Thinking about revamping your LinkedIn profile? If it’s been a while since you last logged in, here’s a quick primer on getting re-acquainted with “the world’s largest professional network” (or, more importantly, your own network).
What is it, again?
At its core, LinkedIn, like other online networking tools, offers a central hub where you can keep in touch with your network. According to the LinkedIn press page, the network now boasts 200 million individual members and more than 2 million corporate profiles.
Why update your profile?
So many reasons… but the biggest is the new design for individual and corporate profiles, launched in fall 2012. The visual aesthetic is much clearer now. Which means that if the vital statistics of your professional profile are sparse, the difference between you and your competitors will be instantly obvious.
Think it doesn’t matter? Think again. Clients go online to investigate professionals even after those same professionals have been recommended by a friend or family member.
This isn’t about being young or old, extremely private or a publicity hound. This is about your practice. And about being in the same online marketing space as your clients, colleagues and competition.
The more you appear to be a dinosaur, the closer you may be to extinction. Enough said.
Now that you’re inspired (or scared), what should you do?
- Complete all the sections of your profile, or at least as many as possible. Blank areas convey a lack of attention to detail.
- Accept or deny all those “connect” requests waiting for you. Embarrassed by the time it’s taken to respond? Acknowledge it with a quick email and a simple apology for the delay. Don’t forget to thank them for wanting to be associated with you.
- Find colleagues. At the very least, start with your co-workers. LinkedIn will suggest people whom you may know, based on degrees of separation.
- Follow your firm’s profile, if you have one, or those of your organizational clients
- Join a group, such as alumni or your professional association. If you’re feeling adventurous, join one of the excellent groups focused on specific practice areas, like environmental or family law. You’ll receive updates and the opportunity to participate in discussions.
- Yes, I know I said “Five tips” but this one was too good to leave out: update your communication and privacy settings (in the top right corner, under ‘update your profile’). You control the flow of information from Linkedin. It does not control you.
This is a basic formula for updating a LinkedIn proflile . There’s so much more that you can do with the site, but you have to start somewhere. In the weeks ahead, we’ll explore what Linkedin can and cannot do for marketing your practice, and some of the next steps you might try.
Happy linking. If you get stuck in the miasma of profile completion options, feel free to contact me for some quick advice.