Strategic networking online starts with opting to use LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional networking website. If you’re yet to create a profile, it’s time you created one.
Think of your LinkedIn profile as an online CV, and make sure it is up-to-date and relevant to your field. Here are five additional tips for ensuring you are ready to build your strategic networks.
Upload a Quality Photo
Every good LinkedIn profile needs a quality professional photo. Get someone to take a photograph of you or, if you have the means, enlist the help of a photographer to take a headshot. Reach out to local connections and get a recommendation for a professional photographer. That is itself a good icebreaker. Remember, your profile photo is essentially the first image new connections will see of you, so choose well and ensure you stand out in the very busy networking crowd.
Be Industry Specific and Relevant
Use keywords that are relevant to your field or industry in the headline. Browse other profiles of professionals in related positions and make sure you are using similar words to measure up.
Be proud of your achievements, and don’t be shy when listing them.
A LinkedIn profile is more than just an online resume. And remember, no one wants to hear about every job since you left school. Try to keep it focused on your current career path.
Ask for Recommendations
While endorsement of your skills is good, personal recommendations are better as they give an all-round summary of what you are like to work with.
These are direct testimonials from people you have worked with and will help you build your professional profile with proof of your competency and skills.
Interact With Others
Once you have connected with others and have sent some initial invitations, start interacting with their posts and join a group or two.
Share posts which resonate with you and comment where relevant. Always keep your comments helpful and meaningful, and always be polite and positive.
LinkedIn is a great tool for promoting discussions, and groups are a great way to connect with others in your field and with those that form part of your strategic network plan.
Create and Curate Content
While you don’t want to overwhelm your connections with abundant content, adding something new will keep your profile fresh and your profile front of mind.
As a general rule, try this formula to get started – 5 likes – 3 comments – 1 post. Know it’s not the end of the world if, on one week, you put up two posts and another, there are none.
This guide is a great way to get started in building those positive and meaningful connections and developing your network. So, open that browser and get started!