How to use LinkedIn to promote yourself

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LinkedIn is a powerful platform for professionals to expand and stay connected with like-minded people; so having an active and up-to-date LinkedIn profile is crucial. Here are 5 ways to get the most benefit from LinkedIn.

As LinkedIn continues to develop, it is still undervalued when compared to Facebook. For professionals, however, it is a powerful platform and the social network of choice. It allows the opportunity to connect with colleagues, peers and other business professionals and to build your brand.

This means when you create a profile you need to be active and continuously update it. Here are 5 ways to get the most benefit from LinkedIn.

1. Profile

Make sure your profile is complete, has your professional title, employment title and most importantly a professional looking photograph. The profile must reflect all your other online bios, such as your company profile. Focus on your personal brand and what you can do for the potential customer, employer or partner.

2. Building Contacts

Once your profile is complete, it is important to start building your contact list. LinkedIn does suggest contacts and this is beneficial. Besides colleagues, clients and business partners, there are many other ways to build your contacts. At networking events, seminars or conferences where business cards are exchanged, connect with these individuals so they can become part of your network.

3. Post Status Updates

If you have an inactive LinkedIn account, you might as well not have an account. Use your status update on the ‘home’ page to share insights, information, articles or ideas. These updates will appear on your profile but will also appear on the homepages of those in your network. So it is a great way to promote your expertise by sharing content which is relevant to what you do professionally.

4. Join and be Active in the Right Groups

There are thousands of groups to join on LinkedIn to connect with like-minded professionals. It is important to join industry specific groups where you can promote your industry knowledge. Ask and answer questions, post information and participate in discussions. It raises your profile and allows you to contact anyone in the group directly.

5. Recommendations

People do business with those they know, like and trust. So it is essential to get recommendations with those that you have done business with. Start with old colleagues, bosses and clients and then build up to current contacts that you are connected with. Recommendations are similar to references on a hard copy CV and vital to promoting your expertise and integrity so get a balanced mix. People can see and read these and it adds to your credibility. You can also give recommendations.

LinkedIn provides an opportunity for individuals to be proactive in their careers. Professionals connect because they want to associate with other like-minded professionals. This can be quite powerful so be certain to make the most of LinkedIn by utilising effectively all that it offers.