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[#31cbcbcJanuary 2013] Building a Professional Network on LinkedIn

Today Julia Neiman shares how you can create a community on

Julia-linkedin

Stuart Miles- http://freedigitalphotos.net

Linkedin. 

Linkedin was somewhat of a mystery to me for a long time.  I signed up, uploaded a photo and filled in my profile, connected with a few co-workers and colleagues, then wondered why I was there because I didn’t know what else to do with it.

I can’t say I really know how to fully use the system, however, I have learned some things along the way that I hope you’ll find useful.

1. Be Professional

The most important thing to remember about Linkedin is that it is a professional networking site.  If you are looking to connect to friends and share jokes and photos, stick to Facebook and Twitter and some of the other sites.  Don’t be tempted to use avatars or photos of flowers for your photo.  Most professional people will see that and not want to connect with you.

2. Complete Your Profile

The next most important thing is to fully complete your profile.  There is a percentage bar on the page that tells you how far you still have to go to complete your profile.  Do it all and always update it with new any new items.  Updating will put you in front of your network and give people a reason to take another look to see what you’ve added.

3. Endorse Others

Linkedin will ask you to add skills that you have and will provide a place for people to endorse you.  Never, ever ask anybody to endorse you.  The key to getting endorsements is to endorse others for the skills they have that you are aware of.  The endorsements are valuable in that they tell people looking at your profile that they can trust that you really have those skills.

4. Join Groups

Last, but not least, perhaps the most important step in the Linkedin networking chain is to join groups.  There are many groups on Linkedin.  Pick those that are relevant to your business and are a place where the people you want to be connected with are participating.

You can add to topics started by others or start your own topic within a group.  Try to schedule time to post in your group, whether you are adding new content or leaving a comment on someone else’s post.  This is a great way to create relationships with others in your field or area of expertise that you might not otherwise be able to connect with.

Be Patient

Remember that it takes a while to build a network.  Be consistent and don’t give up, it will eventually pay off.  And above all else, on Linkedin, always put your best professional foot forward.

Julia Neiman , Founder of Transform For Life and Executive Director of Group Home Consultants, is an experienced behavioral specialist and life coach. Her latest program, the Youth Economic Self Sufficiency Project, combines Monetize Your Passion with financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills to teach transitional age youth to identify their dreams and passions and create a business around those dreams. 

About I Love Crochet

Sara Duggan is a Wife and Mom enjoys crocheting and writing. She joined the crochet blogging community in 2007 as Momwithahook. In 2008 she toyed with designing patterns and shares her creations with you. Connect with Sara on Twitter and Pinterest.

  • Emily

    This is a great post and helps clear up some of the mystery around LinkedIn. I use it, but not as much as I could yet. More focused on Facebook and Twitter, but I hope to eventually utilize LinkedIn more fully and this article is a great intro!

    • Same here, I did use it more last year it just gets so overwhelming – all the social networks out there.

      • It is overwhelming, Sara, no doubt about it. I’ve cut way back on Twitter and right now am on Facebook in a big way and on Linkedin. I’ve been on Linkedin for years but am just now getting around to learning how to use it. Groups are the way to go.

    • Hi Emily. Sorry to be so late, I’m in the middle of a launch and didn’t realize Sara posted this article.

      I am in the process of using Linkedin more. It’s the best place to network and connect with others in your field and perhaps find some JV partners. Twitter isn’t as good as it used to be and I don’t spend that much time there anymore. The groups on Linkedin are a great way to start conversations and get noticed.

  • Linda Ursin

    It’s nice to know I’m doing something right 😀

    I have found new guest bloggers via LinkedIn, but that’s it so far.

    • I’ve connected with others via Linkedin on Twitter but finding guest bloggers is another great use of Linkedin.

    • I can’t stress enough that it’s in the groups Linda. The more groups you find in your niche the more visible you become. It is about hooking up for JVs and guest posting but that’s what gets your name out to more people.

