Here’s the good news: the internet is here! Here’s the bad news: the internet is here! With Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so many other websites out there, it is very easy to be found. If you are a company, this can be an important part of your marketing, operations, and strategic management. But, guess what? If you aren’t managing your online presence, it can dictate how you are perceived and how potential clients are making decisions to buy your products or services.

How Do You Show Up?

Let me just say, I have many amazing clients, but I am, often, frustrated that their “amazing-ness” gets lost in translation on LinkedIn. Because they aren’t highlighting their strengths and promoting their differentiated value, they disappear into the masses. This week, I have put together “The Top 5 Best Practices for Using LinkedIn”. Creating a profile that you love will not only help you feel more in control of your reputation, and it will create the right impression on your audience.

“The Top 5 Best Practices for Using LinkedIn”

1. Turn Off Your Notifications

If you are making lots of edits, changes, and/or additions to your LinkedIn profile, you may want to consider turning off the notification system that tells everyone what is going on in your career. For example, I have seen clients who add information to a current job, and a notification gets sent to their community, stating that they have a new job. This can not only be detrimental to your reputation with your existing company, but it can also cause confusion among your friends, followers, or fans. Sometimes you may want to send an update, just be thoughtful about when to use it.

How do you turn off notifications? Once you are logged in, hover over your profile photo in the top right. Click on privacy and settings, and under Privacy Controls, click on “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts”. Voila!

2. Know Your Reputation Strategy

When thinking about how you will manage your reputation, you need to think about how you will use LinkedIn. Key questions to ask include: how do you want to position yourself, who is looking for you, and who do you want to find you. The answers to these vital questions will determine which key words, descriptions, and results you want to highlight.

3. You Are NOT Your Job

You are not your job. You are a person. Please, please, please update your header! Your header appears below your name. Please, do not have it just say your current role. Your current role is not your brand – it’s just what you are doing right now. Instead, mix your role with strengths, and you will create the understanding of who you are as a brand. For example, instead of writing that you are a “Brand Manager”, write “Brand Strategy | Marketing Strategy | Partnership Programs”, if you are, in fact, in charge of the brand and marketing strategy for partners at your current company. By tweaking the language, you can differentiate your value and stand out from other Brand Managers out there.

4. Choose Your Words Carefully

When describing yourself and your results, make sure you choose words that highlight what is unique about you. Most people might say they are team players, but the reality is that these buzz words don’t carry the weight they used to carry. Choose words that really resonate with you and highlight your “superpower”– what people will experience when they work with you. These strengths should show up throughout your job descriptions, title, and recommendations.

5. Grow & Nurture Your Network

LinkedIn is a great tool to manage relationships and build new ones. Getting to the magic 500+ hurdle is a BIG DEAL!. That said, I recommend you only invite people you know and accept invitations from people you would want in your network. Your network is valuable and took time to build — try not to dilute it by letting everyone into it.

Share with us! Do you have any best practices that make a real impact for you or your company? Check out Part 2 of 3 here.

More to come between now and Valentine’s. Remember to Love Your Brand!