I am often invited to speak about using LinkedIn, and I know folk are always looking for practical tips and suggestions. Here are 7 of my favourite tips for using LinkedIn more effectively.

More than 433 million people are using LinkedIn, and we are all looking for ways to use it more effectively.  Sometimes it is the simplest things that can have the greatest impact, and here are some suggestions to get you even better at using LinkedIn for your business networking.

1. Don’t broadcast every single LinkedIn edit and change you make

LinkedIn has an annoying habit of notifying people of insignificant events. Particularly if you are tweaking and editing your profile you don’t want to be notifying your connections with every experiment and change. It makes you look like you’re a LinkedIn narcissist. Likewise, if you choosing to follow companies like your competitors, then you don’t to be broadcasting that fact, either.

Action:   Go to your Privacy Settings where you can edit the settings for your Sharing profile edits to turn off those broadcasts.

2. Don’t signpost your competitors

The Viewers of this profile also viewed feature is not there for your benefit. All it does is signpost visitors to other LinkedIn users like you.  Recruitment agencies love it, but I bet you don’t.  The most likely people to be on this list are your competitors, so just turn it off.

Action: Go to Privacy Settings where you can edit the settings for your Viewers of of his profile also viewed to make your competitors disappear.

3.  Focus your endorsements on what’s important

I have quite mixed feelings about endorsements:  they really are of no particular value as compared to a proper recommendation, but they do provide a visual representation of your skill set.  Only 10 skills display properly, so be ruthless and prune the number down to your top 10, and encourage people to endorse on those specific areas.

Action:  Go to Edit My profile, scroll down to Endorsements, and click the little Pencil icon to rearrange the order of your skills and to delete the duplicate or unnecessary skills.

4. Go fishing where the fish are

One of the great benefits of LinkedIn is the ability to discover and connect to prospective customers. Groups are a great way to find and link to find people in your target market. But the secret is to join the right groups. You need to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and imagine what groups they are going to join.  Take a look at what groups your current customers are joining in. Search through the groups listings by keywords.

Action: research and join the right kinds of groups.

5. Save money. Using LinkedIn Premium for just one month

For most of us, the free LinkedIn account provides sufficient functionality to keep us happy. But one restriction that can be a problem is the limitation on the number of profile searches you can do.  I regularly burn through my maximum. So, be smart and subscribe to LinkedIn Premium for just one month, and focus on getting all your research and searching done in one hit.

Action: get organised and focus on doing a big hit of searches in just one month, and save money with just one month of LinkedIn Premium.

Bonus Action: if you do subscribe to LinkedIn Premium, you may wish to turn off the garish yellow Premium logo that appears next to your name. Just edit your profile, and click next to the icon to chose not to display it.

6. LinkedIn is about Thought Leadership.  Write high quality posts.

You are an expert in your field. Your clients trust you, and that’s why they buy from you.  Use LinkedIn Posts to write detailed pieces of content that are informative and helpful and position you as a thought leader.  Exceptional content will get picked up by the editors of LinkedIn Pulse and then shared widely across the LinkedIn network. Remember: you need great content, it needs to be formatted correctly, and

Action: it isn’t about the quantity of posts you write, it’s all about the quality. Do your research, identify the exceptional piece of content that will help to build your online reputation, and write the perfect piece.

7. Share the love. It’s not what you say about yourself that’s important

The real secret to LinkedIn is not when you trumpet your own horn: it is when your customers or partners say something great about you. So be free in recognising great work in others, in sharing your clients or partners good news stories.  It’s all about sharing the love.  And you can be sure when you are generous with good news, that the big wheel will turn and it will come right back your way.

Action:  how about sharing some love for this blog post? You’ve read this far, so why not share it on LinkedIn using this social sharing link.   And I’ll be sure to reply to your post, thus boosting you and and your reputation in front of my 4,351 connections. Make sure to name check me in your post @Susan Hallam


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