Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile in Fourteen Minutes a Day!

by Kate Denoyer Fitzpatrick

Many people ask me how to decide which social media platform or platforms are right for them. This varies widely from person to person, depending on your background, industry, goals and the amount of time you intend to spend maintaining your profile. But practically everyone should have a LinkedIn profile – think of this medium as the Yellow Pages or 411. It's where a lot of individuals and companies go to first look someone up and learn about their experience, and if you don't have a LinkedIn profile, you could definitely be missing out on valuable professional opportunities.
Like I said in my previous post, "How to Manage Your Facebook Business Page in 11 Minutes a Day," none of us have a ton of time on our hands, so we have to be effective with each post and update, not spending any more time on social media than is truly necessary. While your role on social media is generally NOT to sell your product or service, LinkedIn is the place you can feel the most comfortable promoting yourself as an authority in your field. After all, remember your audience and their motivation – people log in to this platform specifically to see what their contacts are up to professionally, so it's expected and encouraged to describe your skills and current projects.
A lot of people don't know where to start on LinkedIn; there are Connections, Groups, Endorsements, Recommendations, Jobs, etc. Although it can be overwhelming, it's a terrific chance to be proactive about building your network and engaging with others; you never know when that next opportunity is going to come from. Above all, remember to think of this platform as a virtual job interview and conduct yourself as professionally and respectfully as possible. So here are my top tips for how to sift through the noise and optimize your LinkedIn profile in fourteen minutes per day:
2 minutes - Post an update. Your followers are looking to be informed about you and your experience, so post an update on a project you're working on, relevant article, industry event you're looking forward to attending, book recommendation, new product or service you're offering, or a question/poll that engages them. This is a great place to post a link to your website or latest blog post encouraging people to click through, but remember the golden 80/20 rule – 80% of your posts should be informative while 20% can be purely promotional. Still not sure what kind of updates to post? Look at the individuals you enjoy following the most and see what kind of updates they share.
3 minutes – Connect. Answer any Comments, questions or messages that your Connections have posted since the last time you logged in. Respond to any Connection requests and send Connection invitations to anyone you've met recently who you'd like to get to know better. Scroll periodically through the People You May Know recommendations on your homepage to Connect with individuals suggested by LinkedIn based on Connections you have in common. Post any Recommendations that have been made for you, and return the favor by Recommending a colleague. Feel free to Endorse someone who has performed exemplary work but don't spend too much time or energy on Endorsements; Recommendations hold much more weight so be sure to ask for them when appropriate.

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