LinkedIn is a great way of connecting with past colleagues, current contacts and potential prospects. But you need to spend a bit of time and effort to make it work for you. Do you know about these 11 things you can do on LinkedIn?
1. Showcase yourself and your work
Go to ‘More’ in the top navigation bar, click on ‘Get Applications’ and then download Google Presentation or Portfolio Display.
2. Change ‘My website’ and ‘My blog’ to your own wording
Instead of ‘My website’, I have ‘Marketing Copywriter”. Instead of ‘My blog’, I have ‘My blog about freelancing’. And my third link says ‘See my Facebook page’. To change the wording, click on ‘Edit profile’, then scroll down to where you see the section on websites and click on ‘edit’. Choose ‘Other’ in the left hand drop down menu and then add your own text in the middle box.
3. Join up to 50 groups
You can make direct contact with anyone who’s a member of the same group as you, so join all those where your prospects hang out. I belong to about 35 groups but I only display a few of them on my profile – otherwise it could look like all I do is spend my day interacting with people on LinkedIn.
4. Start your own group
All you have to do is click on ‘Groups’ in the top navigation bar and click on ‘Create a group’. I have a closed group for freelancers. It’s by invitation only because a friend started an open group and ended up with over 1,000 members in just three months. It eats up a lot of his time moderating and responding to the message threads. If you’d like to join my group, just let me know your email address and I’ll send you an invitation.
5. Link your WordPress blog to your profile
It’s a great way of keeping your connections up to speed with your latest posts. Go to ‘More’ in the top navigation bar, click on ‘Get Applications’ and then download the WordPress application.
6. Add any patents, publications, certifications etc to your profile
Click on the ‘Edit Profile’ tab and scroll down until you see the highlighted area which asks ‘Do you hold a patent? Are you published?’ and click ‘Add section’. You can also add any certifications you hold, languages you speak, and specific skills you have.
7. Share content with your network
Again, go to ‘More’ in the top navigation bar, click on ‘Get Applications’ and then download either Box.net or Slideshare.
8. Ask a question
Go to ‘More’ in the top navigation bar, click on ‘Answers’ and post your query. (It can be about any kind of business issue, not just about how LinkedIn works.) Every time I’ve done this, I’ve had several answers in only a few hours. It’s amazing just how many helpful people there are out there.
9. Access it via your mobile phone
10. Find out the latest trending topics
With LinkedIn Signal, you can find the hottest trending topics that are relevant to your business and also search for specific keywords or topics you’d like to keep up to date on. This is a fairly new feature and I’ve only played with it a few times – this article tells you more about Linkedin Signal.
11. Create your own visualised LinkedIn map
I created mine the other day – as you can see below. It got a bit chopped off at the bottom but you can get the general idea. Go to inmaps.linkedinlabs.com to see how all your contacts interconnect.
All of these applications/features are completely free. You don’t have to upgrade to the paid version to access them.
Which feature do you like most about LinkedIn?