Updated: Aug 29, 2020
LinkedIn Marketing and Operations consultant based in Toronto | Works with LinkedIn networkers around the world every day | Follow Bruce on LinkedIn for useful insights and tips
Want to do more with your LinkedIn?
Gone are those days when you used to put pen to paper to catalogue our career history, skills, experience and achievements. Thanks to social business platform, LinkedIn, the majority of people in business use less paper and display their specialties and career trajectories online.
LinkedIn is a database of circa 590+ million people and 19 million companies (LI stats: July18). Embedded in that database is an active social network of maybe 50 to 60 million people who use it once a week or more often. Understanding these figures is critical to using LinkedIn effectively.
Getting Results on LinkedIn?
There are a few things to consider when creating an account to having an active account on LinkedIn. Here, I will share with you some tips from an article written by a good friend Bruce Johnson, the '7 Basic Things' you can do on LinkedIn. This will help you figure out what you should be doing and what you shouldn't.
The 7 basic “things” you can do on LinkedIn
Use your profile as a reference check - LinkedIn is a great place for people to reference check you. They hear your name, wonder “who is this person?” and immediately go to LinkedIn to find out. In many cases, your LinkedIn profile is the first impression you make with someone else.
Increase your reach - Your reach is how many people are aware of you.
Establish or improve your credibility - Once they are aware of you, you need to establish yourself as a person to be reckoned with, someone who knows what they are talking about, and is knowledgeable in their field. Credibility gets you included when people are considering their options. You want to be on that list.
Be the pointy end of a lead generation programme - You can make offers on LinkedIn and generate leads. I call this the pointy end as usually you need a backend to collect the leads such as a landing page on your website.
Search and find people and companies - Like I said, a searchable database of 550 million people and 19 million companies. Everyone and everything is in that database. You just need to figure out how to find what you need to find.
Research people and companies - Now that you have found them, you need to review the information on LinkedIn and let it help guide your tactics. There's a lot more here than most people think.
Contact people and exchange messages.
Is LinkedIn Actually a Social Network?
LinkedIn is outstanding as a reference check, and for search and research. It is good for credibility and reach. LinkedIn is completely hit and miss for lead generation and for contacting people and exchanging messages.
What do you need LinkedIn for? What are you looking to do?
To answer these questions it is advisable to consider the following;
Ask yourself, "Am I weak or need improvement in any of the seven areas above?"
Do you need to become better known? That's reach.
People have heard of you but don't have much more information? Credibility. Need sales leads? That's reach + credibility
Need prospects? Search + research + contact people.
Select the things on LinkedIn you need to do to help solve your problems. For the areas you selected ask, "do I know how to do these things?"
If you are unhappy with your LinkedIn results, do all of the following:
Figure out the gaps in the results you are getting now | Figure out whether LinkedIn can actually help close those gaps | Get help if you need it.
In short, if you can't say to yourself "I know exactly how to do that, quickly and effectively", get help. And it never hurts to test your knowledge and assumptions about what you can or can't do with someone who knows their stuff. Someone who can teach you how to get better results or to use a LinkedIn feature effectively will both save you time, and help you get better results more quickly. There are lots of people out there who can help you. There are generalists and there are specialists, such as those that work with LinkedIn users on their profiles (my specialties are search, research and how to contact people, so please don't ask me about profiles. I can refer you though).