6 Ways to Better Utilize LinkedIn Right Now

Linkedin WebsiteAs we all do, I recently found myself networking at an industry event. To my surprise, one of the people I was chatting with commented that he knew me, because of my LinkedIn activity. He also mentioned that it was nice to see regular updates that focused on more things than just “getting a job.” As we continued talking, he observed that “…you can always tell who is looking for a new job, because they’re always updating skills on their LinkedIn profiles.”

As someone who is fairly active on LinkedIn, I think it’s a great tool to use when someone is looking for a new position. However, I think it’s even an even better tool to use in the position one already has. There are many ways to use LinkedIn. Here are my top six:

#1. Use it to network

One of the best ways I know to earn new business is to network. But if you’re “networking” like you did five or 10 years ago, you’re likely not maximizing new business opportunities. LinkedIn is a great tool to use when you’re talking with someone over the phone you’ve never met. It’s also a fantastic resource to research people you’d like to meet.

I’ve built a strong network on LinkedIn by connecting with people I’ve talked to on the phone. It’s one of my first “go-to” locations to learn more about people. When I speak with people in person and make comments about them (learned via their LinkedIn profiles), it makes our conversations more meaningful.

#2. Add your picture to your profile

Adding your photo to your profile helps you as you build relationships. Relationship building is my #1 reason to be on LinkedIn. It personalizes LinkedIn and helps people get a better idea of who you are. It’s a great tool to use when you are going to meet someone “in person” for the very first time, as you will get an idea of what they look like.

Your picture should be of you only; not you and your spouse, not you and your pet — just you. LinkedIn is a professional networking medium, so keep it professional. You wouldn’t take your spouse or a pet to a job interview or business meeting with you, so don’t include them in your photo.

#3. Use LinkedIn to manage your contacts

One of the biggest challenges in our company is keeping our CRM system current. People tend to move into new roles or positions, change companies, etc. LinkedIn keeps you current on these changes as long as the person is keeping their profile updated. I take these updates and ensure that they are added to our company database. Knowledge is power and sometimes just knowing a contact has moved is powerful.

#4. Keep your profile updated & current

See number three above. If that isn’t enough, this is an ideal place to add any training courses you’ve taken through InfoComm like your CTS, SynAudCon or other industry courses, as well as professional courses. You might just find that you have something in common with a key contact and by updating your profile you’ll likely move your relationships forward.

#5. Share news and information of others

Just like networking “in person” no one wants to just network with people who only talk about themselves. Be generous and share what you’re learning about your other connections. They will appreciate it.

#6 Make someone’s day – recommend them!

Take the time and effort to write a recommendation. Go above and beyond and do it the old-fashioned way. Write a personal recommendation that they can share on their profile. This will make their day.

Other Tips

  • When traveling into a region or territory, sort your LinkedIn contacts to refresh your memory of possible contacts within that region.
  • Congratulate contacts who have work anniversaries or who have moved. LinkedIn makes this process extremely easy. Your contacts will appreciate that you notice.
  • Get into some groups that interest you. There is a ton of information that can be gained by watching and learning from groups.

How are you using LinkedIn?

Cory Schaeffer

About Cory Schaeffer

Cory is Director of Systems Solutions for QSC. She serves on the Board of Listen Technologies, which she co-founded in 1998. She previously served on the Board of Directors for InfoComm International. Cory is passionate about the industry and developing and nurturing relationships to connect people to positive experiences. She lives in Santa Barbara, California.

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