Complete your profile
Most of the people you connect with through LinkedIn will be people you haven’t yet met in the flesh. Your LinkedIn profile provides a vital first impression, but it also serves as a sort of extended business card. If your contacts are considering hiring or working with you, they are going to refer back to your profile. There’s scope for including all sorts of different information so make the most of it and complete your profile. LinkedIn claims that users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through the site and, as there is a built-in ‘completeness’ guide, there’s really no excuse for leaving your profile half-finished.
Expand your contacts
Building contacts is what LinkedIn is all about. The number of contacts can be important, as this can increase the scope of possible opportunities, but the quality of connections is equally as important. When you start you can easily import pretty much any digital address book or contact list and match that with existing LinkedIn members. That gives you a good base to work from but you should always be looking to expand your contacts. Always personalize your message when sending a connection request and try to give a brief reason or explanation as to why you are sending it.
LinkedIn provides a range of advanced search options that allow you to focus your efforts and search for specific opportunities. Use advanced search to explore specific industries, companies, and prospects. Join relevant groups in your target market or sector and make your own profile information available for search engines to index.
Think of LinkedIn as an ongoing party or networking event. Don’t be the wallflower hiding in the corner. Join in the conversation, but make sure you add value and not just idle chit-chat. It’s the ideal place to share news on events you are holding or developments within your business, but don’t make it just about yourself. Accompany your updates with industry-relevant news and links your contacts might find useful. Visit targeted profiles with your privacy settings off and you will leave a footprint. Most LinkedIn users are interested to see who has been viewing their profile and might respond in kind, potentially leading to a new connection.
Making sure you accompany each connection request or acceptance with a personalised message is a good way to make sure you start on the right foot. But maintaining relationships can be more challenging, especially if your connections run into the hundreds or even thousands. Luckily, LinkedIn can automatically make you aware of certain