Since you’re reading this, you probably don’t love networking and are wondering what the hype…
This is the final post in my three-part blog miniseries on LinkedIn, which focuses on helping you develop an effective strategy for your overall use of the platform. For tips and strategies specific to your profile, please check out part 1 and part 2 and their companion YouTube tutorial videos.
LinkedIn can present tremendous opportunities for job seekers, business owners, and other professionals who want to proactively manage their careers, but without having a LinkedIn strategy that delivers results, it can also waste time.
Ask yourself the five questions below to fine-tune your LinkedIn use and help you get the results you want and deserve. Be both honest and realistic in your answers to each one.
5 Questions to Help You Develop a LinkedIn Strategy That Delivers Results
Question #1: Why am I using LinkedIn?
Many people are on LinkedIn because they know they should be—and that’s where it ends. The issue with that approach is that it’s unfocused. Make sure you have a clear strategy for using LinkedIn. Some possible strategies might be to build your network, secure a job, or grow your business, among others. Whatever your scenario, take a moment to write down your “why.” This will give you direction for creating your strategy, which in turn helps you accomplish your “why.”
Question #2: What does my activity and profile say about me?
Take a quick look at both your profile and your activity on LinkedIn. If you’re unsure where to find your activity, go to your profile and scroll down until you see a header called Activity. Click on the “See all activity” tab and do a review. Be an investigator and analyze what you see. What does your LinkedIn activity show about you? Are you consistent in your messaging and in who you are as a professional? Are you positive and uplifting, or negative and critical? Reflect on what you find and whether it conveys what you want people to know about you.
Question #3: What is my professional brand?
Once, I worked with a marketing executive who said simply, “Your brand or a company’s brand is their reputation.” What are you known for? What do you want to be known for? Take a moment to reflect on this and make sure you’ve written down your brand before you move on. Don’t worry about making it perfect. You just need to have something to point you in the right direction
Question #4: What is my content sharing strategy?
What has your LinkedIn content sharing strategy been so far? It might be nonexistent or haphazard. That’s okay. Take the time now to determine what you want to create content on and engage with. If you’re unsure how to do this, create bucket categories for your engagement. Identify three or four bucket categories you can post, comment, and create content on. As an example, one bucket might be that you want to support others and amplify their voices because you are a leader and mentor. A second bucket might be your subject matter expertise. A third bucket might be industry trends. By identifying your buckets, your use of LinkedIn will be more focused.
Question #5: How will I demonstrate my professional brand?
Perhaps you will look at your primary news feed and like, support, or comment on other people’s posts at least once a week in accordance with your bucket categories. Maybe another goal will be to create an original post once or twice a month in which you share industry news or your thoughts on a matter you’re an expert in. If you have never made a LinkedIn post, however, it is probably unrealistic to set a goal of posting on LinkedIn every day.
Whatever your goal is, record it and schedule your planned activity in your calendar. And remember, for many roles, you can carry out this task during your working hours. It is not something you have to fit in first thing in the morning before work, during lunch, or at the end of the day because many people use LinkedIn to support and amplify the visibility of their current employer. (It should go without saying that you should use your judgment; don’t look for a job when you’re being paid to work!)
By developing a strong LinkedIn strategy, you’ll be more intentional in its use and achieve the results you seek. Remember that results don’t happen by accident; they happen through disciplined action.