Early in 2017, the world’s largest professional network LinkedIn broke 500 million users. That’s no small amount, and yet, in a world of over 7 billion people, where Facebook has 2 billion users, 500 million is kind of–dare I say–small?
That’s the great advantage of LinkedIn right now. It’s enormous, but it doesn’t feel enormous. It offers tremendous opportunity but it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
Or does it?
Last month we told you why you need to be all over LinkedIn.But for most people who use Linkedin, a picture and some basics about their job is all they ever do. We know that it can be nerve-wracking to put yourself out there on LinkedIn. Staying within your profile is safe. And anyway, what do you have to say that’s going to help anyone?
We get it.
So today we’re going to give you 4 strategies that you can start using today to build your network, raise your profile, and grow your brand.
1. Write Posts
The great thing about writing a LinkedIn post is that the best ones are just quick thoughts. You don’t have to worry that you’re not a writer. Here are some ideas to get you started:
-Observations. If you don’t already, start paying attention to what you pay attention to. We all make observations and notes to self about what we see going on around us that could be improved. Start sharing yours.
-Ideas. Share ideas of thought leaders in your industry with some of your commentary. Share your own ideas for the future of the industry, how you would like to make it better, how it could be improved or how it might change or how a certain technology or platform could impact it, or is impacting it. You have a million ideas, I’m sure. Share one now and then.
-Help other people. You’ve worked your way up the ladder, you’ve started a business, you’ve spent years doing something that you’re really good at (or not). What can you say to help someone starting out? What about someone mid-career? What about a challenge you overcame or a lesson you learned that might help another person?
-Articles. Sharing interesting pieces is a great way to leverage LinkedIn. Just don’t let this be your only strategy. You want to share your own original work, too.
2. Build Relationships
LinkedIn has 500 million people on it. Go get to know a few of them. Help them with their work. Accept help with yours. You can do this by:
-Commenting on posts.
-Saying Congratulations and Happy Birthday when LinkedIn prompts you to.
–Using groups, or creating a group and inviting others to it.
-Creating partnerships: This Entrepreneur article suggests using groups to find businesses related to your work that can help you serve clients. Real estate agents, for example, would partner with insurance agents and mortgage brokers.
Don’t feel like you have to write a post everyday. The strategy of consistency is that you interact with other people on at least a weekly basis. Use LinkedIn for more than your professional updates. The more you interact with other people and their work, the more you get to know people and understand their needs. Then, it’s easier for you to make content that’s valuable, and that’s how you’ll create a network of people that you can both help and be helped by.
4. Don’t Be a Me-Monster
This might be the most important thing about leveraging LinkedIn: it isn’t all about you. So much advice is about being an authority, being a thought leader, creating content. Think instead about building relationships. You don’t win over people by talking only about yourself. Add value to other people’s lives.