As I continue to speak to so many of you during strategy sessions (reserve your free spot here), one of the things I am learning is how LinkedIn could be utilized by you all SO MUCH MORE! Many of you are just making sure your LinkedIn profile looks good and that is all you do on the LinkedIn. Today, you are going to learn how to go above and beyond what most people are doing on LinkedIn and start working your network on LinkedIn instead.
Step 1: Update Your Status
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to update your status so all of your professional contacts can know what is going on at the same time. Just remember, no talking about what you ate for breakfast or the awesome party you went to last night! Not only can you write your own status but also you can comment on other people’s status. It’s always a nice touch to say congrats when people get new jobs or new opportunities. Like, comment, read and interact on your LinkedIn homepage.
You can share a news article, share a project you are working on, share what type of opportunity you are looking for, give an update on your job search, ask how you can help, give an update on an event happening that you network might be interested in or let people know what you are studying in school
Step 2: Connect Online with 5 People You Don’t Know.
Time to get busy! Now this might sound scary because you totally fear rejection. I get it, but you know what? If other people don’t know you and what you are looking for, how are they going to help you get what you want? It’s time to stop hiding behind your profile because it already looks awesome! Today I want you to send messages to five people that you don’t know.
You can find people to message in groups that you join, the connections of your current connections, LinkedIn search, company pages. Or you can even write a status update that you are looking to speak to someone in the “ blank” field and ask for referrals. You can then request an informational interview or ask them how you can help them.
Click here to download my free informational interview guide that gives you an exact template for what to say in the email.
Step 3: Follow Up With 5 People Already In Your LinkedIn Network.
Treat your connections like a garden, grow and nurture them. Build two way relationships. LinkedIn is about helping others first and goodwill will come around to you next. Many people think networking is only about meeting new people. I am a firm believer that you have to take care of the connections that you already have first. Besides, you never know who might know someone in the field you want to get into.
Today you are going to follow-up with you current network by sending a “get back in touch” message. Explain how you rediscovered the person (you found them on LinkedIn). 2) Find something relevant to talk about by reviewing the other person’s LinkedIn profile 3) Tell them a bit about what you have been up to, suggest a follow-up conversation and offer to help them with anything they need. Don’t specifically ask for a job. You are just getting back into touch. But, you can mention that you are on the job hunt. You never know where this could lead! This is a step you want to repeat on an ongoing basis and aim to connect with all of your LinkedIn connections over the course of a year.
Step 4: Follow Companies You Are Interested In,
The company’s section gives you valuable employee and product knowledge about a firm you may be targeting as your potential employer. You can also figure out who you know is already working at that company and what jobs that company has available. You should always review the recent updates of the companies before you go into an interview to give you some background information that will be helpful. Also, you want to watch if new managers come onboard because that could mean potential new job opportunities. A company that you definitely want to check out if you are on the job hunt is Seek4Career.com.
Today’s task is to follow all of the companies that you are interested in working at. Now, anything that company creates as a status update, it will show up in the feed of your homepage. This is a great way to stay up to date on what is happening at your target company. You are allowed to follow up to 100 companies. Also, check out the section that says “Companies You May Want to Follow” because you might get some good ideas!
Step 5: Participate in Groups.
There is every single type of group you can imagine on LinkedIn. If you don’t see a group you want to join, then why not create one! That is what I did and the Classy Career Girl Network Group on LinkedIn is already almost at 500 members!! (Make sure you join us here too!)
You have an incredible opportunity for finding exactly the right person you want to meet to achieve your goals in LinkedIn groups. The people you need to find are all waiting for you in groups and you can join up to 50 groups at a time and begin networking. Groups are great to build your online brand. You can answer people’s questions and post articles of interest for group members to read. This establishes you as an expert and it’s a great way to be found on LinkedIn by people who may need your services and wish to hire you.
You can also leave a group at anytime so don’t worry about joining a group you might not be interested in. Nothing is set in stone. Also, remember to check out the job postings in each group too!
Step 6: Install Apps for networking
In reality, business cards are still the norm in the business world. But, you can find a lot of free app options available to scan your business cards. Use a business card scanner to simply snap a photo of the card and upload the information onto LinkedIn.
If you’re planning on running a networking event, there are event apps that you can use for your attendees to check the event schedule, identify potential sales leads and take advantage of sponsorship.
Here are some other free LinkedIn apps that I find useful:
- LunchMeet – Allows for meaningful, face-to-face networking wherever you are, whenever you are available.
- Tripit – Perfect for business travelers. You can keep your flight, hotel, and rental car confirmation emails in one central spot.
- Cardmunch – Converts a business card to a contact automatically.
Bonus step you must do:
It doesn’t matter how much time you spend working on your profile or networking with people online if you don’t take those relationships offline as well. Don’t hide behind your LinkedIn profile, get out there and meet people! That is how those opportunities will just start coming to you left and right. And remember to always ask people you meet who else they know that you can connect with.