newsworthy events and never abused.
For more LinkedIn marketing tips you may be interested in this free ebook Fatal Linkedin Marketing Mistakes or subscribe to this feed for more articles on using the internet to build your business and your brand.