Top 10 “Must Haves” on LinkedIn

Every second of every day, people are getting connected on LinkedIn. At last count, over 370 million professionals are connected and growing exponentially. How are you leveraging LinkedIn to build your brand, your career and your compensation?

We are providing the Top 10 “Must Haves” on LinkedIn! This Top 10’s will help you come to the top of your groups and present you as an authority and leader in your field.

In order to understand what to enhance in your profile, you need to understand how LinkedIn measures the strength of your profile.
“Relevance” is the key measure in the LinkedIn algorithm. Lists and “People You May Know” (PYMK) are presented based on a comparison of peers by evaluating the words and phrases used in profiles. The stronger the match to the LinkedIn algorithm, the higher the relevance and appearance on search lists. It does not take a complete rewrite of your profile to improve your relevance.

Now for the Top 10 Must Haves on LinkedIn:
1 – Use a Professional Photograph – The question asked when you look at a photo, do I want to do business with this person? Take the time, invest the money, and get a professional photo taken and posted on LinkedIn.

Don’t – No Selfies. Unless you are Richard Branson or other recognizable leader with an established brand, play your professional cards. No sunglasses get off the Harley, this is a professional network, you use it to promote you and your business.

2 – The Headline is your Marquee – This is your first impression. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. I like strong words or phrases that reflect your strengths i.e. Entrepreneurial, Executive, Sales Leader, etc. Match your Headline with your picture.

Don’t – Get Cute, Exaggerate your Position. Avoid Buzz Words and Acronyms.

3 – The Summary is your 30-second spiel – You have the area the size of a single paragraph. Tell the viewer succinctly either what your customer gets from you or why they should connect with you.

The biggest mistake professionals make in their Summary, they start off by saying how many years of experience they have, “I have 22 years of blah, blah, experience.” Focus on what your customer gets from those years of experience!

Don’t – Repeat your Headline, support your Headline. Regurgitate your Experience, tease your reader so they want to view your  Experience.

4 – Give the Short Version of your Experience – This is not your resume. Tease the viewer, peak their curiosity, so they want to  connect and possibly hire you.

Don’t – Tell them everything that you have done over your career. The past 2-3 jobs or 3-5 years is sufficient to post in this section. If you go back further, Company/Industry, Position, Years of Experience is more than sufficient to support your progressive
advancement of responsibility and contributions.

5 – Personalize your Connection Request – Statistics show that when you personalize or customize your request to connect, your acceptance rate is significantly higher. You have about 120 characters to personalize your standard request, take advantage by commenting on a common interest, such as University, Companies, Roles or other common elements that intrigue the reader.

A simple example of one that is easy to replicate:
“Hi John, I liked your recent post on Teams and the Digital Workforce. I have an interest in this area and would appreciate connecting with you on LinkedIn to share some ideas.”

This is simple and gets a high level of acceptances. I tell my clients and colleagues to focus on the ‘right connections’.

Don’t – Use the standard “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn” request.

6 – Spend 15 – 20 minutes daily on LinkedIn. Schedule your LinkedIn time just like any other appointment or meeting. Keep your focus on your time and like other meetings, don’t go over the allotted time.

Depending upon your role; sales, recruiting, leadership, will ultimately determine how much time to spend on LinkedIn. For Salespersons, LinkedIn is a great way to build your ACE – Attract, Connect and Engage with customers and prospects. We will talk about this in a later article.

Don’t – Let Social Media prevent you from getting the rest of your work completed. Social Media platforms can be addictive. It is easy to get on LinkedIn and suddenly two hours has passed. LinkedIn is a publically traded company and rely upon advertisers and sponsors for revenue and they have designed the interaction in this way. Know when to shut it down!

7 – Engage and Join a Group: LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups. Joining a group allows you to achieve 3 top objectives:
1 – Participate in the conversations of the group.
2 – Allows you to connect with hard-to-connect candidates like thought leaders, executives, unknown peers and other influencers.
3 – Provide an initial platform for your thought leadership and contributions.
There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn, more than enough to capture your attention and allow you to connect with other thought leaders.

Don’t – Join a group and then not participate. You have a voice, use it!

8 – Like, Comment and Share – You have unlimited digital currency, don’t be afraid to spend it. When you see a post from someone in your network, like, comment and share it with your network. This is a great way to get your digital feet wet. Also, a funny behavioral thing happens, if you like, comment and share on someone’s content, they tend to look to return the favor. LI Jedi’s are masters and reciprocating on posts, anniversaries, announcements and changes to your profile.

Don’t – There really is not a negative about like, comment and share other than don’t not use it!

9 – Post your own article or someone else’s article on your profile page. Some people don’t like the spotlight. Posting an article gets you introduced as a capable contributor to the conversation. My only advice is making it USR – Unique, Superior and Relevant. For your first article, a good approach is to possibly leverage another author’s comment and opine your additions to the article. Always give full credit to anyone that you reference or leverage.

Don’t – Plagiarize or criticize. No one likes it and it does not add value to your brand or the conversation.

10 – Get a Premium Account or at least consider one – This is the question asked the most, “what is the advantage of a premium account?” This also depends upon your role and goal in the business and your career.

I believe that the basic account which is free satisfies about 80-90% of what the majority of contacts want to achieve on LinkedIn.

If you are in sales, you should have a LinkedIn account to broaden, connect and engage your prospect lists and connections. There are various advantages with In Mail, Profile Views and other features that make the upgrade worth considering. I have some clients
that have immediately improved their pipeline through this step.

If you are job searching or sourcing, the premium features are essential for discretion and improving the proper searches.

There is a Free 30 day trial for many of the Premium Features.

Don’t – Sit on your butt and not take advantage of LinkedIn.