So, you have a great looking LinkedIn profile. You’ve used all 200 characters in your summary section wisely. You have a killer headline and your profile pic is authentic and pretty damn cool.
Now you need to get to grips with how to actually use LinkedIn to:
- Find better work
- Change your career
- Build a brilliant network
- Attract new business
Let’s dive into LinkedIn secrets you can tap into right now to boost your presence.
1. Share from social buttons on other websites
When did we all forget to do this? We come across a great article online that really resonates with us and we totally forget to share it. Most websites and blog posts will have social sharing buttons that make it super easy for you to share from their site as you browse and read. It’s immediate, it takes less than 10 seconds and it gives you great content to share with your network.
Next time you’re reading a great article or blog post, try it out for yourself. (Hint, hint, wink, wink)
2. Use hashtags
So, I’m not a fan of hashtags. Really not. My OCD kicks in when I see them. I think hashtags make a lot of social posts look ugly and lame. But here’s the rub. They do actually work. And, by using them on LinkedIn, you stand a chance of getting featured in the hashtag’s feed.
3. Tag people in your posts
A great way to get your posts noticed on LinkedIn is to tag people using the @ sign, the same as you do on Twitter or Facebook. A word of warning here, though. Only tag people that you know will actually engage with your post. Tagging a bunch of randoms will make you look like a weirdo stalker.
For example, let’s say you’ve just attended a brilliant training session with Kevin from accounts. Or your client, Margaret, treated you to a riverside lunch in London. A quick note of thanks or a shout out to Kevin or Margaret, tagging them into your post, will very likely lead to post engagement (from Kevin and Margaret).
4. Share other people’s posts but add your own perspective
If you’ve seen a great post from someone you’re connected with, then share it. It really helps them to boost their own LinkedIn presence. Add your own perspective or comment though, otherwise, it just looks like a random share — which is weird.
5. Comment on posts and remain visible
Even if you hate sharing — and that’s okay, sharing isn’t for everyone, there are many more ‘consumers’ not sharers on social media — then do be sure to comment regularly on other people’s posts. It’s a LinkedIn secret that will help you to remain visible without doing too much work. And, it will let people know that you have an opinion to share. Also, it will help the post you’ve commented on to become more popular. Comments are a win-win on LinkedIn!
6. Rapidly build your network
Firstly, let’s debunk the myth that a magical LinkedIn doorway to some networking utopia opens up when you hit 500 connections. It doesn’t.
But the size of your network does matter. The truth is, LinkedIn will simply stop displaying the actual number of your connections when you hit 500. The benefit is that it helps you look like a better networker and recruiters/headhunters can find you a bit easier. Also, the bigger your 1st-degree network, the bigger your 2nd-degree network becomes, meaning you can open yourself up to more opportunities to be found in the search results.
If you’re struggling to hit 500 connections because you simply don’t know that many people, or like me, you’re a bit of an introvert, don’t worry. This is where LIONS can help. LIONS (LinkedIn Open Networkers) can and will connect will pretty much anyone. They may not all be useful to you right now, but they can help you get to the ‘magic 500’. Search for ‘LION’, connect with those that seem interesting and watch your network grow.
7. Customise your connection requests
Have you ever had a complete rando send you a connection request on LinkedIn and you’ve no idea why? Yep, me too. Don’t be them.
Always customise your LinkedIn connection requests. It will help you build a better, stronger network.
For some reason, just hitting ‘connect’ from the LinkedIn mobile app does not give you the chance to personalise your request. I have done this, many, many times! The LinkedIn secret to doing this from your mobile is to not hit ‘connect’. Instead, hit the ‘more’ button on the profile of the person you want to connect with and then ‘personalize invite’.
8. Write at least one LinkedIn article
LinkedIn has long been a useful place for regular bloggers and thought leaders to share their wisdom with the world. Although you may not have the time, inclination or desire to write regularly, sharing at least one article does a few things for you.
- It adds your super awesome article to your LinkedIn profile.
- It helps to position you as thought leader in your own field.
- It helps to boost your personal brand.
- It gives you another place to link to your own website or other social media.
- It helps you to reconnect with your audience and gain new followers/connections.
If you’re on the fence about writing an article on LinkedIn, there are LinkedIn article writing services you can employ to do it for you.
9. Tidy up your LinkedIn homepage — clear out the clutter
For years, I literally did not know you could do this on LinkedIn. You know how every now and then you need a good old purge of your of Facebook friends or people you’re following on Twitter? Yep, you can do the same on LinkedIn without disconnecting.
