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While you might think that Linked In is for people looking for work and is the online resume, Linked In is so much more. I often see people who have created a Linked In profile periodically check their profile when they have a bit of free time on their hands and then when something changes in the career, like being made redundant or deciding it is time to start looking for a new job, they start using Linked In frequently. In my opinion, the real value from Linked In comes by building your brand over time.
You don’t have to be in a sales role or looking for a new job to be able to really utilise Linked In. While Linked In is a handy tool as a recruiter one of the things I love most about Linked In is the content that you have access to. Content produced by anyone, at any level, in any organisation. Ordinary people sharing their experiences and opinions. It’s a great tool to assist with professional development and continuous learning.
If you have a Linked In profile and want to build your brand here’s where you should focus your energy:
- Publishing articles
By publishing articles on Linked In – basically what you know as blogging – you have the opportunity to share your content and demonstrate your expertise to the world. It allows you to position yourself as an expert in your field, to show you have an opinion and what you believe/stand for. You can share your knowledge to help educate others. Articles are not just for your connections or followers but can give you exposure to a massive audience. Articles I have posted have been commented on by people all over the world and has created opportunities to deliver online career coaching services in other states of Australia. The exposure you can achieve is huge.
- Sharing, liking, commenting on others posts and articles
This is the best way by far to engage with others and build relationships. It shows you are interested in what others think and have to say and there is some great content out there being shared that will also be of interest to your connections. Regularly engaging with your connections will help keep you front of mind and exposes you to other people to connect with to build your network. If you are in a sales role, sharing, liking and commenting on content allows you to have touch points with your potential customers without always going in for the kill and promoting your product or service. When talking to people at networking events many people say they would like more opportunity to hear what others in their industry are doing, how they have solved similar problems and challenges or what initiatives they are working on. Sharing, liking and commenting on others content is a great way to network online and keep abreast of what other like minded professionals are doing.
- Creating an all-star profile
If you really want to maximise your brand using Linked In it is essential to have an all-star profile. This is the name Linked In gives when you have a complete profile. From a profile picture to detailing your experience and having a summary, Linked In all star profiles have increased access to opportunities. Chipping away at building your connections is also key to building your network. If you’re not ready to connect with someone you can always start by following them. It’s also important to consider your privacy stetting. This really comes down to personal preference and what you want to achieve by using Linked In however if you are trying to build your brand and your connections, having a profile that hardly gives others any info about you is probably not going to work in your favour.
My advice is to take a long term approach to building your brand using Linked In. The time you invest today in sharing others content, publishing articles, maintaining your profile and building your connections will help you reap the rewards in the long run. When you do need to look for that next step in your career or when you want to connect with a like minded professional to see what they are doing in their workplace or you want to leverage that sales opportunity the work you do now to position yourself as an expert in your field will help you achieve your objectives in the future.
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Angela Connor is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource and career coaching companies. She understands the significance of having the right team of people in a business and is passionate about helping business to attract, recruit and engage the right people so those people can inject their talents into the business; creating an environment where they can do great work and love what they do. Find more useful information and advice at www.inspirehq.com.au or by following Angela on LinkedIn.