Working remotely and under stay-at-home orders means everyone is online. Being on the internet won’t go away once we’re able to gather in person, which will hopefully be soon! Networking online is critical during this time. The one social media platform dedicated to business and professionals networking is LinkedIn.
Why should you start networking on LinkedIn
For entrepreneurs, those in the C-suite, and management, the platform isn’t just finding clients. It is also an excellent way to connect with colleagues in your field to stay up-to-date on industry trends. This community also comes in handy if you leave your current position and want to transition to something new.
When should you start networking? Just as it’s yesterday in person, so it is on LinkedIn. Don’t wait until you have a problem to start networking. Build your connections and contacts even if you have no intention of going anywhere or doing any content marketing.
Many employees looking for new jobs are on LinkedIn, and you might find the right talent there. You might have colleagues (or follow someone) who write thought-provoking articles that show up in your feed.
If you work in a highly regulated industry, your compliance department probably has some rules about how you can engage on social media channels. We’ll talk about general guidelines for LinkedIn in this post, but it’s good practice to run it through compliance first. Even if it’s not required.
Start with your page. If you have your own business, you can also create a business page. Executives, your company may already have a business page, and you can link it to your profile.
Understanding LinkedIn Networking basics
The platform is free, though you can upgrade to a paid subscription if you like. Management and C-Suite employees will probably get what they need from the free version discussed here.
However, entrepreneurs who run B2B companies may prefer the upgraded version, known as Sales Navigator. The paid subscription makes it much easier to find target clients, and you’re able to message and connect with new people.
Your direct connections are called 1st-degree connections, people such as colleagues and friends. Introductions from your colleagues and friends become your 2nd-degree connections.
You can ask your 1st-degree connection for an introduction or ask the 2nd-degree contact if they would like to interact. Continue to extend your LinkedIn networking power to connect to 3rd-degree connections. LinkedIn doesn’t permit you to directly link to anyone you don’t have a 2nd or 3rd-degree connection.
Optimize Your Linked In Network Profile: Tell Your story
The more you build out your profile, the more visible you’ll be on the platform. The idea is to showcase yourself so people will be interested in getting to know you. Why are you a helpful or valuable connection?
- Use your headshot instead of leaving the picture blank. You can also change the blue banner behind your head. Your company may have a suggested banner, or you can create one for your own business. When you develop your own, make sure it speaks to exactly what you do. And keep it simple.
- The headline shouldn’t just be your title. “Manager” or “VP” doesn’t show off your skills. Instead, write what you do or specialize in specifically.
- Upload your resume to prepopulate things like the places you’ve worked and the schools you attended. Write up your Linked In descriptions to tell a story of your background and accomplishments.
Make sure that you have all your certifications and awards in the proper spots. It’s not bragging when you earned it! Depending on your company, you may accept testimonials or endorsements to feature on your page.
Many business people make the mistake of rewriting their resume in the About section. Don’t do it. This is your opportunity to let people know more about you. What is it about your work that you genuinely enjoy? Think of it more as your mission statement in life and business. What kinds of subjects interest you? What do you like to do for fun?
It’s a great place to spotlight the problems you solve for your clients and how they feel after working with you. Especially for business owners. You can also add in why you chose this particular field. Keep your story at the bottom, so the “What’s In It For Me” for clients and prospects is front and center.
Using the LinkedIn Networking platform
As with other social media channels, the LinkedIn algorithm shows people you might know so that you can confirm connections. These can be eerily accurate or entirely off the mark. The more people you connect to, the better the algorithm gets.
You don’t have to connect to everyone it suggests, but take a look at the person’s profile to decide if you want to reach out or not. Write a short note about why you’re connecting. Remember, it’s networking, so make the note about them, not you.
Once you’ve connected to someone, you’ll be able to see their network. If they are linked to someone you’d like to know. You can ask for a mutual introduction.
You’ll get a feed of the people you connect to and any organizations or groups you follow. You can follow well-known people in your field or a topic (such as “entrepreneurship”) to get those kinds of articles in your feed. It’s also algorithm-based, so who you engage with most shows up more often in your feed.
Interact with the postings, so people get to know you. You can also post articles and posts. Maybe you’ve written them, or else you think they would help the people in your networks.
LinkedIn also has groups, though the posting frequency tends to be much slower than on Facebook. You can join groups with your certification, in your industry, or with similar titles. Most business people can find groups where their clients appear and where referral sources or centers of interest go.
Posting in these groups gets you in front of people that might not be on your feed. Connect with people who engage with you or whose posts you find engaging as well. (Note the focus on engaging, not selling.)
Although it’s business-oriented, it’s also social! Genuine interest responses, thought-provoking comments, or dialogue prompts work well.
Go forth on LinkedIn and prosper!
You can follow us on social media too! Platt Wealth Management is on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. If you’d like to talk about your financial situation, please give us a call at 619.255.9554 or email us to set up an appointment.
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