This morning we had the privilege of listening to a fantastic presentation from Jarrett Smith, digital strategist at Clark/Nikdel/Powell, on how to use LinkedIn for your own professional development and business profit. This is one of those presentations that I wish every single chamber member could have heard as there were so many takeaways on what is arguably one of the most misunderstood and underused social platforms for business growth. So I wanted to make we were able to share the wealth of knowledge gained this morning.
1. Why LinkedIn Matters
- User base – there are over 332 million people on LinkedIn with about half of those in the U.S. The users of this platform are more mature than Twitter/Facebook (average age 30-49) and over 20% have an annual income of $75k or more.
- When the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) surveyed their members, 94% said they recruit off of LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn profiles are indexed on Google which means you can be discovered through Google search if you have a LinkedIn profile.
- LinkedIn is really the only platform where it is socially acceptably to do self-promotion and business promotion without annoying the heck out of your real-life friends i.e. the purpose of the platform is to promote yourself professionally and promote your business to other professionals. (shameless plug – follow the chamber on LinkedIn)
2. How Linkedin Works
- It’s all about the connections. You have 1st degree connections – those are the people you are directly connected with. You have 2nd degree connections (think friend of friends) and then you have 3rd degree (friends of your friend’s friends). Those cumulatively make up your LinkedIn network. That means that when you search on LinkedIn or when people search for you, you are only seeing those results in your network. (Jarrett’s network is over $12 million people as displayed below).
- If you are looking for a job, it’s the place to be, but make sure your profile puts your best professional foot forward. Use the expanded resume to do that with detailed descriptions of your projects, photos, videos, links to other websites that showcase your work, etc. Use the right “keywords” in your profile i.e. what words are people searching for that you hope they see you.
- Connect to the heavy hitters in your area. Then those heavy hitters are connected to other heavy hitters. Be deliberate about circles of influence.
- Accept connections from everyone, unless you think it is spam or sketchy in some way.
3. The Basics – the bare minimum you should be doing to make LinkedIn useful
- Use a good headshot on your profile (no bathroom mirror selfies)
- Use your real name
- Include keywords in your profile
- Fill out everything that LinkedIn asks you about that is relevant to you (i.e. all of those prompts they send you when you log in to your profile)
- Give recommendations to your connections who deserve it
- Connect with everyone you know in real life
- Import your list of contacts from your email
- Set your custom URL, put it in your email footer
- Add Rich Media to your profile
- Post to Pulse (the ‘newsfeed’ of LinkedIn, but only post relevant and thoughtful content)
The advanced methods discussed were very useful but require more in depth explanations (wish you were there now, huh?) If you want more on want Jarrett presented today, check out his presentation here or connect with him on LinkedIn.