LinkedIn is a very popular networking tool for people in business these days, but there are still so many who do not seem to know how to use it, or perhaps haven’t thought about it a great deal.
There was an article published today about how to protect your account at LinkedIn and prevent your account from being restricted. The article was aimed at job-seekers but it very much applies to us all.
Basically the writer gives 4 tips for using LinkedIn:
- Personalise your invitations
- Go outside of LinkedIn and research the person you want to connect to
- Ask your existing network for help to connect to specific people at companies
- Make sure your profile is complete and up to date.
Make sure you read the article in full.
I’d like to add more information to the above though, as this is relevant to those who run a business as well as those who seek jobs.
- When personalising the invitation, don’t click on the ‘connect’ button for people on your suggested list. You won’t get to personalise the connection request at all. Instead, click on their name and then the connection button and explain why you want to connect to that person. Don’t expect them to instantly know or read your mind. You have to tell them why, e.g. where you noticed them either locally or online, your interest in what they do, how you know of them, etc.
- In making sure your profile is complete, add your photo. Not a logo, not a drawing, not your dog or anything else, but you. People want to know you’re real. Your photo helps prove that.
- Include your past working history, any interests you have, key words that are relevant to what you do now.
- Once connected don’t add people to your newsletter list. They did not give permission for you to do this. They gave permission to connect so you can spend time getting to know each other.
- Don’t start prospecting for your MLM or other type of business. People are already in business. They don’t know you and won’t want to know about your business ‘opportunity’ till they have gotten to know you. Generally they’re already in business and not looking for another one.
- Once connected do not start sending promotional messages or asking for donations and funds for your latest project.
For me personally all three of the above are quick reasons for me choosing to disconnect.
- Be aware of the User Agreement at LinkedIn. While you are supposed to personally know everyone who you invite to connect with you, the reality if you can get to know people through the discussion forums or through mutual connections. Make sure you read the Dos and Don’ts on the site.
- Find groups that you can join at LinkedIn and get to know your peers, your potential clients, and other people of interest. Your connection list will grow the more time you spend networking and getting to know people.
Hope these handy hints and tips help you grow and develop in the use of LinkedIn on a professional basis.