BLOC Podcast

16: Leveraging Your LinkedIn

January 26, 2021 Heidi Kirby Episode 16
BLOC Podcast
16: Leveraging Your LinkedIn
Show Notes Transcript

In this solo episode, I give five basic tips for leveraging your LinkedIn profile as well as a couple of more advanced tips for LinkedIn users. I think LinkedIn is a powerful, professional social media platform that can be used for more than just finding a job!

Connect with Heidi on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heidiekirby/ or on my website: www.heidikirby.com

Thanks for listening to the BLOC!

Connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heidiekirby/

Or check out what I'm working on over at https://www.getusefulstuff.com/

Heidi Kirby:

Hello friends, and welcome to the block the building learning and organizational culture podcast. I'm your host Heidi Kirby. On today's episode, I want to talk a little bit about leveraging your LinkedIn profile. This is a question I get a lot, especially from people who are coming into the field of learning and development from somewhere else. For example, educators don't really use their LinkedIn profile to network with other professionals in their field. So learning and development is unique in this way. Today, I'm gonna give you five tips for maximizing your LinkedIn profile, as well as a couple of tips for those who are a little bit more advanced. But first, we need to talk about why you might use a LinkedIn profile at all. Most people think it's to find a job. However, there are a lot of other reasons why you might use LinkedIn regularly. I'm very active on LinkedIn. And I'm not always looking for a job. Although that is the number one reason, you might also be looking to connect with other people in your field. For a while there, I was the only learning and development person at my organization. And so I use LinkedIn to talk to other people in my field, whether it be to ask a question, or simply just to vent about learning and development related issues and obstacles we face. It was a really great support system and made it feel like I had co workers that were in my field. A lot of people just want to learn more about their fields in general, it's another great use of LinkedIn to learn more about a field you might be considering, or just to keep up on trends and issues. A lot of people also use it if they want to present if they want to find collaborators for research. Or if they just want to share information, if you want to start your own blog or podcast or something like that, it's a great platform to share your work. So here are my five tips for leveraging your LinkedIn profile. First, don't be picky about the connections you accept. What I mean by this is that LinkedIn is not Facebook, or Instagram, or tick tock, or whatever the social media of the month is. It's not a personal social media platform. It's a professional social media platform. So you're not going to be as particular about only connecting with people, you know, right? I'm not sharing photos of my child or my personal life or my vacations on LinkedIn. So it's okay for me to accept connection requests from strangers, I keep my personal social media locked down. But for LinkedIn, it's a little bit different. So don't be picky. But on the same token, be careful. Don't accept connection requests from people that have zero connections. And don't accept connection requests from people who have some kind of sales pitch as their headline, because most likely, you're going to get some kind of sales pitch. Other than that, I say, if someone in your field adds you on LinkedIn as a connection, accept the request. Tip number two, add new connections regularly. The way I like to kind of go about this is I'll either pick one of my connections, who has 500 or more other connections, and go through their list and see if there are people that are frequent users of LinkedIn or share particularly interesting information. And I'll add those people. A general rule of thumb I have is that if you have less than 500 connections, you should probably attach a note when you're connecting with someone new, because people may not know who you are. And you may not have yet built enough of a reputation to have your connection request accepted without question. This can be a copy and paste. No, I know it makes it a little less personal. But for example, when I was looking for new connections when I was first transitioning into the field of instructional design, I look searched for people who are instructional designers, and then I narrowed that search down to people who are in my region. I then reached out to those people and put a little message that said hi, I'm just looking to connect with more learning and development professionals in the Cleveland area. And nine times out of 10, people would accept the connection based on that. Tip number three, this one sounds obvious, but it isn't as obvious as it seems. Fill out your profile. This means have a professional profile picture, not a selfie, a professional looking headshot, it doesn't have to be a paid headshot. Just follow Tips and Tricks Online for a professional looking photo, your cover photo, that photo that goes across the top of your profile update that I always tell people to make it personal. And to let it show a little bit of your personality. Fill out your job experience, under the descriptions for each of your positions, copy and paste the text from your resume to show what you've done for each of your positions, fill out your education, add a few skills, just basically fill out all the different parts of your profile. your about section is very