Imtiaz Khan [ who is a dear friend ] has been on LinkedIn since 2006 and till yesterday he had 10 direct connections and had also forgotten his password. After a conversation and discussion yesterday evening about how he needs to build his personal brand as well as the brand of his company NetBrix, he has actively started networking on LinkedIn and already has 30 direct connections.
Brilliant start Imtiaz!
Some more pointers on how to make the best of your LinkedIn profile :
- On your profile, don’t forget to edit the Public Profile link. This is the link people can use to land up straight on your LinkedIn profile. For example, you can include a link on your website saying “Visit my professional profile on LinkedIn”. Currently this link, in your case, is http://www.linkedin.com/pub/6/b18/68, which is difficult to remember. Make it something simpler – like mine http://www.linkedin.com/in/naina – easier to remember and if you are sitting with a client who wants to see your LinkedIn profile immediately, you won’t need to fumble looking for the link or getting the client to sign in onto LinkedIn.
- If clients who have worked with you / are working with you are already on LinkedIn, ask them to write a recommendation for you directly on your profile. To get a well-written recommendation or to write a good one yourself for people who have worked with you in the past, read this for examples of well-written LinkedIn Recommendations.
- Add more education details and based on those search actively for people who might know. For networking on LinkedIn, it is always best to start with people you actually know – classmates, neighbors, past clients, people you have interacted with online, etc. Then, eventually, progress to connecting with people who are open to networking – there are people who will have the following keywords in their LinkedIn profile : InvitesWelcome, LION, Open Networker – search for these keywords and send an invite to connect to these people. Don’t forget to include a link to your website in the message you send to them, in case they want to see what it is that you do. I am an open networker myself and whenever I get a request to connect networks that has a URL in the signature or anywhere else within the message, I ALWAYS click.
- Be a LinkedIn LION yourself. Mention it on your profile that you are an Open Networker and that invites are welcome. Read more on how being a LinkedIn LION can help.
- Join some groups. Make sure that the groups are relevant to your expertise as well as what you aim to do on LinkedIn. I am a member of the LION as well as Open Networker and Invites Welcome groups – joining these will help you expand your network on LinkedIn manifold and in a short time-span. Your aim should be to increase awareness about yourself amongst other members.
- Visit the Questions and answers section and search for questions related to your expertise. Since one of your forte is LINUX, search questions related to the same and answer them. This will not only help in increasing awareness about you as an expert on LINUX, it will also generate another list of invites from people who would want to have you on their contact list for future reference. It’s a snowball effect.
That should be it for now lest I overwhelm you with the various possibilities on LinkedIn! In due course, I’m sure you’ll find out enough for yourself as well. Good luck and happy networking!