In social networking (as in real life), the most successful people share information, contribute to others and help out as much as they can. LinkedIn gives you lots of opportunities to do all of these things, and to be recognized for it.
Once you’ve got your LinkedIn profile to All-Star status, and made it awesome by doing the steps in this post and this post, it’s time to network and grow your reputation on the platform. Here are 4 great ways to grow your brand:
1. Sharing Targeted Status Updates: The simplest way to demonstrate that you are a ‘giver’ on LinkedIn is to regularly share information that your industry and colleagues would want to know about.This information could be articles, videos, or pictures. It could be things you’ve created yourself or other people’s work you’ve discovered around the internet. What matters is that you share only relevant information, and you do it consistently. A guideline is to share 3-5 good pieces of good content with your connections every day.
2. Give and Receive Recommendations: If you have LinkedIn connections that you’ve worked with in the past, you can give and receive recommendations with them to boost your brand. A well-written recommendation from a credible LinkedIn connection that highlights your expertise goes a long way to build your desirability.
So how do you get more recommendations? The best way is to give one first! Also, you can contact a connection you’ve worked with and suggest that you ‘swap’ recommendations. A warning here, though: Do not offer to swap recommendations with connections you don’t know or can’t honestly recommend. This will hurt your credibility.
3. Join & Participate in LinkedIn Groups: Bar none, the best no-cost way to grow your reputation and network on LinkedIn is through LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Groups are discussion groups, and there are usually local, national and international groups for almost every profession in the world of work.
Once you’ve joined a few industry-specific Groups, introduce yourself and start participating in the discussions. Your goal here is to be the most helpful, giving member of the group. Share information, answer questions, be grateful to those who help you. Avoid conflict and always seek to enrich the value of the group.
4. Building Influential Connections: If you’re consistently doing the first 3 steps, you’re already starting to attract like-minded connections that could result in your next job.
You may wish to reach out to people you don’t know, but LinkedIn has preferred ways of you growing your network. The easiest ways of connecting with people of influence are through:
- ‘People You May Know’: Found on the top right corner of your home page, this function suggests connections for you based on a number of factors. Click on ‘See More’ for an ever-growing list of people you can connect directly and start networking with.
- LinkedIn Groups: If you’ve had some good conversations with a person in a LinkedIn Group, it’s as simple as hovering over their profile or finding them in the group members list to send them a Private Message and connect with them.
Remember, social media is a chance for you to demonstrate your expertise and build your reputation before you even send someone a resume. Using LinkedIn to grow your brand is simple, takes less than 30 minutes a day and will result in a life-long network. Don’t ignore its power!
(This article has been adapted from GT Hiring Solutions’ Social Media Workshop series. To learn more about our Social Media workshops, contact the ESC nearest you.)