Mastering LinkedIn, or at least making it work for you, can seem like a daunting task for most young professionals. We often avoid it because we believe it's meant for stuffy adults in their 30s and 40s who are well into their career. LinkedIn is more than that, though. There is a world of opportunities that await you on the platform; all we have to do is step up and put ourselves out there. Today, I wanted to share five things you should be doing on LinkedIn to further your career.
1. Sharing Your Favorite Resources And Articles
First and foremost, how are you contributing to the curation that is happening on LinkedIn? Showing that you are well read in your industry, and that you can provide valuable insight on the topic at hand, matters. Keeping up with industry news can be difficult, though. One of my favorite tools that I use weekly is Feedly. With Feedly, I can follow industry blogs across a wide array of subjects. I pick which blogs I follow, and Feedly helps me keep them all in one place as they come in throughout the week. Set up a Feedly account today and start following various publications in your niche. When you read something interesting, publish an update about it on LinkedIn.
Here are some thought starters as you create your insight into the article:
- Is there a quote that stood out to you in this article? What's the quote and what emotions/thoughts did it invoke in you?
- What is the main point of the resource or article? Do you agree? Why or why not?
- Do you have anything you'd like to add? Is there a significant point the author left from the article?
Overall, you want to provide something insightful or thought-provoking. Don't share content just to have something to post on LinkedIn.
2. Creating Videos
Video is blowing up on LinkedIn. LinkedIn recently allowed videos to be used widely on the platform. There is still time to reap the benefits of this new phenomenon and get in on the ground floor. Video can be challenging for many because they feel awkward or out of place. Even if you are doing something that other's aren't, you are still making a difference in your industry.
When creating videos you want to be mindful of your intended audience. What if your next boss were to see the video you are posting. Would they be proud to call you a member of their team? Would they be shocked by what they see there?
If you are going to create LinkedIn video content, keep it short and actionable. You don't need to show your face for long to build that know, like, and trust factor. Simply sharing one stellar tip for 1-2 minutes is all you need. Don't feel the need to go above and beyond if you don't need to.
Related Reading: Everything You Need to Know About LinkedIn Video in 2019
3. Expanding Your Network With People In Your Niche
While there are plenty of ways to reach new people without connecting with others, connections matter. Connections help keep you top of mind with big players in your industry. If you have the time, create personalized connection requests for a few people in your niche every day. Before you know it, you will have a tribe of people you can depend on to help you further your career.
Every few months you should think about the new people in your network. Are you connected with them on LinkedIn? If not, send them a personalized LinkedIn request so that you can connect with more people.
You don't have to know someone on LinkedIn to connect with them, though. Who would you like to connect within your niche? Check out workers at your favorite companies or fascinating leaders in your niche that could be exciting connections or leads. When you connect with people you don't know you need to spend extra time personalizing connection requests. Otherwise, you'll likely receive a ton of ignored requests.
4. Using Hashtags To Expand Post Reach
LinkedIn updates are often public by default, but even a public post won't help you reach more people. Thankfully, LinkedIn gives you a quick way to expand your post reach, and they also give you ideas on the best ones to use. You can add hashtags to your posts on LinkedIn, and I highly encourage you to add at least 3 to every post you make there.
When you use hashtags, you increase your chance of being seen by others outside your network. Without hashtags, the only way to engage with others outside of your network is if your connections like and comment on your content. Engagement from your contacts puts your content in front of their connections because LinkedIn usually shows what people you connect with are engaging with.
There are better ways to gain more post reach besides posting and hoping, though. The simple act of finding 3+ relevant hashtags will help you take your content to the next level.
Related Reading: How to Use Hashtags on LinkedIn to Grow Your Client Base
5. Getting Recommendations And Testimonials
Last, but not least, you should be getting recommendations and testimonials from people who matter in your niche. LinkedIn is a powerful tool and getting your connections to share recommendations straight to LinkedIn will help you out a ton.
LinkedIn recommendations are inherently more valuable than any testimonial you may pull from another site and add as a status update. There is something about someone choosing to attach their name and profile to your page while giving you a testimonial.
Getting testimonials can be scary but remember you've already done the fantastic work. You wouldn't even be thinking about asking for a testimonial if you didn't know you deserved it. You are worthy of this. I don't want you to scare yourself into believing anything different.
LinkedIn Works When You Provide Value
If I could give one tip for succeeding on LinkedIn, I would say provide value. I think you could use this same tip to succeed on most social platforms, though. Do you want to succeed with LinkedIn, but you don't put any energy into your profile? Stop consuming what everyone else creates. You don't need to let them make money with LinkedIn while you fall behind! You can make LinkedIn work for you too.