Every week, business spend numerous hours marketing their products and services. At the end of the week, many business leaders and employees are ready to take a break from promotion, but this can be a big mistake … If you want to be a leader in your industry, your branding efforts can’t stop with your company.
Your Brand Matters, Too.
Every week, you should spend time connecting with new and old individuals in your field.
Sound like a lot?
Fortunately, thanks to LinkedIn, it doesn’t have to be. On this platform, you can connect with professionals in your field, manage—or improve—your reputation and increase your future opportunities.
Generally speaking, if you want to reap the rewards that were just mentioned, you’ll need to spend at least half an hour on LinkedIn three or four days a week.
Is this worth half an hour, though?
Using LinkedIn in an effective way will allow you to build, monitor and nurture your professional connections faster than any other platform.
Sound too good to be true? It may seem that way, but LinkedIn offers this and much more … As long as you use it the right way.
Below, you’ll find five of the most effective ways to build your personal brand on LinkedIn. Sure, you’ll find other techniques and approaches out there, but if you only have 30 minutes to spare a few times a week, these are the things you’ll want to focus on:
1) Start—and Engage In—Conversation
One of the smartest ways to get more out of your LinkedIn is to increase the ways you engage on the platform.
Although there are a few ways to do this, one of the best is to post updates.
Updates on LinkedIn are a bit like Tweets. The only difference, though? These short-form pieces of content will need to have a little bit more substance than what you often see on Twitter.
Whenever you post an update, make sure it’s one that’ll spark a conversation and/or add value to readers’ lives.
For example, you could post the question “Do you believe in unpaid internships? If so, why? If not, why not?”
You’ll want your updates to provoke a response from your readers. So, make sure your updates are interesting enough to get a conversation going.
In addition to starting your own conversations, you’ll also want to engage with your connections’ content. Comment on their updates, share their posts, congratulate them other job anniversaries … You get the picture.
2) Stay Up-To-Date With Your Connections
Many people take the passive approach to social media. It makes sense to reach out to people when you have something to ask, but checking in with them routinely seems like too much effort. Luckily, you now have a few hours set aside every week to do just this.
To engage with one of your connections, simply use the “Send Message” button.
You can ask them a question, tell them that you’ve been thinking about something they told you in the past … Just get creative.
You might feel like you’re intruding, but the fact of the matter is that professionals love a good follow-up. It makes them feel important, and it helps the two of you build a relationship that’s mutually beneficial.
Another tip to stay in contact with your connections is to endorse their skills. Every time you’re on LinkedIn, make it a goal to endorse five people.
Simply hop onto your a few of your connections’ profiles and endorse them for the skills that you have first-hand knowledge of. Additionally, if you want to go the extra mile—and you do—send them a simple message that accompanies your endorsement.
This extra step may not seem like much, but it often leads to the individual to reciprocate by endorsing your skills.
Oh, and make sure you always thank people for their endorsements and respond in kind. You can also send them a quick message that thanks them for their endorsement. Again, this is taking an extra step, but it’s one that will pay off in the long-run.
3) Grow Your Network
Since what you’re reading is titled, “Introverts, Beware: How to Target High-Authority Contacts On LinkedIn” it might seem peculiar that this topic is just being mentioned. Here’s the thing, though: if you don’t carry out the two techniques above, you’ll have a difficult time making meaningful connections with high-authority users.
These savants are approached every day on LinkedIn by strangers hoping to connect, speak and get free advice. They receive hundreds of emails and LinkedIn invites from people just like you.
If your profile is current and you are actively contributing to the LinkedIn community, you have a better chance of being noticed.
So, with that explanation out of the way, it’s time for the nitty-gritty details …
When you reach out to a new connection, don’t use the standard message that LinkedIn provides. If you do, you’ll just blend into the sea of automated LinkedIn request this person receives every day.
Instead, compose your own message that explains why you’d like to connect with them, even though you are strangers. Here, feel free to use a little bit of flattery, but don’t write an entire love letter. These people are busy professionals, so your message should be short and to the point.
When all’s said and done, your message should have at least two qualities …
It should show that you’ve done your homework. In other words, it should demonstrate that you know exactly who this person is and what they do.
It should acknowledge the elephant in the room. Since you’re reaching out to them, connecting with them is clearly going to benefit you in some way.
What’s in it for them, though?
Hopefully, your LinkedIn feed will add value to their life, but there’s really no way of knowing if it will. As such, your message should acknowledge this fact.
Be considerate of their time, be respectful and understand that at the end of the day, they’re doing you a favor by accepting your invitation.
Oh! Don’t Forget This …
Love it or hate it, looks matter—especially on LinkedIn. People will make snap judgments about you based off what they see, so keep it professional. From your LinkedIn photo to the content you post, make sure that your online presence is appropriate for a wide variety of professionals.
Well, at this point, you can get started on this approach. When you have a free moment, schedule out some time a few days a week that you can dedicate to LinkedIn.
It might take a couple weeks to get into the swing of things, but you’ll soon find yourself enjoying the platform more than ever before.