It’s essential to get out there and market yourself, selling your skills and experiences. But these days, face-to-face networking is challenging.
There’s still plenty you can do online, though, especially on professional networking sites like LinkedIn. Think of it as content creation for your personal brand.
LinkedIn is the place to show off your achievements, goals, thought leadership, and really let people know who you are and what you can bring to their organization.
With LinkedIn, you can do your own content marketing – about yourself! That’s why optimizing your LinkedIn profile and engaging with others in your industry—or in the industry you want to get into—is critical.
Create your content – write posts and blogs, and ask questions that are relevant to your industry. Connect with people in your industry, at companies you’d like to work for, and within your extended networking circle. Get involved with relevant posts and debates, and watch your “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” stats start to rocket.
- Be open to New Opportunities
More than ever, you need to stand out from the crowd. LinkedIn is a great advertising billboard for your thought leadership and your services. But first, you need to ensure people know you are open to new opportunities.
The good news is you can market yourself without alerting your existing employer to your plan. On your profile, there’s a “show recruiters you’re open to work” option. Through it, you can select what sort of work you want: remote, freelance, part-time, and the industries and roles you want.
Keeping this option on means recruiters can see you’re looking for something new and can match relevant roles to your skills and experiences.
- Perfect your profile
When was the last time you updated or tweaked your profile? It’s your personal advertisement and a great place to get yourself out in the marketplace. Remember, hiring managers, recruiters, and potential clients will see a lot of LinkedIn profiles. So, you need to stand out.
Beyond who you are, you need to also analyse and understand what problem you could be solving for the recruiter – the problem that contact you could solve. In those first few lines in the “About” section, tell them what value you would bring to their organization.
It’s essential to get the tone right too. Make an impact: try and get the reader of your profile to feel a connection with you. While it is a professional networking site, that doesn’t mean you have to erase your personality.
Talk about what you do upfront, but don’t forget to share who you are too.
- Be specific
Don’t lie about your skills or be too general. Everyone’s good at Microsoft office these days. Drill down what specific skills you can bring. Don’t be vague.
Show people what you know—explain the exact software packages you are expert in. Excel at Excel? Excellent in Adobe Photoshop? Can project manage in Asana with the best of them? Then let people know.
- Don’t forget your profile picture
Whatever you do, don’t forget about your LinkedIn profile picture.
People need to see you, not your cat. It can be informal, but perhaps that picture of you at the Mötley Crüe concert isn’t the best look.
Look well put together and professional, and your content will sell itself.
- Interact with people
Even though it’s geared toward professional networking, LinkedIn is still social media. Yes, having a strong profile gets you noticed and connected. But if you want results—and to stay fresh in people’s minds—interact with your connections. If the leaders in your industry are posting on LinkedIn, join the conversation.
Build a rapport with connections by reading, commenting on, and sharing their content.
- Create engaging content
Having a strong profile gets you noticed. But once you’ve made your connections, don’t become another connection to forget about. Prove you’re a trusted expert that influences your industry by sharing valuable content.
Six out of ten users actively look for industry insights on LinkedIn. So create content that educates and inspires members. It can set you apart as a thought leader.
Selling yourself and what you can do is the only way you’re going to set yourself up as a thought leader, get yourself noticed, and get that dream job or client. So make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized and grabs the right attention.