What is the purpose of LinkedIn? Many will say that LinkedIn doesn’t work. They do not get jobs through it. As a consultant they do not get work through it. They also say that LinkedIn cannot be used for raising your profile to increase job or consulting prospects. Why do they say that? Simple, they have a profile and expect work to come to them. Worse, they have a basic headline only profile that gives NO INFORMATION. Having the profile is much like having a product. Getting it on the shelf in the store is only the first step. We need people to know the product exists and where to find it. We need a marketing strategy.
In the old days when we used Yellow Pages, we often went for listings that had boxes around them or larger adverts. Why? Because they got noticed!
I have written on raising your LinkedIn profile before, so once you have the basics (A strong profile) you need to do the following:
Your Contact Details
What is your purpose of LinkedIn? If you really want LinkedIn to work for you, people need to be able to contact you. The contact information you put on LinkedIn may be limited to connections only. So put your phone number in the SUMMARY section.
If you are worried about personal security of this, all you need to do is buy a cheap disposable, pay-as-you-go or ‘burner’ phone and sim. That can be bought in the UK for less than £15/ $20 (for example these phones from Amazon. A dual sim phone could be useful when you travel on holiday too! SIMs like GiffGaff are great to use for this). This way the phone number you are making public is secure, If you are in the unlikely position of having nuisance calls, just kill the sim and buy another! You need to be SAFE, but contactable!
Since LinkedIn seemed to be changing the purpose of LinkedIn membership, they have reduced who and how you can message people. having contact information clearly available IS A GAME CHANGER for many.
If people cannot contact you easily – they wont! It’s that simple! People are often lazy, they will take the simple or easy path. Make you the easiest person to contact!
Additional Marketing of your profile
Add your LinkedIn profile to your email footer (you do have a custom profile URL don’t you?). Link your Twitter or Instagram account to the profile. To edit your LinkedIn Profile setting go here. Your “Your public profile URL” is top right.
Basic promotion and marketing activities needs to happen too. But that is not the focus of this article.
Purpose of LinkedIn Group Membership
I have mentioned this before, but its important. You need to know your purpose of LinkedIn group membership. When people search on LinkedIn for people with certain skills, search is not of ALL LinkedIn. It is only of their connections. If you are not connected, you will not appear in the search results. So if you want a supplier or recruiter to find you, you need to be visible!
When people search on LinkedIn they only search their connections – so you need to be connected to people that may want YOU!
There appear to be 3 ways of being visible in people LinkedIn search results:
- Have more connections – But I NEVER advocate collecting unknown connections. You need 200-500 that is all.
- Belong to groups – big groups. A hand full of groups of over 100k members
- Raise your profile – have lots of profile views (LinkedIn Group that helps)
Please understand this. Being members of the same groups, makes you a “connection” in LinkedIn terms. That means if you share the same groups, you will show up in peoples search results! Groups, and group membership is the KEY to LinkedIn success. If your purpose of LinkedIn is to raise your profile, to be ‘in the frame’ for business or job opportunities, then membership of groups, and the right groups is essential.
As of October 2015 LinkedIn allows you to join 100 groups. It used to be 50. make the most of the groups you can join!
But not just any groups!
Before you go joining lots of groups, you need to understand the issues too. Recently (late in 2015) LinkedIn change groups. they changed how they work, and how they communicate. The strategy I am proposing will only work if you follow the guidance. Else you will find most of the information you get to be garbage!
You need to understand that what LinkedIn calls an “active group” is one with lots of new discussions or conversations. In real engaged groups that wont happen. So in the big groups there is a lot of spam, and you don’t want that in your inbox. To stop this later in this piece I take you through what you need to do to stop the spam, but have the advantage of being ‘connected’ to lots of people.
Join Big Groups
Small groups are great for networking and niche needs. But they don’t help for connections. So you need to join at least 1 group in your sector or specialty with over 100000 members. The best way I have found to do this is to use this LinkedIn Search – http://rapid.bi/LinkedInBigGroups
The scroll down until you find groups RELEVANT to you and your work. DO NOT JUST JOIN GROUPS FOR THE SAKE OF IT.
They need to be relevant.
Joining large groups is only the start. To avoid wasting your time and becoming disillusioned with LinkedIn emails, it is essential that you change the setting for your groups.
Aim to join at least one group with 100k members IN YOUR SECTOR, but you can join as many as you like.
I say join:
- 1-5 mega groups (over 100k members) – relevant to you
- 5+ groups over 20k – relevant to you
- 10+ groups over 10k – relevant to you
- Plus smaller groups really in your niche. I.e. 1000-5000 members
- Join no more than 5 groups under 500 members unless they are really important to you. They are too small for connections to help build your search results.
Mute the noise from LinkedIn
When you have joined a group you need to change the settings. In LinkedIn go to:
Then you will get a view like this:
Now to change the details in group settings
As I have put in the Graphic above, my advice is to turn OFF emails AND digests for the larger groups I belong to. You can manually check the groups for interesting stuff periodically BUT in my experience there is mostly links and spam to articles. There is no point getting alerts on this.
HOWEVER for SMALL groups and networks, or for groups that are your real focus – then check BOTH boxes. LinkedIn have changed settings, and its the only way to really know what is happening in your most important groups (until LinkedIn change things…again!).
If you get too many emails from a group – just revisit if the group is really valuable or not. If not turn off emails.
Digest Delivery Frequency
Personally I prefer daily – its easy to ignore them, but if you miss something you will never see it in the weekly digests! The way LinkedIn now works, is that it will populate the digests with YOUR MOST ACTIVE GROUPS – that means those with LOTS of blogs and articles. That is spam. When you see these groups in the digest – go to the settings and turn them off! Only have in digests groups that you WISH TO INTERACT WITH. Ones that add real value!
Now go and change the settings on ALL LinkedIn groups you belong to!
Remember why you are joining these
The larger or mega groups you are then for CONNECTIONS and search results only. So no need for alerts. HOWEVER there is a lot to learn from some of the smaller groups. those that post NO articles. Often there is great discussion and debate.
Increase your profile views – Ninja tips
The name of the game is getting seen, and being found. Applying ‘state of the art’ search engine techniques like these and others I have mentioned is all part of the ‘game’. And yes it is a game. If you don’t want to play, then that is your choice. But if you are going to play, you need to understand the rules, and the routes to success. Or there is no point playing!
This group on LinkedIn is small, but has the sole purpose of helping people to raise their profile in the search results. It works, so I strongly recommend you join – but more importantly be active and follow the simple steps the group talks about. No blogs, articles or spam, just ONE purpose – to raise the profile of LinkedIn group members.
What is your purpose of LinkedIn membership and use?