In our last blog, we outlined “Steps 6-10: Boosting Visibility” using LinkedIn. Today, we’d like to focus on the last few critical steps you can take in managing your LinkedIn profile and building your network. The last 5 recommendations focus on leveraging your existing LinkedIn relationships and managing new ones.
Steps 11-15: Ongoing Maintenance
11. Ask for Recommendations
LinkedIn Recommendations are a great way for your current or past colleagues, clients, or employers to recognize your professional devotion, convey your value, or describe your
strengths. Their recommendations can help “sell” you to prospective employers or clients. Typically, if you write a recommendation for someone else, they will reciprocate and write one for you. However, if you are in a hurry and want to “beef” up your profile or provide solid examples for a prospective viewer, go ahead and ask for a recommendation. Just politely send a note to the person asking if they would mind writing your recommendation. Once you get over 10 recommendations for a given role, your LinkedIn profile starts to get more attention. Your journey to boosting your visibility will be off to a great start!
12. Reciprocity – Write Impactful Recommendations
Please whatever you do, don’t let the recommendation cycle end with yours. It’s all about reciprocity! Think through your professional relationships and brainstorm the people who have really played an important role in your career or done something worth identifying. Ask the person if they would mind if you wrote a recommendation. Chances are, they will be thrilled you asked. Once approved, get going! We recommend you write something that is clear, provides concrete facts or examples, and illustrates how that person added value to a project. Believe me, doing good for someone else goes a long way!
13. Add Projects (Not Just Jobs)
Your LinkedIn page has the ability to call out not only jobs, but also projects, so list that Canned Food Drive you organized or volunteer effort you led or anything else that may be worth highlighting. Did you host a luncheon? Organize a corporate event? Launch a new initiative? Projects can be a great way to share a skill or value that you brought to an organization and can even show that you went above and beyond the demands of that
14. Content Strategy – Please Have One!
When you post on LinkedIn, as a person or a company, think about what you are posting and if it is aligned to your brand. The more you can share a consistent type of content, the more
it will help portray you as a “go to” person on those topics. Post and share topics that are relevant, helpful and consistent with your brand. Are you a corporate caterer? Post great recipes or nutritional information. Do you help clients get out of debt? Write a series of articles on the best ways to pay off debt fast. You get the point!
15. Contact and Manage Your LinkedIn Network
Your LinkedIn network is precious, so take good care of it. Email and congratulate people when you see exciting news about them. A great resource is Newsle.com – it identifies when your friends or colleagues make news, so you can be one of the first to recognize their accomplishments. Here’s a useful exercise: break your network into small groups. Every month, email a select group with a given topic or request to remind them of the great work you are doing. Work your way through your list, one group at a time, until you get through all of your contacts. This exercise can really set you apart from your competitors.
Follow these steps and you are sure to have a solid, branded reputation on LinkedIn. Good luck!