LinkedIn has been embraced by the world of business, but less so by many academics in the same way.
This video sets out to show those in academic how and why LinkedIn is relevant for the world of academia too.
– – Hi everyone, my name’s Mike Morrison.
Today I want to talk about LinkedIn for academia.
Why should academics use LinkedIn? Is it relevant?
Well over the last few weeks and months I’ve been introduced to more and more academics. And one of the things I’ve discovered is that many of them want one particular thing, but find difficulty getting it and they don’t understand that my LinkedIn is part of that journey. Because of course, LinkedIn has been attached to the professional business world for so long that perhaps people don’t understand what it is.
what LinkedIn actually is
What I really want to do is to start first of all by exploring what LinkedIn actually is. It isn’t about networking, which is what a lot of people think. It isn’t about connecting with people, and it isn’t just about selling.
What it actually is is a search engine. It’s a search engine for people to help find other people, for people to help find business and organisations that do things, for universities and institutions to find other universities and institutions that do like things. So when we start thinking about LinkedIn differently, when we start thinking about LinkedIn as a search engine, and in order to be found you’ve got to have a reasonable presence. So when we start thinking about this as a search engine, we start using the whole platform differently. And from an academics point of view, this is absolutely fundamental. So why should academics use LinkedIn? What’s in it for you? Why bother? Well let’s explore a few things first.
What LinkedIn can DO
LinkedIn can do a whole bunch of things. It can help connect you with peers. LinkedIn can help business engagement. It can help personal development. LinkedIn can help student employability. It can help share learning and certainly can enable us to educate the public. So by maximising the impact of academic research that we do at the very least, if you use LinkedIn well, you can increase the spread of your research and knowledge.
From a student point of view, if you help students connect to you and then students connect to other students, tutors, lecturers, academics, link to other academics. And actually the network builds and it adds value for everybody. LinkedIn is about connections. It’s not about having everyone connected in the world, but it’s about having relevant connections for you. And in other videos I talk more about that, but here I just want to show you the why.
REF2014 and REF2020 – impact
And here is the real killer for me for LinkedIn, REF. The magic letters, the magic words. When LinkedIn is used well, it makes your impact ability much, much easier. It’s easier for you to influence more people more quickly. It is not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take a few steps, but it is relevant. It isn’t just about having your name up there.
LinkedIn has gone way beyond being just a resume or a CV board place to put things. It’s gone a lot more than just selling stuff to people. It truly is about connecting and influencing. And again, I’ll share a little bit more about this soon. So it’s about having a profile. It’s about having a decent picture. I’m going to fly through a few things.
LinkedIn is not Facebook
Just a quick word about photos. LinkedIn is not Facebook, all right? It is different. And we need to seen right. These sort of images are just not appropriate. It doesn’t tell people that are looking at your profile who or what you do. It’s not very academic. Now if you got a particular style, such as Heinz Wolff, bless him, he died last year, you know, if you got a look like this and you’ve got the credibility, that’s great. If you’re a mathematician like the likes of Fred, again, your picture doesn’t really matter. However for most of us, people like Sir Cary Cooper, you know, a professional looking image. Good quality image. Eugene Sadler-Smith, again, great image. It’s attracting the right people for him. It’s all about finding, it’s all about access.
If you really want to do your research, there’s a great website called photofeeler.com. There you can upload some pictures and get some feedback as to what people believe from your image. So it’s about being engaging, approachable, credible. You identify what it is. Now of course, the site’s not designed for academics, but it can be used in that way. Look slightly more towards a business profile, obviously not dating. That’s not what LinkedIn is for. But do your research. Don’t just bung any picture up. It’s about the right messages. Visual, textual, everything. So like it or not, people need to see you and what you stand for before they will hire you or engage you.
Getting noticed to generate funding
When companies are looking for work, increasingly the younger population that have the budgets are starting to look for people. They’re allowed to go to their own institution, although use LinkedIn. So that’s important. Profile content, key words. I mentioned earlier on, LinkedIn is a search engine therefore you got to have the right key words. This means not just having a title that says, lecturer of neuroscience at this university. You’ve got to have a lot more. What are the key words that people in your profession that people that might want to engage you for research need to find you? Listing all of your skills. Listing all your research projects, your collaboration. Some really good quality images. It’s not rocket science, but it’s about stepping it up. It is about connections.
Build your connections
Please connect with other academic staff in your institution. Connect with non-academic staff. Connect with your students. Make it a point. The LinkedIn app has a great thing. Go into your lecture room, get everyone to pull up their app, you’ll see the little QR barcode next to the search bar at the top. Click on that and search who’s in the room, and then connect. It will help your students and it will help you. And of course, it will help your commercial contacts.
So activity, LinkedIn isn’t just about having something up there as a repository.
- It’s about being active.
- It is about sharing ideas.
- It’s about commenting on the ideas of others.
More on that on some of my other videos.
It’s not going to take long. If this stuff takes more than three, four, 10 minutes a week, I’ll be really surprised. But it is about regularity, that’s really important. Your process, your profile needs to evolve, okay? It’s no big bang. You’ve got to start small and just add and add and add. Treat it as a development project. Little and often, look at a section, little and often, what can I add. Keywords, keywords, keywords, really, really important. You’ve got to have the right words in the right place. And as I said, post regularly.
Always keep your profile up to date.
Does your profile say where you are and what you do? Did I mentioned keywords? Keywords perhaps are important.
Doesn’t matter how you’re going to use it, remember, this is a search engine. You’ve got to be found. In the same ways when you will start using this, you will find other people by keywords, you’ve got to be found too. So do a search for your keywords. Do you come up in that listing? If not, you’ve got to work on it.
So let’s just draw all this stuff to a conclusion.
It’s important to have a profile on LinkedIn. It’s good for your own personal and for your business, your business impact your work. It increases the impact of your work (REF 2014 & REF2020), so if you share stuff, for many research projects we encourage students to do posters and things like that.
Start thinking summarising that poster down into an infographic, into a piece of content. Get it up under activity on your LinkedIn profile and share it. It will access other people that otherwise you just won’t be able to influence. It helps students.
Remember, this is not Facebook.
It’s not ResearchGate. It is about other professionals. It’s about the intelligent public. As I said, do research on what photo you use.
Start small, keep active. And you know, what to do next and leverage it. Well once you’ve got started, start small, I’ve said some things perhaps that other LinkedIn profiles and other LinkedIn training haven’t said. This is from 10+ years of using LinkedIn almost every day. I know what works for different places. So look at what I do, see if that works for you, but remember, it isn’t just about you. It’s about people finding you.
And by the way, that at the bottom of this screen is my QR code if you do want to connect with me, and I’ve got quite a lot of academics and business contacts, feel free to pull up the app, click on the QR code. That will launch a camera, click on the screen, and just grab my profile and send me a link. That’s cool. That’s me, my name’s Mike Morrison. I’m the director of RapidBI. Remember, make LinkedIn work for you.
That’s all it is. Thanks very much, good luck and I’ll see you on LinkedIn.