Who better to provide answers than the man who literally wrote the book on ‘How to really use LinkedIn’, Bert Verdonck. Best-selling author, expert and chocolate aficionado – yes, do read on.
Start conversations, build relationships
What’s the number one reason we’re all flocking to LinkedIn?To spy on other people’s profiles, of course. For the past 15 years. And there’s a lot of us: 650 million members. 2 more for every second it took you to read that part.
It all adds to the strength of the platform. A powerful way to expand your B2B network. It starts with your colleagues, then moves on to your future colleagues, customers, future customers… Feel it yet?
Two seconds to make an impression
First impressions matter on LinkedIn just as much as in real life. It takes just a few crucial seconds for people to form their opinion about you. And it starts with your profile picture. Superficial? Maybe. But if you haven’t got one, you don’t exist (figure of speech, of course).
That picture from that party on the ski slopes last year? Cool. But not for LinkedIn. Keep it professional without losing too much of your personality. Something between your ID and that one party. The keyword here is recognizability. And stay away from group photos. “Is Jamie the guy with the moustache or that woman with the curls?” – you don’t want that.
Make sure your profile has something to say
Feed your profile with as much relevant content as possible. Tell stories and bring cases that come alive. Share status updates in different forms of rich media, be it video clip, Powerpoint, PDF… and link to your company page. It all adds to a better impression of you and your company.
A clear job function and a word about yourself – on the job and outside – are indispensable. Did you know your LinkedIn profile has already substituted your resumé as the primary evaluation tool? Yup, high time for an upgrade.
Connections, searching and being found on LinkedIn
On LinkedIn everybody’s a brand ambassador. Yes, even Kevin from accounting. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial that everybody pulls in the same direction and presents themselves in the same way. From HR to management. Go for a clear brand line for your company.
When looking for new connections, be sure to approach in a targeted way. A little-known fact is that you can click the search icon to activate a whole host of filters (click on ‘All filters’) from location to industry, even job role. This way, you’re bound to find the person you’re looking for.
Also leverage the network you already have. Ask others to introduce you and return the favor for them. Got to the right person? Then don’t forget to add a personal message when you’re sending a request. It significantly increases your chances of getting your request accepted.