By Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk
While nearly everyone I know is on LinkedIn, very few are taking advantage of the features of this powerful tool. Yesterday, I spent 4 hours at a client’s office, helping attorneys set up their LinkedIn pages. Each of them had a page before I got there. But once they were shown the amazing functionality of LinkedIn, and how it can help them increase awareness and ultimately grow their practices, they became LinkedIn converts.
So, for those of you who have a page, but haven’t done much else with it, here are some suggestions for getting up to speed.
– Enter the basics.
- Enter name as you’d like to be known in business.
- Upload a clear profile picture.
- Create a title for yourself. It can be expanded from your true job title. For example, “Business attorney working with owners of construction and IT firms” rather than the more simple “attorney.” It will make you more likely to turn up in a search.
- Select an industry/sector, i.e. “Legal.”
– Create listings for current role and previous roles.
- List company name (select from company profile, if available).
- List title (if no longer at that company, list the last title you held).
- List dates employed.
- This will get you started until you have more time to go back and list job duties, but do go back and do this when you have time.
– List educational institutions and dates attended.
– List contact settings and as much personal information as you want.
– Create a status and update it regularly. It can be linked to a Twitter account too, if desired.
– Create a summary of your abilities in your own words, using keywords as much as you can. This section is typically a narrative about what you do.
– Add specialties. This can be a bulleted list of things that you do, clients you serve, etc.
– Create a personalized LinkedIn URL to make it easy to pass along your profile to others and add to your email signature. (i.e. www.linkedin.com/in/jimsmith vs. www.linkedin.com/in/jim-smith234jkldfg0sa98432hew)
– Under additional info
- List your current work website. Click “edit,” choose “other” and enter the firm name.
- List blogs and do the same thing as above to list the name of the blog specifically, rather than just “blog.”
– Add applications as desired. Popular ones are BlogLink, SlideShare, Box.net and Events.
– Research and join appropriate groups. Set group updates for once a week, unless you want daily emails. Once a member, post content, comment on articles, etc. to increase awareness and connections.
– Get recommended and recommend others.
– Connect with coworkers, colleagues, clients, collaborators, previous coworkers, friends, family acquaintances, etc. Make sure you customize your connection request to increase the likelihood of a positive response.
And there you have it. There’s so much you can do with LinkedIn, but this will get you on the right track so you can start benefiting from this great networking tool. What advice do you have? Please share with the class!