In our last blog, we described the “Top 5 Best Practices for Using LinkedIn” in your quest to build a strong, digital presence. Today, we’d like to focus on the next step in managing your LinkedIn profile and building your network.  We’ll start with the next 5 suggestions to help you not only provide depth to your profile, but also continue to focus on growing your network. LinkedIn has tons of value for boosting the visibility of your profile or company to your network, but also to other companies and professional groups.

Steps 6-10: Boosting Visibility

6. Join Meaningful Groups (up to 50)
LinkedIn enables you to follow groups, so you get important company updates, on a periodic basis, from associations, network groups, etc. You name it, there is probably a LinkedIn group for it. When selecting a particular group to join, choose one that is meaningful. One way to assess value is based on the members of the group, the size of the group, the engagement of the group, and the content and relevancy of the group’s discussions. You may try following a group and decide if you want to join in the dialog by sharing articles, blogs, resources, your own company updates, or insights and advice.  Choose groups that may offer you an opportunity to build your credibility as a thought leader or expert in your field.  If you can answer a specific question or offer your expertise in a more casual atmosphere, it is, often, a good first introduction to a company with which you may want to make a connection.

7. Follow Companies You Care About

In addition to joining groups, you can follow a company on LinkedIn, too. Typically, you should follow a company that you like – maybe you are a current customer, you know someone who is a current customer, or you just believe in their brand and want to know what they are doing. Some companies pay attention to their followers as part of their own social media research and customer engagement, so if you are looking for a career shift, consider following certain companies – they may just take notice!

8. Be 3D – Add Photos and Media

It has become very easy to add photos and media to your LinkedIn posts, so consider adding a current professional video you may have done in your current role or a professional photo as part of your LinkedIn strategy. Providing photos and media enable a visual experience that speaks for you.  This strategy is not something that many people leverage, so it can give you a leg up on fellow LinkedIn users as well as help to build your own list of social followers.

9. Use Your Keywords
Many people have taken the StrengthsFinder or StrengthsQuest assessments. If you have a list of your strengths (using one of these assessments) and the related descriptions, they can help you identify your 3 – 5 keywords. Keywords are words that support your job description and also provide personality to you as a professional.  They may be words you use in interviews or your “elevator speech” to new, potential employers or clients. In my case, these words would be strategy, branding, marketing, differentiate, etc. Implementing keywords helps to create consistency in your job descriptions and gives LinkedIn a method to search and identify your profile – this is how you start to build your brand.

10. Re-order Your Content
LinkedIn has a standard default layout they use for building out each professional profile.  While you think this may work for you, chances are it might not. Let me give you an example.  If you are a professor, you may want to list your experience first, and then, you would list your many publications (which you have to add and then move, so it appears in the right order). If you are a student, you might want to start by listing your experience, projects (work you did in school that supports your LinkedIn story), and then, list your education. It is important to think about the order, layout and presentation, so that what is presented shows the skills and strengths most pertinent to your ideal position.

Stay tuned for more great tips!  In the coming days, we will share the last 5 suggestions to create an impactful, strong LinkedIn presence.