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Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn

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Want to connect with professionals all over the globe and grow your personal brand? Well, there’s no better social media platform than LinkedIn to help you reach your professional networking goals. There are 660 million users on LinkedIn from over 200 countries. The U.S. alone has 165 million of those users and contributes the most traffic to the site at about 32 percent. If you think LinkedIn is only for job hunting or recruiting, you’re missing out on some serious personal branding opportunities. In fact, posting content and making it shareable can give a huge boost to your impressions at about 15 times that of professionals who don’t participate.

Here are a few tips to getting the most out of LinkedIn:

Spend time on your profile
We know you have a ton of other stuff to do, and if you’re looking at LinkedIn like any other social media network, you may not take the time to completely fill out your profile. However, that’s not in your best interest. Your profile is like the cover letter of your account. It tells the person who you are professionally and is your first impression. In a professional setting, you obviously want that to be strong, so it’s worth it to invest some time in creating your profile.

Make the effort to connect
What’s the point of growing your online network if you don’t… you know… actually connect? Go through each of your positions at every company you’ve worked for and look for and request past and present coworkers. Do the same for past and present company partners, clients and fellow alumni. Do you have a huge stack of business cards from in-person networking events? Put them to use and request those professionals too.

Participate in the conversation
So, you’ve got your awesome profile, and you’ve started to build your network—don’t stop now! Engage and participate on the platform. As noted above, those who share content and participate get 15 times the impressions. Plus, as you comment and engage with your online network, you may find that some of their connections would be a good fit for you as well, and you can expand your network once you’ve established an online rapport through participation.

Create your own content
Set yourself apart by becoming a thought leader. By creating and sharing your own content, you provide the opportunity for others to engage with or share your original content which can help cultivate your personal brand. Before diving into this one, take time to investigate thought leadership topics and form a strategy for your posts. If you need help, consider looking into an executive thought leadership program.

You won’t be a weak link
LinkedIn is a fantastic place to grow your online network. It’s about so much more than job hunting; it’s about establishing a strong personal brand that will be the foundation for your entire career. Make sure to get the most out of the platform by creating a solid profile, connecting with other professionals, participating in the conversation and setting yourself above the crowd with your own content. Remember to follow companies of interest too!