Everyone has their favorite Social Media Channel. If you’d measure the fame of each, LinkedIn would probably lose this popularity contest. It’s has the reputation of being the “Chamber of Commerce” among the social networks. I often hear “LinkedIn is boring” or “There’s nothing social about LinkedIn”.
Well, I think people who say that, simply don’t use LinkedIn to it’s fullest potential. LinkedIn is the ideal platform for service based entrepreneurs, as long as they know a few rules and make the LinkedIn experience a social one.
9 ways to make your networking on LinkedIn more social
1. Your summary shouldn’t read like a CV: it starts with your summary. I still see many LinkedIn summaries which read like a resume. “Sarah Santacroce is a small business marketing mentor. She helps entrepreneurs… “ Forget that. Own your LinkedIn profile ! Treat it like your “About” page on your website. Use the first person: “I am a small business marketing mentor”.
2. Add some personal info at the bottom of your summary: If you feel comfortable with it, add a few lines of personal information. It makes you more personal & approachable. Here’s what I have on mine:
3. Add a video: you can even add a little welcome video which will play automatically, welcoming visitors to your profile & telling them in a few sentences what you do. Unfortunately there is no option to play it only on demand – it automatically starts playing when people visit your profile. I learned this from the one and only Lewis Howes. Read his article on how to do this.
4. Always personalize your invitations: LinkedIn is kind enough to offer default messages when you invite someone to connect. Thank you, but no thank you. Never, ever use those standard messages. They mean “I don’t care, I don’t even take 30 seconds to personalize this invitation”. So next time, take the time, explain how you’ve met & why you’d like to connect. Not only is there a higher chance that your invitation is accepted, but you will also be remembered more easily.
5. Take initiative: when people send you default invitations, decide whether this person is of value to your network. If yes, then accept their invitation but take initiative & reach out to them. Say something like “Hi Peter, I gladly accept your invitation to connect. Out of curiosity, where did you come across my profile? I look forward to being in touch. Best wishes – Sarah” This way, you establish a first contact & are not only a number in the other person’s network, but a real connection. If you’re not sure which requests to accept, read about My LinkedIn Connection Strategy.
6. Comment on people’s status updates: when you see a status update you find interesting, comment on it. Use people’s first names, thank them for sharing or share their update with your network. It’s a Win-Win: their post gets more visibility because your comment shows up in your network – and your profile gets more visibility because it shows up next to their comment on their network.
7. Reach out to people who viewed your profile: on your home page you have a little box that tells you who’s viewed your LinkedIn profile. Reach out to them, tell them that you have seen that they had a look at your profile & that you had a look at theirs & then invite them to connect. Most of the time people were just too shy to invite you but happily accept your invitation.
8. Add the Amazon Reading list application: if you read a lot, why not share with your network which books you enjoyed most. The Amazon Reading list application is ideal for that. Of course if you have published your own books, don’t forget to add those!
9. Be a connector on LinkedIn. If you know two people who should know each other, introduce them. You can simply send out a message, via LinkedIn, to both of them. “Jane, meet Joe. Joe, meet Jane” and then explain why you are connecting the two. This will always pay back in the long run, but for now you are simply doing a good thing that maybe will help two people…
Now it’s your turn. Which other ways do you use to make the LinkedIn experience more social? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
About the Author
Sarah Santacroce helps small business owners and coaches to find their place in today’s online world, increase their visibility & brand awareness. To find out more about her go to http://www.simplicityadmins.ch/about.