important. There you should fill in your elevator pitch. If you have an elevator pitch that you use for job interviews, that briefly describes your career history, and where you want to go, that goes in your about section. And last but certainly not least, and in fact, maybe the most important thing is to customize your headline. Now you can use the default headline, which is basically just your title and the company that you work for. But I always encourage people to go above and beyond and to describe their strengths, but also what they're looking for. So your headline might read, learning and development leader looking to lead a learning team to greatness. I don't know, I just made that up off the top of my head. But you want it to be very specific. Do not put looking for a new adventure, in your headline. Put what you're really looking for be specific about it. One of the worst headlines that I've seen is, and this has happened with multiple people I've found on LinkedIn, unemployed at unemployed, just because you are unemployed does not mean that you can't customize that headline. So it doesn't call crazy attention to the fact that you're unemployed, right? The headline is customizable. update it, utilize it, because that shows up when you add a new connection on LinkedIn. Tip number four share posts. Again, it seems kind of straightforward. But it's important for you to create conversations on LinkedIn. So there's a few different ways you can do this, you can write an article, which is essentially a blog in LinkedIn terms, and share that you can share other people's links. This can be something you found on LinkedIn or something that you just found on the web. As always, I like to encourage people to give credit where credit is due. If you share someone else's link, please say who it belongs to and more information about them. You can also ask a question, some of my most popular LinkedIn posts are based on just simple questions. For example, I wanted something pretty low key to share the day after Christmas. So I posted a photo of a Lego Superman and asked people when you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up? And the post blew up so many people answered, because they just thought it was a fun question to engage with. Do something like that. Or you can also use LinkedIn poll feature and ask a question that has answers already built in. Tip number five, comment on other people's posts. As much as it's important to share your own posts. It's also important to engage with others on LinkedIn because it is a social media platform. I always tell beginners, try to post once a week and comment on other people's posts twice a week. What you'll find is that when you start going through and commenting on people's posts, and setting up a cadence, you end up commenting on more people's posts than you thought you would. Which is great. Because that's how people find you. That's how you find new connections. It just it makes everything a lot easier. So to recap, my five tips are, don't be too picky about the people who request to connect with you. Add new connections regularly. Feel fill out your profile fully share posts, and comment on other people's posts. Now, maybe you're saying, I've already done all those things. Great, awesome, you're ahead of the curve, I'm gonna give you two extra tips that are more advanced. For those who are interested. Your featured section of LinkedIn is a great opportunity to share what you've been doing. In mine. I like to share presentations I've been part of or podcasts that I've guested on, you can also put your link to your portfolio or your website there as well. It's a great spot to kind of give some evidence to what you're claiming in your headline and in your about. The second tip was shared with me originally by Karen North, who showed me a service that schedules and posts to your LinkedIn on your behalf. Now this service does cost money. So if you're someone who has a reason to spend that money and a reason to schedule your posts, such as a small business owner, or you're going into consulting for instructional design, I would recommend it. For someone who's simply looking for a job, I probably wouldn't recommend this service unless you have a good reason. But I pay for the subscription. And then I plan out my LinkedIn posts about a week in advance. So I collect things as the week's go on. links that I find that other people post that I like things that come to me via email newsletter, just different things that are shared with me or that I see that I like, and I email those to myself as I come across them on my phone. And then I sit down and for about an hour a week. I plan out all the following weeks LinkedIn posts based on all the things that I've curated and gathered and fill in the blanks with fun things like questions, like I said before inspiring photos, or quotes or something like that. And I just basically plan out the next week. And this has helped me tremendously because I do have a 40 hour a week job. And I can't just be posting on LinkedIn all day, right? So it automates the process so that I'm still engaging and still connecting. And then when I have a lunch break or after work in the evenings, usually I'll scroll through and check all the comments and answer questions and all that good stuff. But that's another one of my advanced tips is you can automate your LinkedIn posts if that's something that you have a need for. And with that, thanks again for joining me on the blog. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with friends and review us on your favorite podcast platform. I hope you'll tune in again soon.