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Juliet McEwen Johnson
LinkedIn – the name is good. We all want to be linked in to whatever’s happening; to be part of the “in” crowd has been most people’s goal since junior high school! So, why is the social media site such a snore? It’s bland, feels nothing but black and white and terribly dry. Do not allow yourself to think that way. People can see great results when they use LinkedIn for business: it is the best place online to build your reputation and position yourself as an expert. In fact, you are supposed to use LinkedIn that way. You are supposed to list all of your awards and special skills!
Some groups on LinkedIn are vibrant, active and full of great information. When consultants compete to offer clever advice, everyone wins! Other groups on LinkedIn are long abandoned. Therefore your strategy needs to be – pick a few that offer local connections, help, advice and support in your day-to-day work life and access to your clients.
LinkedIn will consider you a first connection, and therefore permit you to request a “connection”, if you are in the same group as another person. It only makes sense, then, to join some of the groups in which your prospects actively participate.
By answering questions in your niche, you automatically increase your recognition and respect… so long as what you’ve said makes sense, is accurate and adds value to the conversation!
There are two ways to provide answers:
The Answers Section on the Search Bar
Within The Groups Themselves
You need at least 3 recommendations in order for LinkedIn to consider your profile complete. You need at least 5 recommendations, or one from every chapter of your career if you don’t want to appear a dead beat! This can be a challenge if you’ve been downsized, outsized or shown the door by Security. The simplest, nicest way to earn a recommendation is to give one to another person yourself. Your “recommendee” is then obliged to offer you one in return… and if they don’t, you should likely ask them to. Reciprocity is a fundamental principle of social media.
The InMaps feature comes from LinkedIn Labs, a separate section of LinkedIn where they experiment with apps. It will show you your connections by industry. This is useful when trying to assess what kinds of content your “tribe” is looking for from you. It can also tell you that you are getting a bit lopsided in one niche or another.
There are other apps that LinkedIn offers, though it’s nothing like Google or a smart-phone! These include Slideshare and an Amazon Reading List. Both of these apps can further demonstrate your expertise in one niche/sector versus another. The rounder the picture you draw of yourself, the more realistic the impression received.
About the author