How to use LinkedIn to boost your professional reputation
By Charlotte Grainger
Try these social strategies to find success.
With more than half a billion users, Linkedin is a powerful tool. So are you using it to the best of its potential? If you’re hoping to advance your career and climb that all-important industry ladder, upping your game on this platform could be the answer. Whether you’re looking for a job change or simply want to become renowned in your area, the social networking site offers a low-cost way of getting noticed by the right people.
While most modern-day professionals will already have a LinkedIn profile, there are ways through which you can make the most out of the site. Dedicating a little time to this aspect of your career development can help you to gain attention from both recruiters and others in your industry. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some simple strategies that will help you boost your professional reputation on this social site.
Search for industry-specific groups
Have you used the ‘groups’ feature on LinkedIn? If you’ve yet to join some relevant groups on the site, it’s time to change your ways. Doing so will allow you to reach out to other professionals in your specific industry and make valuable connections along the way. Simply search for relevant communities online and ask to become a member.
Once you’ve been accepted, ensure that you take an active role in communicating with others. Rather than shamelessly self-promoting – which is actually against the site’s guidelines – involve yourself in any ongoing conversations or debates. You could offer advice to those who need it, recommend other professionals when appropriate or simply offer your opinion on trending topics. This strategy allows people to familiarise themselves with your name.
Become a content creator
Another way through which you can boost your professional reputation and show off your expertise is to become a content creator. We must not forget that LinkedIn is a social media platform and, as such, people who log on are searching for something to read or view. These social media users could soon be your audience. Around 94 per cent of marketers now use LinkedIn as a content distribution platform, according to stats from the platform itself.
Before you begin writing, you should determine whether creating content is a smart strategy for you. Those working in commercial and creative fields, such as marketing or graphic design, could benefit greatly from this particular method; writing blogs may mean that they are viewed as an expert. However, if you work in an industry such as manufacturing, this technique may not be the way to go. Weigh up whether it’s a savvy option for you.
Itching to get started? The ‘Publishing Platform’ feature on the site allows you to write and share full-length articles. You should consider what it is that you want to share with your audience. It’s most effective to create a content plan ahead of time so that your articles have a shared theme. Start by considering what knowledge you have to offer others.
Interact with other users’ content
They don’t call it a ‘social network’ for no reason! The entire point of the LinkedIn platform is to reach out and connect with other professionals. The operative word there is connect. That does not merely mean adding them as a connection ‒ when you’ve done so, you should take the time to interact with the content they share, whether it’s posts, articles or imagery.
To kick off, one of the simplest ways you can engage is by commenting or liking posts. For example, if a user posts about a trending issue in your industry, it could be time to contribute your own expert take. Showing that you are active on the site will raise your profile and increase your visibility.
The other method is to share users’ posts and content. If another professional has written a piece that applies directly to your industry, doing so could pique the interest of your connections. Ensure that you consider which are the best pieces to share with your audience ‒ more than 60 per cent of users engage with posts that are educational and informative, according to stats from Sprout Social. As a golden rule, before you hit that button, you should think about whether the post ticks those two boxes.
Recommend other professionals
When you’re aiming to build your own profile on LinkedIn, one of the most effective things you can do is show other professionals some love. The moment you start giving something of value to other users, you should find that they repay the favour. What’s more, this strategy allows you to get your name out there and reach more people online. When you have connected with people you’ve previously worked with in some capacity, you can recommend them and their skill set. There are two ways to go about doing this on the site.
‘Recommendations’ are essentially testimonials that you write for someone else’s profile. For example, if you used a marketing agency’s services last year, you may write one of the marketers a short review. The other method that you may want to use is the ‘Endorsements’ feature. Head to a professionals profile and scroll to the bottom of the page. There you will find a box that asks you about this person’s skills. You can click on various skills – such as ‘writing’ or ‘design’ – and endorse the professional in that area.
Are you ready to start making more out of your LinkedIn profile? If your page has laid dormant since you created it a while ago, it’s time to change your ways. Try out some of these strategies for yourself and see whether they work for you. While you may not notice a dramatic change overnight, these tips should allow you to gain more exposure and be viewed as an expert within your industry. Get proactive online and give yourself a boost.