In our experience we find the average person relates to LinkedIn a lot like they do to Twitter, in they know it has value, they just don’t know what it is or how to get started effectively. In some ways Twitter and LinkedIn have similarities, targeted connections are easier than some other platforms, you can see who your competition is connected to or following in many cases, and you can group and be grouped into categories by people looking to follow specific interests they associate you with.
The main benefit of LinkedIn over twitter is the quality of its membership base.
The average income of a person on LinkedIn is now over $100,000, where many influential tweeters have very little influence in the business world or any world outside of twitter. Here is a brief video explaining the basics of LinkedIn for those of you looking for a (less than) 2 minute introduction:
The bottom line:
If you are a professional looking to connect with influencers, or you have a high value product or service you are looking to sell, you need to be on LinkedIn.
Here is a brief checklist for getting a basic profile setup on LinkedIn:
- Turn off Broadcast Activity: you don’t want to annoy everyone by showing them all 70 profile pictures you go through before you find the one you are happy enough with to leave it for now.
- Make your activity feed visible: this way the people that do want to see what you are doing are able to.
- Adjust anonymity appropriately: we generally recommend letting people see when you visit their profile, even if it’s your competition, but you know what’s best, especially if you won’t be able to resist checking up on old flames or nosy neighbors.
- Decide who can see your connections: Just like you can follow your competition, they can follow you, and see who you are interacting with. Just remember, if you block someone from seeing who you are connected with, they will probably turn around and do the same, sometimes it’s better to just lay your cards on the table.
- Add all of your email addresses: This way your employer from 15 years ago (when you were still using AOL) can still find you when he needs a consultant, or so Aunt Hilda can connect with you with her new profile, ok maybe you can leave off the email that you created just for her cat pictures…
- Add a profile picture: Not a bathroom selfie, or a vacation picture no matter how impressive you think your chugging four margaritas at once in Cabo was. Try to avoid any picture that isn’t just you, looking relatively clean and professional. If you are in a laid-back industry like say marketing, you don’t have to go full suit and fresh haircut, but bed-head and your Starbucks cup can stay out of the picture.
Now you have addressed the basic points you need to in order to get started and look (relatively) professional on LinkedIn. Go connect!
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