How much time and effort do you devote to your LinkedIn profile? Probably not very much. However, LinkedIn is quickly becoming a hot zone for social media again, and it would be worth your time to start paying more attention to it, in my opinion. In this article I’ll discuss 5 reasons why you need to have a better presence on LinkedIn.
I. Recruiters and Employers
LinkedIn has always been a business professional website with a focus on creating a digital resume of sorts for you to showcase your skills to potential employers. When it first launched, however, there was still a huge emphasis on paper resumes and in-person interviews. Nowadays employers and recruiters are constantly combing through potential candidates on LinkedIn, and it’s become one of the biggest headhunting grounds on the internet.
Having a well crafted profile, complete with professional photo, bio information, and qualifications, is a must. Just having a profile isn’t enough these days because you’re not able to set yourself apart. Take advantage of all of the different types of content areas and profile sections that LinkedIn offers and make sure to tailor them to your professional persona. Highlight special skills & certifications that you have, and be sure to add rich media to your profile as well. That ensures that you grab the eye of potential employers and that you stand out above those candidates who just do the minimum.
II. Group Discussions
LinkedIn groups are a great place to network with your peers online, and they’re starting to emerge as a hotbed for finding potential customers and clients as well. I’ve spoken to several professionals who say they’ve gotten more than a few of their latest freelance gigs from LinkedIn, and most of those have come from engaging within a LinkedIn group. Most groups are public, so just click to join and start chatting it up. At the very least, it’s a great place to share your ideas & expertise and become a bigger voice in your chosen community. Take advantage of it!
III. LinkedIn Influencers
My favorite new feature of LinkedIn is the addition of the Influencer content. LinkedIn Influencers are a select group of high-powered & well-known thought leaders from around the world who write articles and share them on LinkedIn. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading the material of people like Mark Cuban, Richard Branson, and even Martha Stewart (don’t judge me). The influencer page is part of my daily reading material, and it’d be a good idea for you to participate by reading, commenting on, and sharing that material as well.
IV. Increased Profile Enhancements
If you take online classes at places like lynda.com, then you’ll love some of the new profile features that LinkedIn has implemented. Recently they announced that they’re partnering with lynda.com, EdX, Coursera, Pearson, Skillsoft, Udacity, and Udemy by adding the ability for you to share your certifficates of completion for various online courses and adding them to your profile as a certification. This is huge for people who may not be classically trained or hold degrees in certain areas, but have taken classes to increase their marketability. This new system allows you to showcase your accomplishment much the same way you would a college degree, which just adds to your attractiveness when it comes to potential employers.
V. Great Way to Drive Traffic
With LinkedIn increasing its emphasis on sharing content, it is becoming a great way for you to drive traffic to your website or blog. As I said earlier, I use LinkedIn as one of my main news sources, and many others seem to be doing the same. This means you have an opportunity to put your content in front of more people and (hopefully) drive more traffic to your site(s). The good news for content creators is that right now there aren’t many people using LinkedIn as their primary broadcast platform. That means that you have a better chance to rise above the noise, unlike Facebook or Twitter where you’ll be fighting for position with thousands of other brands.
LinkedIn is definitely going through a renaissance at the moment, and I think it would do your brand/business a lot of good to put forth more of an effort there. Much like other networks, though, it won’t last forever. Social media is an ever-changing landscape, and what’s hot now, won’t be hot tomorrow. You have to stay up to speed witth all the happenings and figure out where your most time is best spent. Hopefully this article will point you in the right direction, at least for now.
What are your thoughts on LinkedIn? Are you using it? Why or why not? Tell me in the comments or hit me up via social media, and as always, thanks for reading!