Jump on to your LinkedIn timeline right now.
Choose a post that does not resonate with you or someone who posts content that you’d rather not see on your homepage. For me, this is anyone that posts references to politics or religion. It’s not what I go to LinkedIn to see.
See those three little dots in the corner? Click. Choose ‘Unfollow [name of person]’.
Done. You’ll never see their content again in your home feed.
10. Add media to your summary section
If you haven’t done so already, adding relevant media to your summary section really helps to give a rounded view of who you are. It also adds social proof that you can do what you say you can. Dig out those YouTube clips, press cuttings, published articles, team photos and evidence of your awards.
11. Turn on your career interests
If you’re using LinkedIn to land your next job, or at least make a few valuable recruiter connections, then be sure to turn on your career interests. You can find this on your own LinkedIn profile in ‘Your Dashboard’ which appears right under your summary section. You can then go ahead and add a personal note to recruiters and add the job titles that you’re interested in pursuing.
Just doing this one thing will help recruiters to find you a bit easier when they’re searching for candidates with your skills.
12. Yes, you can use fun fonts and bold text…. here’s how
LinkedIn is notoriously difficult to format. You can’t use bold text from within its own text editors and you can’t change the font. This has made it difficult to really make your profile stand out, although some people have found some pretty cool ways around it.
For example, LinkedIn Insights Strategist, Andy Foote does this super well. Notice how Andy formats his name? It’s to help him stand out in a sea of comments and posts on the LinkedIn home page.
Another trick that Andy uses in his own profile is a few different fonts and bolded text. How?
There are sites that will do this for you and coolsymbol.com fancy text generator is among them. Simply type in your text, hit copy, and paste it into your summary or job section on LinkedIn.
Warning: If you overuse fancy text, your profile will look sh*t! Also, this feature seems to use up a huge amount of your character count compared to normal text.
13. Reorder your experience
If like me, you have a few jobs in your Linkedin experience section that are current, you can reorder these in order of importance to you. You cannot do this with past experience as LinkedIn automatically orders your experience chronologically. But, it’s handy if you’d like to draw attention to one job in particular over another.
14. Pay attention to ‘see more’
When you first start posting regularly on LinkedIn, you may not get many likes, shares and comments on your posts. That’s okay. Keep posting relevant, interesting, inspiring stuff and you’ll soon get the engagement you want. In the meantime though, try and ensure every post generates a ‘see more’ tag.
LinkedIn measures how many people click on this tag. By clicking, it means that people want to see more of your post. So, LinkedIn then starts to show your post to more people.
If you ever want to help a friend out with their LinkedIn efforts, always click the ‘see more’ tag on their posts and leave a comment.
15. Direct message anyone in your timeline from your phone
Unless you’re connected to someone on a 1st-degree basis, you cannot direct message just anyone that appears on your LinkedIn timeline. At least, you can’t from your desktop without it costing you an InMail.
From your phone, however, quickly double-tapping on thumbnail headshot of your 2nd or 3rd-degree connection from within the timeline will allow you to message them directly, for free.
I had a hard time believing this LinkedIn secret actually worked until I tried it for myself.
16. Pay attention to ‘People Also Viewed’
Ever wonder who people are also viewing when they come across your profile? The ‘People Also Viewed’ column on your profile page tells you exactly what type of ‘group’ you belong to. Is it full of people you want to be associated with? Thought leaders? Top execs from your industry? People with great hair?
Or is it full of people that have no relevance to you at all?
If the answer is the latter, then turn off this feature. Association with these people will not help to enhance your personal brand.
To turn it off, head on over to your privacy settings and hit ‘no’ on ‘viewers of this profile also viewed.’
17. Get more recommendations
I cannot stress this enough. Not so much a closely guarded LinkedIn secret but recommendations are more social proof that you can do what you say you can. Aim for as many recommendations as possible from ex-bosses and colleagues, clients, business partners and friends. Stop being embarrassed to ask and be generous with your own recommendations — you’ll be more likely to have your generosity reciprocated.
There you have it — 17 very easy to implement LinkedIn secrets that you can do today to boost your presence and grow your network. There are countless more, of course, but these ones will ensure you can make the most of your LinkedIn profile today and help to set you up for long-term LinkedIn success.
Do you have any other LinkedIn tips? Leave a comment or email me so that I can share them with the community.