LinkedIn Fast Start Guide For The Newbie
“There are no mistakes, only opportunities.” –Tina Fey
At first glance, LinkedIn.com seems a little more complicated than some other social media networks. We need to understand the difference between LinkedIn.com and other social media networks such as Facebook.
LinkedIn is Different
Think of Facebook as a party for family and friends. People drop in, talk and listen to the latest news in the neighborhood and see the latest pictures of children and grandchildren. It is a fun site for fun communication. Think of LinkedIn.com as a “trade show” where people want to network with other like-minded people and share business cards. This is a giant business-networking site where the “elevator speech” is crucial to make a good first impression.
Utilize this Giant Networking Event Effectively
As you can see, LinkedIn.com provides a straightforward way for individuals and business owners to hire, market and sell in an innovative and new way. This is a site for professionals and you won’t see mothers sharing their child’s potty habits. You will see professionals sharing their expertise and offering help to members on LinkedIn.com.
Fast Start Guide to LinkedIn.com
- Use a Free Account
There is no need to upgrade your account to a paid LinkedIn.com account. The free version provides plenty of options for you to use. Here are nine key benefits to the free account:
- Create a Professional Profile
- Build a Network of Connections or Contacts
- Join Other People’s Networks
- Participate in & Create Groups
- Search for Companies, Jobs and People
- Send Messages and Get Answers
- Make Comments On Posts
- Use Various Applications
- Set Up Personalized Searches
- What Do You Get with a Paid Account?
The paid or premium version has all those features plus, you can send emails to people who you don’t know with the “In Message.” People can contact you without knowing you directly. Remember, this is social media and you must not be pushy even with this feature.
Key Element When Searching for Leads
One feature you get with the paid account is being able to view the results of who is looking at your profile. This means you can contact the person with a message inviting them to communicate with you. Don’t forget to thank the viewer for viewing your profile!
You can upgrade at any time. Get accustomed to the vast features of the free account first. You may find that there is no reason to get a premium account at this time.
- How Do I Join?
Joining is quick and easy. If you’ve never joined, go to the home page and click the sign up window to register. Fill this out using your full real name and the email address you use most. Be cautious about using your work email unless you own the business.
- Set Up Your Profile
When you fill out the form as the system prompts you, you’ll have completed a lot of your profile. Keep in mind that in most cases you can go back and edit later, but why not fill it out as accurately as possible now?
This is a site for professionals and a lack of detail and contact information will cast doubt on your ability to serve a business.
- Currently there are several parts to your profile:
- Your Name:
This should, of course, be your real name that you use in business. Don’t try to be clever and use a fake name. This is your online professional identity and you must be yourself.
- Your Headline:
This will appear under your name, and should describe what you do, not where you work. Think in terms of using keywords and keyword phrases separated by the pipe symbol ( | ) instead of a sentence or phrase.
- Your Photograph:
This should be a photo of your face with a plain background. People want to see the real you that includes your eyes, nose and mouth. This is not the time to put the photo of you downing giant margaritas; this is the time to demonstrate your most professional image.
- Your Work History / Experience:
Include every aspect of your work history that relates to your goals with your LinkedIn.com account. For instance, if you used to be a bookkeeper 20 years ago, but you have no intention of being one now, focus on what you want to do now as you fill out your work history.
You’ll notice on LinkedIn.com that within the profile section are some extra little spots that you can add information, such as videos, images and documents. You can add these later if you’re not ready now.
This section is exactly what it says, add in your education, and any certificates that you have that demonstrate your knowledge in your profession.
- Additional Info:
This area asks that you include interests, personal details, and how to contact you. Please put something in here that isn’t too off track of your goals for your future. Be cautious about putting something in interests that is too controversial and not related to your business.
I Can Help You Create an Effective Profile!
Do you find writing a profile of yourself difficult? I can help you with that challenge. I specialize in creating magnetic profiles that will generate leads for you. Call me at 352-443-6724 and leave me a message with your number and time zone. I look forward to your call. Leave me a message below in the comment section. Contact me today and let’s get your profile up and working for you 24/7!