LinkedIn is a social media platform that helps connect business professionals. That can include employers and potential employees as well as B2B connections and other professionals in your industry so that you can broaden your network and stay up-to-date on current trends. The good news is that it is relatively easy to start LinkedIn and build your network.
Beginning LinkedIn starts with signing up for an account. The professional social media platform makes this easy by providing a link to signup right on their homepage. You’ll need to input your professional email address and choose a password. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get a confirmation email with a link to prove you are human. After you click in that link and activate your account, it’s time to look at your privacy settings and fill out your profile, which is essential for successfully getting started on LinkedIn. This is because your profile lets everyone know who you are and tells people about your business and/or your work history and professional skills.
The second step to getting started on LinkedIn is taking a look at your privacy settings. As a professional or a business, you’ll want to immediately change your privacy settings. This is because you don’t want people to find you before you have your profile completely set up and filled out, it could make you look unprofessional. You can find your privacy settings by clicking on “me” in the top menu. You’ll immediately see a dropdown menu that includes the link “Settings & Privacy”. Click on it. You’ll want to make your profile completely private until you’re ready for the world to see you.
There are other privacy settings that you will need to check and set, according to your personal preferences, but changing these three ensures that you are not found until you want to be found. Just remember that once you finish your profile, you’ll have to go back and reset these to public.
Now, it’s time to completely fill out your profile. To get to your profile, you’ll once again, click on “me”. The very first link, which is blue, says “view profile.” Click on it. Next, you’ll click on the blue pencil icon to the right of the “more” link. This will pull up a section to add your intro information. It is recommended to start by uploading a good banner. If you have a business, you can upload your business logo or the banner you use for your website. Next, upload a picture of yourself for the smaller circular image, which is your profile photo. Type in your first and last name, create a catchy headline for your profile, add your current position and educational experience and list your location. You’ll also want to add your industry and contact information. Once you fill out every section, click “save”.
Once you are back to your main profile, scroll down until you see “Experience”. This is the place where you will fill out all your work experience. Scrolling down further gives you the option to add your education, skills & endorsements and interests.
Once you have your profile completely filled out and saved, add your personal connections. These are people and/or businesses that you already know. To add contacts, look at the top menu and click on “my network.” The professional social media platform populates a list based on your interests and previous employment history. If you know specific people on LinkedIn, you can search them and invite them to your profile, or you can directly add personal contacts through your email, certain platforms or by uploading a file on existing contacts. By populating your contacts with people and businesses you already know, you’ll be encouraging others who find you to follow you.
It’s important to remember that LinkedIn is a social media platform, and as such, it allows you to post relevant content for your business and your industry. This means that you should strive to post an article from your business website or blog or relevant industry information several times a week. This allows the businesses and people in your network to view, like, comment and share your posts, which can help you increase your audience and build your brand on LinkedIn. If you have trouble remembering to post content to LinkedIn, you can utilize the services of a third-party social media scheduling platform, like Hootsuite. Using a platform to schedule your LinkedIn posts ahead of time can save you time and ensure that you are always posting new content to your social media feed.
Beginning LinkedIn also means looking for groups. Consider searching for groups in your industry and groups that discuss things you are interested in learning more about. To find groups that are relevant to you and your business, simply type your industry, hobby or interest in the search bar at the top of the page. Once you hit enter, you’ll be given the option to click on “more”. In the dropdown menu for “more”, you’ll see an option to filter by groups. Once you click on it, you’ll see the numerous groups available, according to your search term. It’s beneficial to take the time to look at these groups and join a few because it can allow you to quickly network with other professionals and build your contacts list. Once you’ve finished all the profile setup steps, remember to go back and change your privacy settings to public so that other businesses and potential employees can find you.
By utilizing these tips, you’ll find that beginning LinkedIn is extremely easy, and with a little time and commitment, you’ll find your network growing and the number of people viewing your posts and relevant articles increasing.