  • Top post, thank you for sharing, Linkedin has been one of those places I haven’t signed up with as it “just seems too much”, I will definitely give it a go now thanks to this intro. Thank you.

    • Hi Spike. I resisted Linkedin for a long time but I’m getting the hang of it. I’m connecting with the people that I want to be connected with and it’s a site you have a lot of control over. The more I use it, the more I like it.

  • Darlene Cary

    I found it helpful to spend 15min/day sharing a news article and responding to others’ posts on Linkedin. Thanks for the tips!

    • My pleasure Darlene. It’s always good when we be productive in less time on social media.

  • Great info to get started on LinkedIn. I was still in corporate when a co-worker suggested the site to me. LinkedIn has certainly exploded over the past 5 years and has been a very helpful resource!

    • Linkedin certainly has grown quickly and I agree PeggyLee, it is a great resource.

  • I love Julia’s work. She is always right on! I would say don’t add pictures of flowers or your dog for any of your Social Media sites. You own a business – your dog doesn’t. 😀

    • Amethyst, a great tip. I do know people who run their businesses as their dogs though 🙂 so in that case a photo of your dog would be appropriate.

    • LOL Amethyst. Thank you so much for the compliments. Sorry to be so late to reply, I didn’t realize that Sara posted the article.

      I agree about the photos. It makes me crazy when people are putting themselves forward as a business owner and the have photos of everything but their branding. Bad form.

  • Peggy Lusk

    All great advice, Julia…

    I was on LinkedIn years before I joined facebook or twitter. It is a great place to connect with peers from all over the world. For many businesses, the more professional focus can actually work much better than the other social networking channels; and your presence there can lend more credibility to your background and experience. It really is more about building the professional connections that can help with questions or referrals at a later date than it is about passing on viral images and regular short messages.

    • Thank you for adding to the conversation Peggy. Linkedin is a professional site and if used right, can be a great resource to grow your business, make connections, find mentors and learn things!

  • Jolynn Van Asten

    Sara! This is great. I am guilty as charged with an incomplete profile! 🙂 I am motivated to complete it. Hmmmm similar pattern I’m noticing here to my unfinished craft projects!
    Prosperity to you!
    Jolynn Van Asten
    http://www.expertbreakthrough.com

    • Joylynn, Julia Neiman was my guest for this post so all the credit goes to her. It took me a while to use Linkedin and I’m still learning. Groups are definitely the way to go as it is in them that you’ll find real connection.

    • Joylynn, get that profile done, it’s one of the most important aspects of Linkedin. And keep it updated with every change you make in your business. And Sara is right, groups are the way to go.

  • Jan

    As a B2B business, you would think I would use LinkedIn more. While I am quite happy managing others or even training on how to use it, I really am not comfortable there. I prefer networks that are much more laid back – like me 🙂

    • Do you know laid back networks? Do share. As I’m a crochet and writing centered business I think it might be different. The groups I belong to are quite laid back. Even some of the blogging groups are just like talking with friends.

    • As my coach would tell me, Jan, “get with the program.” Linkedin is great for B2B promotion. It’s all in the groups. Most groups have a space where you can promote. It’s like a huge online networking group and if used for that purpose, you’ll find what you need there.

  • Lianne-Carla Savage

    Great tips. I find groups great places to be. I’m actually doing a video blog series all this week on LinkedIn

    • I didn’t know about groups until about a year after I signed up. Groups are where the connections take place. Will stop by to watch your video series.

    • That’s great Lianne-Carla. I hope it went really well.

  • I was slow to start with LinkedIn but now that I’m more actively participating in groups have been getting a lot more out of it. I recently wrote a blog post for LinkedIn newbies who want to optimize their experience with this social network. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can find it here: http://writeahead.ca/2013/01/31/tips-for-optimizing-your-linkedin-experience/#.USGTh2fYGSo

    • Thanks for linking to your article about Linkedin for newbies. I agree, the groups are what got me involved as well.

    • Great addition Nicole, thank you for sharing.