I wrote this some time ago and wanted to update it a bit.
After my fourth client phone call today with LinkedIn Newbies, it really hit home on how there is a common theme with them. They all have "LinkedIn Anxiety".
When using LinkedIn, I would suggest spending a block of time every day, whether it is 10 minutes or an hour, getting your feet wet. Start small and work you way up. Take it slow and make sure you are comfortable.
Here are some ideas to get started:
- Complete your Profile as best you can in all the appropriate sections and check your spelling. Browse profiles that look great and get ideas on how to improve yours. Strive to reach 100% completion. LinkedIn tells you how good they think your profile is --- look on the right side of your profile. Take your time, it is a work of art!
- Add a professional headshot. People like to see what you look like. Make it engaging to draw others to you.
- Create a Headline with strong key words.
- Fill out your contact information and treat it like your business card.
- Create a dynamic Summary using your key words. Type it in Word to start so you can easily make changes and then cut and paste to your Summary section. You can also add media here.
- Add your positions to the Experience section and give description using key words. You can even add pictures and media to this section now.
- Add Skills and Expertise so people can endorse you.
- Search for people you know to connect with first...high school, college, business colleagues and add as a connection through a common link. Make sure you send a nice, short personal note to connect.
- Browse the different groups and join ones that you feel comfortable with.
- Begin viewing discussions in groups and see what is going on before actually jumping in and participating. Ask questions when you feel comfortable and share advice.
- Follow companies you know.
- Update your status with an interesting article.
- Recommend someone and ask them to recommend you.
- Endorse others that you know and they most likely will endorse you.
- Be patient and take your time getting familiar with the power of LinkedIn.
- Remember, it doesn't bite!
LinkedIn is a professional networking site and it is top notch in my opinion. Once you get your feet wet and you feel the power of LinkedIn, you can create amazing things to happen.