LinkedIn is a social network specifically designed for career and business professionals to connect. It is the world's largest professional network available on the internet. LinkedIn can be used to find the right job or internship, connect and strengthen professional relationships. It is ideal for building connections of the freelance works, creating a customer base, finding potential partners for business or simply to keep job prospects open. Looking at the immense benefits, if you want to make the most of your presence on LinkedIn, you need to keep the following things in your mind:
It is always better to have a plan before you dive into using the social media platform which is the key to effective time management. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, then you’re simply wasting time and would think that it won’t work if you don’t get any final results. You’ll surely find here a plan for making the most of your time on LinkedIn in order to stay visible and which would build your network, nurture contacts and find you new opportunities.
You should start by defining your main objectives for using LinkedIn. Work out on who you might find on this platform. What you want them to know about you and your business? What information and insights you want to discover? Although, LinkedIn is seen as a tool for recruitment, but it creates many more opportunities and benefits for the business professional. To name a few, LinkedIn can
Once you clearly know what you want to achieve, then you have to do some research to confirm that LinkedIn is the best platform to help you, if you’re looking to develop new business or ask your existing customers whether they’re active on LinkedIn. Moreover, it can be used to find out what’s happening in the industry, for a search to find relevant companies and the key contacts and also to check out how much they are active on LinkedIn.
If you find a LinkedIn profile which interests you, then scroll to the Activity section. If there’s no Activity section, it means the profile is inactive and this person isn’t liking, commenting, sharing or posting any content. You need to move on from this profile because you’re unlikely to achieve any engagement or value from such inactive profile. On the other hand, if the person has an Activity section on their bio, click on see all to view their articles, posts, and documents shared. You can see what content they’re engaging with on the All Activity tab and use that to start a meaningful chat.
Before you consider using the LinkedIn platform, please make sure you’re ready for business. You should have your LinkedIn profile set up and fully optimized to be informative and relevant to the audiences you want to speak to. Often, the LinkedIn profiles are incomplete and a cut, copy and paste of a CV or the résumé. A CV/résumé is a historical career document, which is perfect for seeking a job, but it’s not so relevant if you’re in a current role with a business development objective in mind. Potential customers don’t want to know that you’re the top salesperson and an accomplished new business hunter. They want to know how you and your business can help them so make sure your LinkedIn profile conveys the message correctly. Getting noticed and then making the right impression is the first step towards achieving any objective on LinkedIn, so you have to ensure that your LinkedIn profile has an All-Star strength and updated with all the information relevant to your intended viewers.
A LinkedIn All-Star profile has:
Building your network on LinkedIn should be a part of your regular activity on LinkedIn. Be it following up with the people you’ve met earlier (adding them to your LinkedIn network), searching for new people to connect with or managing your invitations. This is critical for your business. When you send connection requests, always personalize your invitation. Keep reminding people how you’ve met or let them know why connecting with you is of interest for them. They must know about what’s in it for them, not just what’s in it for you.
If you receive a connection request which doesn’t include a message, send a message to find out why they want to connect with you. To send a message, go to the My Network tab on a desktop device and click See All next to the Invitations. On the next screen, you’ll see a blue Message link with each connection request. Click this link to send a message to that person. If you’re a premium LinkedIn user with full access to the details of people viewing your profile, you could also make this part of your weekly plan. View and send messages regularly to build and nurture relationships.
LinkedIn is not as fast moving as the other social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter etc., so you’re unlikely to miss too much if you’re not logged in round the clock. Further, if your activity is focused, you’ll be able to head straight to what you need to achieve your objectives when you log in. If you can log into LinkedIn daily, then it’s great. But, even if it’s just once or twice a week, that’s fine too.
Many business professionals make a huge mistake—with both online and offline networking i.e being highly active when they’re not so busy and disappear into work as soon as a project appears. This yo-yo activity will make everything harder. Inculcate the habit of using LinkedIn regularly and stay visible when your network needs you or refer details of you and your services to someone else who needs it. Look at your schedule and plan specific times when you can use LinkedIn to achieve your objectives. When you start to see results, you’ll want to spend more time on this platform. However, remember that consistency is the most important factor in building awareness and trust with your network.
When you create your own posts, you’ll be able to see the number of views it receives in the feed. And when you click on the graph icon, you’ll see the companies that those viewers work for, their job titles, and locations. This is valuable insight into whether you’re achieving your objectives by reaching the right people with your content. The added benefit of sharing your own content on LinkedIn is the data that becomes available.
Some people share content daily, some weekly and some perhaps not very frequently. This is where it’s important to be consistent and have a plan which works for you and your business. Post whenever you have something relevant and interesting for your audience. Don’t post just because you think you want to cross the task off your to do list.
Here are some ideas for short updates you could post on LinkedIn:
Don’t forget to encourage engagement by asking for feedback or comments at the end of your post. The more people react, comment, or share your content, the more visible you’ll be on LinkedIn. In turn, you’ll receive more profile views, which is another opportunity to start a conversation.
When you’re spending time on LinkedIn, then you also need to know that your the time is well spent or not. If you’re clear on your objectives, you can use your personal LinkedIn dashboard to analyze and measure your success. Every LinkedIn profile has a Your Dashboard section that provides data about its visibility on the platform over time. This data includes:
To find your dashboard on both desktop and mobile—look at the top of your LinkedIn profile, below the About section. Kindly note that your dashboard is private to you only; no one else can access or view this information.
In order to stay visible on the LinkedIn to build networks, nurture contacts and find new opportunities make a daily or a weekly plan and follow it diligently.
It takes not more than 10 minutes a day only or with a longer batch of 30 minutes a week only and only some extra time, as required to write some content for sharing.