There are over 250 million people on LinkedIn. That means there's a ton of competition. Don't get discouraged and don't worry, because I'm super competitive. Ask my husband. 🙂 These steps will help you break through the clutter and showcase yourself in the best light possible.
Now, if you're lazy, you might as well stop reading here. Because, like anything I teach, you are going to have to give to get. Yes, it will require some work and consistent activity on your part. But hey, that's true for most things in life where you want to see good results.
So buckle up, because these steps will help you stand out on LinkedIn and take you directly to the land of LinkedIn success.
8 Steps To Get Noticed On LinkedIn
1. Get To Work On Your Profile
This is the first step and for a good reason. Your LinkedIn profile is your business card. It's your headshot. It's the thing that will determine whether or not people will want to connect with you.
The first thing to think about is your profile picture. A picture is worth a thousand words -- cliche, I know. But it's true. Think about how you want to present yourself. Are you a happy person? Well then, you need to be smiling in your picture. Are you a public speaker? Think about using an image that represents that side of your business. Are you a suit and tie type of professional? You guessed it, use an image of a suit and tie. If you don't have a good picture, now is the time to start thinking about investing in one.
Next, think about what you want people to see right off the bat when they see your image. This is your headline and it's important. Think like a journalist here. This is your headline and byline to everything that you are. You want to use it to your advantage to give people an idea of who you are right away. You want to capture your ideal connection's attention. So put some thought into it.
2. Add Keywords That Represent You
Keywords on LinkedIn are important for a few different reasons. The first and most important is that they play a very important role in the search aspect of LinkedIn. people use keywords to find the types of people they are looking to connect with, hire, or do business with. You need to use the keywords that most represent you. Once you define the keywords that represent you, use them in your summary, skills, and past work sections.
Now since we are talking about getting found in a sea of hundreds of millions of people, you will probably want to stay away from the most common and overused buzzwords. The most overused buzzword of 2013 is responsible. While it's a good word and something that employers look for, it is something that potential business partners or clients, probably won't care much about. Try to come up with other words that tell the story that you are responsible instead of using the most used word on LinkedIn. To see the other most used words on LinkedIn see here.
3. Add Visuals To Showcase Your Work
LinkedIn is known for being very text heavy and for a good reason. However, that has changed. By adding visuals to your profile you are given the opportunity to showcase yourself and your work in a different light. This can be very powerful, especially for those in a creative industry. Not only do the visuals capture the visitor's attention, they can also be shared around for further engagement.
4. Share Content To Groups
If you know me or read this blog, you will know that I am big on sharing content. Of course in order to share content, I believe you need to be blogging on a regular basis. But more on that later.
The reason sharing content is such a great strategy is because it puts you in the forefront of groups and exposes you to an audience that might not be connected to you first hand. This is a great way to brand yourself as an expert and thought-leader as well as consistently get your image and headline (see point #1) out there. The more often you pop up in someone's feed or group feed, the more likely you are to be remembered. Plus, if you share awesome content that groups love, you will become an influencer and Top Contributor in that group which again brings your image to the forefront.
Another benefit of sharing is that your profile will be viewed more often. As you can see on this graph, on the days and weeks where I share often, there are spikes in the amount of times my profile has been viewed. Boom!
5. Connect With People
There are a few different ways to connect with people. One is through "people you may know." This is a good place to start because for some reason or other LinkedIn thinks you know them. And most of the time they are right.
Another way is to search for people who went to your school. Alumni love to connect with each other. Anyone go to Indiana University in Bloomington? I'm a fellow Hoosier. Connect with me. 🙂
Another place I search for new connections is through the Who's Viewed Your Profile section. I like this because I know for some reason or other they looked at me and didn't decide to connect. As a social person, I want to connect with them because we already have had some sort of an initial connection. I'm not shy on LinkedIn. If you look at me, I'm going to connect with you.
Lastly, connect with those who are sharing great content in groups. You know these people are active and they probably use LinkedIn as much as you do. These types of people will be likely to connect you to someone else or be able to help you in some way. And of course vice versa. Social media is about relationships. Remember that.
One thing to keep in mind is to always, and I mean always add a personalized message as to why you want to connect. This gives the person on the other side the feeling that you care, you've gone through the trouble of looking them up and learning about them, and that you aren't just trying to plump up your follower count. The one exception to this rule is if you are using the LinkedIn mobile app. For some reason you aren't able to add a personalized message.
6. Keep Up With People
Part of being a good LinkedIn community member and leader is keeping up with people. LinkedIn makes this very easy for you as they give you reminders when someone has had a job anniversary, changed something on their profile, or sometimes even made a new connection. A little note to congratulate them, like their status, or whatever it may be, will help you get in front of them. Plus, it's just a nice thing to do. Nice people, interested people, and thoughtful people win in my book.
7. Comment And Add Value
This is an important step. Commenting and adding value to your network is a sure-fire way to make sure you stay relevant. Of course you want to add relevance to the conversations happening on LinkedIn, but nonetheless, it is important to do so and here's why.
One, people reciprocate. When you comment on someone's update and post, they will either comment back and you can start to build a relationship, or they will comment on your posts. The relationship is the most important thing you are building here. But beyond that, it's all about the newsfeed. When someone likes or comments on your post, others in their network can see, thus increasing your reach.
Another benefit of this is that you are going to be seen by the person's network if they are on LinkedIn at that time. As like-minded individuals stick together, there is a good chance that that person's network might be a good fit for your network.
8. Accept Requests
I look at LinkedIn as an open network. I will accept anyone who requests to connect with me. I do it because I have the attitude that I can help others and others can help me. Business and growing my business network is very important to me because LinkedIn has been a huge lead generator for us at ConvertWithContent. If you are a B2B professional, this is likely the case for you as well.
This next part however is what really matters and it's a practice I just started putting into play. It has been incredibly successful for me and I am proud to share it with you. When someone connects with me, I email them back and thank them, ask them what they do, and tell them what I do. More times than not, the other person has responded and we've begun to build a relationship from there. After our initial contact, I know what they do and how I can help them grow their business and they are aware of what I do and how they can help me. Relationship building at its finest.
Since implementing this strategy, we've been able to grow our business and attain new clients. One part of the success of this strategy is because they people who connect with me have read my blog posts and are interested in social media and content marketing. Thus, in many cases, the people who have connected with me need our services. And if they don't need our services they will keep me in mind in the future if they do or if someone they know does. And I will do the same to them.
LinkedIn is a special network because there is a common goal among all people. That goal is to grow their business and make money. And I love that! I take networking very seriously. I will always help someone when I can, refer someone when I can and introduce someone when I can. I believe the success of networking relies on the ability to create and build relationships. When you are giving, people will give back. It's human nature.
So, let's all raise a glass to LinkedIn! 🙂 Cheers!