- July 27, 2014
- Posted by: Con P. Sweeney
- Categories: LinkedIn, Social Media
I recently reached out to a good friend of mine.
He’s a successful consultant working for a global firm. I’ve worked with him and he’s very good at what he does. When I contacted him, I diplomatically (At least I thought I was being diplomatic about it.) teased him about not having his photo included in his LinkedIn profile.
To say I was stunned is an understatement when he replied that I’ll know he’s looking for a job when he uploads his picture into LinkedIn.
I’ll wrap up this story by saying I’m staging an intervention here. (Like I said earlier, he’s a good friend!)
I still can’t get over how many people still only think of LinkedIn as a tool to turn to when they need a job. They sniff that’s it’s only for those guys who couldn’t make the cut and need a job.
I might be able to get over this if they at least maintained a current and complete profile and understood LinkedIn’s potential. Sadly, few do.
LinkedIn has tremendous potential for professionals whether or not they’re in the market for another position.
However, honestly, many are not ready to use LinkedIn.
Their professional network is non-existent to poor. (You know the type, they either have a draw full of business cards or a pile of old address books both equally out of date.) The information for a good LinkedIn profile is not at hand. (“When did I work where?” “What were my accomplishments while I was there?”) Finally, they simply don’t understand how to use the tool. (“I opened a profile and nobody connects with me. What’s their problem?”)
Now, should you recognize yourself here, don’t fret, you’re in good company. We’ve all made one or all of these mistakes at one time or another. Like anything else in life, it’s what we do to correct the situation that counts. That’s what I want to talk about for a few minutes.
There are two parts to the solution here, one basic and the other advanced.
Let’s start with the basic first. (Trust me, if I started with the advanced I’d lose most of you.)
I’ve broken this part down into five tasks:
- Get onto LinkedIn. (Yes, there are many who are this late date are still not on or, worst of all, have forgotten their account logon information!)
- Prepare a complete profile.
- Build connections.
- Join and participate actively in LinkedIn groups.
- Publish content regularly on LinkedIn.
What do you get for this?
Well, first off, for those insisting on using LinkedIn to find their next job, they’ll be ready and there’s a good chance that next job may come looking for them.
But, most importantly, you establish yourself as a subject matter expert and an influencer in your area of expertise. You stand out from the crowd and demonstrate that you’re comfortable with the technology. You are not merely posting facts about yourself, you’re going out there and giving your opinions. Scary, yes? But, the last time I looked the professional career marketplace, not to mention the world, is a very scary place. The only ones who are respected are those who can demonstrate that they’re not afraid of it themselves.
Next up is my advanced solution and I’ve broken this down into three tasks;
- Use social media (i.e., Twitter)
- Establish a blog and blog!
- Or, jump into a full fledged social media program.
Social media permits you to expand your sphere of influence and to increase your followers. Blogging allows the creation of your own original content which you can cross promote with LinkedIn and your other social media tools. Finally, a complete social media program like I outlined in an earlier post while a lot of effort for an individual can yield dramatic results in terms of the market’s recognition of you.
I’ve deliberately chosen not to go into great detail here today because most of the tasks I’ve outlined could be the subject of several posts themselves and they will be in the future.
Today, all I wanted to accomplish was to raise everyone’s awareness about LinkedIn and not to leave it as something to think about until after you lose your job.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool which can serve as the cornerstone of your personal branding strategy. Your competition is using it, why shouldn’t you?
That’s it for now!
In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!
I look forward to any and all comments that you may have. I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.
I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me. Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.
I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.