Wednesday, February 12, 2014

10 Ways To Better Utilize LinkedIn

Photo, Creative Commons
Lately, I've been working a lot with a variety of clients on their online presence (just one piece of their image), specifically on their LinkedIn profiles because it seems to be the most difficult platform for people to wrap their brains around. If you feel confused by or unsure of what to do with LinkedIn once you're on there, you're not alone.

I felt that way for a long time after being on LinkedIn. Because it was somewhat intimidating and visually overwhelming (not clean and simple looking like Facebook), I just avoided it except to make a few connections on it. And I see so many others avoiding it for the same reasons. But, if you have a career in any industry (music included) or you are vying for a job in your chosen industry, you cannot hide from LinkedIn.

While I could probably write for several pages on how to use LinkedIn, I'll start with a few suggestions on how to improve your profile and utilization of the platform.
  1. Upload a professional photo. LinkedIn is a professional site, so all pictures should look professional (no posing with friends and PLEASE no duck lips!). For recording artists, you could use your album cover or single release promo photo.
  2. Fill out your profile completely. I see so many people not including any job duties or accomplishments in the job listings under their experience section. But what most people don't know is there is an option for viewers to download a PDF version of your profile, which when saved looks a lot like a resume. Not having any job details will make that downloaded resume look sparse.
  3. Make your profile keyword rich. Every place you can include keywords relevant to your areas of expertise, do so. This includes in your tagline, your summary, your skills section, and sometimes even in your name like I did in my profile. This will move your profile higher up in search ranks when people search those keywords. Why would LinkedIn members be searching those keywords? Some may be looking for those who possess a certain skillset to interview for their job openings. In fact, I just recently did some interview coaching for a client who was sought out by a big name luxury hotel chain who wanted to interview him for an executive position after having seen his LinkedIn profile. They found him, not the other way around!
  4. Customize your LinkedIn profile's URL. You can edit your LinkedIn profile's URL to make it what you want it to be, preferably something more memorable than the one LinkedIn automatically provides you that includes a ton of numbers in it. You'll then want to include your LinkedIn URL on your resume under your contact info.
  5. Include samples of your work in your profile. In various sections of your profile, you can upload documents or post links to samples of your work, whether it's your album on iTunes or your photography portfolio on SlideShare. 
  6. Personalize your greeting when connecting with others. Don't just rely on the default greeting LinkedIn provides you when connecting with another person. Put something in your own words that is friendly yet still professional. 
  7. Join groups. Joining industry-related groups helps you gather important information and stay abreast of the current trends of your chosen industry. You will also find out about job openings or gig opportunities announced within the groups. It's better to focus your energies on searching job postings within groups than within LinkedIn's main job search engine.
  8. Participate in groups. Don't just be a passive member of groups. Demonstrate your areas of expertise by commenting on posts and posting content of your own that group members will find interesting.
  9. Follow companies. You can follow companies you are interested in to gather information about their products and services. To find out more about our services, follow paNASH Style on LinkedIn
  10. Use LinkedIn to connect in person. LinkedIn can be a great way to get introduced to someone you don't know and to suggest an in-person lunch or coffee meeting to discuss how you can both be of assistance to each other.
If after incorporating the above tips you find you still need help with LinkedIn, let us know. We can help you!

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