LinkedIn works well if you are in sales or recruiting but what about the rest of us? How can we maximise the benefit of being up there? With the purchase of Rapportive it looks as though LinkedIn will become more of a social network tool, taking it even further from its origins as a c.v. repository.
I talked about how to reap the benefits from LI recently to Mike O’Neil and Lori Ruff, two advisers on all things LinkedIn (see also Susan Adams on LinkedIn recommendations). From that conversation I drew up a shortlist of insights, just three that will let you use LinkedIn as more of a personal platform than a c.v. repository. These are new to me and I hope they give you some clues for empowering yourself on LinkedIn.3 Megatrends for 2012 – Or Why Shared Value is Indeed an Answer Haydn Shaughnessy Contributor
I’m increasingly convinced that the future lies with small acts of empowerment for those of us who don’t necessarily have a strong employment position in a good company; those not as high on the ladder as they deserve to be, the people who can’t quite cut it in a corporate environment.
We all need to find small steps that make a big difference and those are likely to come from advantages we create outside of established employment.
LinkedIn can empower you through creating new ties, converting weak ties into strong ones, and building a network that opens up new opportunities. These three steps are distilled from my conversation with Lori and Mike.
This is really about the new social world of business.
#1. Your profile is not just about your work. It’s about your passions.
LinkedIn is increasingly attracting a more social participant. Perhaps because we are more used to online social networking. Perhaps because the sales and recruiter contingent is a smaller proportion of a larger network. That means you should now be seeking to project more about yourself than you would on a c.v. Create a profile that says a lot about you or change the one you have tro reflect your social interests. Love Man Utd or the Green Bay Packers? Say it in your profile. You are looking to connect with people you want to get along with. That works better if you have shared interests. And use a conversational tone, use first person, be likable.
#2. Master LinkedIn Search
LinkedIn has a great matching algorithm. Just as you shouldn’t confine your profile to your work roles, search for people who have the role you are looking for and who enjoy the same past times as you? You need to build a relationships before opportunities open up. To get the most out of search join groups that are likely to have members whose interests coincide with yours. Once in a group, your searches will drill down into group members as well as into your connections.
#3. Be clear about your (new or changing) value proposition
What are you there to contribute? Let this guide your activity on LinkedIn. If you are there to establish subject matter expertise, participate in groups. If not limit your group activity. It can kill time. Get a laser focus on the types of people you want to meet and why. But be sure your profile tells people what you have to offer and what you feel passionate about. LinkedIn is especially valuable if you are changing your focus. You can announce it and you can talk to the new value proposition you have developed. Though to date we’ve seen LinkedIn as a place to say what you’ve been doing with your career, in future it will be about what you are changing, too.