Professional networking, like dating, has gone digital. Whether you’re swiping on Tinder, Bumble or Hinge or looking for connections on LinkedIn, not everyone will be your match. For many users, you may end up going on 50 First Dates, but we find comfort in knowing that Drew Barrymore herself uses the apps to meet people too.
LinkedIn offers a space to network with people without the heartbreak. Networking can help you strengthen your personal brand, form connections with other industry professionals who can help you further your career, gain valuable insight, stay up-to-date with trends and explore new job opportunities. While Bowe Digital can’t ensure that you’ll be lucky in love, we can help your business. Today, we’re sharing our advice for networking on LinkedIn.
Make Your Profile Look Legit
Stranger danger is real, ya’ll. With stories like the Tinder Swindler on Netflix, we’ve got trust issues when it comes to meeting people online, and can you blame us? If your profile doesn’t make a good first impression, viewers will swipe left and move on to the next one, because, let’s face it, they’ve got options.
A complete and polished profile will help win people over and reassure them that you’re authentic…and that they won’t end up on an episode of Catfish. Fully completed profiles result in 40 times more opportunities, according to LinkedIn. Here’s what to include to make your LinkedIn profile stand out (in a good way):
- A professional headshot. These days, an iPhone will get the job done. Use a self-timer or have someone take the photo for you, and make sure it’s clear.
- A custom background image. Your background image should say something about you or what you do. Try creating a custom background using Canva.
- Your location. Let people know where you are. This makes finding local in-person opportunities, in addition to finding others near you, easier.
- A completed job history. Tell people about your experience and versatile skill set.
- An authentic About Summary. Tell a story and let people know who you are and what you’re passionate about.
- Strong endorsements and recommendations. People trust the opinions of others, so ask your friends, mentors and colleagues for them.
- Relevant keywords sprinkled throughout. Use industry-specific keywords in your job titles, descriptions and posts to optimize your profile and become more searchable.
- 50+ connections. Make connections. The more you have, the more likely others will join your network.
Find Your People
Not everyone is going to be your match, and that’s okay! Find people you have things in common with and request to connect with them. If that sounds intimidating, start by connecting with people you know and trust. LinkedIn allows you to upload your address book from email. Joining groups is another great way to find your people. This resource from LinkedIn suggests starting with volunteer organizations, associations you belong to and school groups. Try reaching out to alumni or previous mentors and professors (they love connecting with students and other alums).
Send the First Message
Whether you’re sending a friendly note alongside your connection request or asking another professional for advice, make it custom. If you’ve met them in person, tell them where, who you met them through or what organization you have in common. If this is your first interaction, do your research. You can use LinkedIn Advanced Search and company pages to learn about the background and interests of the people you’re contacting. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to make the first move. LinkedIn is a professional community where many people are willing to connect and help each other learn and grow.
Update Your Status
Professional status: ready to mingle. Produce and share content that is engaging and sparks conversation. Try getting in front of the camera and posting a video, share an article and include your thoughts or post pictures of you and other professionals at an industry event. Never miss an opportunity to tag other people. You’re a catch, and you can remind the people in your network of that by updating your status regularly.
Start building your professional community today, and feel free to connect with our team! If you need more help, Bowe Digital is here for you! We can develop custom solutions to increase your presence on social media platforms, including LinkedIn. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started! Learn more about our services at bowedigital.com.