This post is geared to young professionals who are just beginning to build their LinkedIn network.
Your LinkedIn profile is a great representation of your professional story, what makes you – you, and what differentiates you from the other 500+ million LinkedIn members.
LinkedIn recently published interesting statistics:
- Customized profiles have 21x more views on average.
- Profiles with quality photos have 14x more views on average.
- 94% of companies use LinkedIn to vet candidates.
Not in the job market?
No worries, these statistics will help you with new business, as well. Being able to access and learn about who you are meeting with, provided that they have a thorough profile, gives you a leg up, provides insight into that person, and indicates you are serious, interested, and thorough.
Your profile is complete, now what?
For those who have had a profile for a while and are semi-active on LinkedIn, check out your Social Selling Index score (SSI). The Social Selling Index is comprised of four key components: establish your professional brand, find the right people, engage with insights, and build relationships. Your SSI score will show you the components you excel in and which need work. Focus your LinkedIn efforts in the areas that are currently the lowest and watch your SSI score change over the upcoming weeks.
Here’s how your SSI score breaks down:
Establishing Your Professional Brand refers to building a profile that creates credibility for yourself and your organization. Write and post original content to increase your subject matter expertise even more.
Find the Right People relates to using Searches quickly and efficiently to find the right people to connect and network with.
Engage with Insights refers to sharing valuable updates, articles, and information with your network and engage with your networks.
Finally, Build Relationships refers to intentionally connecting with decision makers and LinkedIn influencers.
If you have not checked your profile for a while, review what’s on your profile and determine where you can improve and update your profile. Making a great first impression when connecting on LinkedIn is important and why we highly recommend having a stand-out profile before you begin building your network.
Think of your profile as a business card. A sparse, incomplete profile is the equivalent of tearing up your business card and only giving a small piece to someone. Let the world see who you are.
Building your network is not as daunting as it seems. Connect with high school and college peers, teachers, your parents, your parents’ friends, colleagues if you have interned or worked somewhere. Remember, build your network with intention and, quantity is not better than quality.
As you continue to build your network, you will notice more updates on your Home Page news feed. Engage with those insights and share them on behalf of others. Guess what? When you share something, they may be more inclined to share what you post. Come across a great, valuable article? Share that with your network. Creating original content? Publish it on LinkedIn.
Learn LinkedIn’s Search and Advanced Search features and you will find specific people to connect with on LinkedIn. Whether it is for prospecting, outreach, or other reasons, knowing LinkedIn’s Advanced Search feature is important.
Master these four components and you will build a strong, engaged professional network. Matching your SSI with your activities helps you move from a novice to a power-user pretty quickly.
At Intero, we each treat our LinkedIn time like a standing meeting. Schedule “LinkedIn Time” at least 10 minutes, 3x a week on your calendar. By managing your LinkedIn time as a standing meeting, there’s a greater chance you will spend time on LinkedIn and not dismiss it for another activity. LinkedIn takes effort, time, intention, and diligence. While you might not be closing six figures in new business right now, with time and effort you just might down the road.
This post was originally published on Intero Advisory’s website in July 2016. Please note that LinkedIn is constantly changing. While it’s current now it may not be in the coming weeks or months.