Most professionals are on LinkedIn everyday (not just guessing, I asked around).
Whether you are working on your personal brand, consuming content, or developing your career path, LinkedIn is a powerful tool when you have a strategy for when and how to use it.
Like any relationship, LinkedIn is maximized when you are interacting on a daily or weekly basis. As you build out your path in LinkedIn, there is also the need to take a few actions to keep your profile current and protect your investment. Monthly at least, but remember, if you are working on LinkedIn daily, you are potentially being seen daily so keeping your profile current and fresh is critical. Also, things could change at any time, so making sure you have backups and redundancy is helpful in case the need arises.
Here’s six things I do on a regular basis to make the most of my effort on LinkedIn:
- Check all the links in your Profile. This one can make you look out of date in a second. Go into your profile and review each of your position listings and any related web or media links for Skills, Awards, or other links you have attached to each position. Related to previous roles, I’ve had videos and websites be removed or links changed without notice. These are unclickable and appear as blank boxes which detract from the strength of your presence. Remove or replace asap. Add new links as you have them available.
- Export your Connections list. Contact management is an ongoing effort of maintenance and care If you have been adding connections regularly while adding in contacts from phone and other social networks, you ideally have your whole network in one place. This is where the strength of LinkedIn comes in because you can connect all your professional relationships and the more you add, the more connections LinkedIn can discover and recommend for you. Accordingly, you need to protect it. It’s good to make an export copy to act as a backup or if you want to move them to your other address books from LinkedIn. Here’s how: Click on My Network from the homepage, then click on Your Connections in the left column. On top of the right side of the page you’ll see Manage synced and imported contacts. Click that, then choose Advanced Actions on the right side toward the bottom of the page. When you click Export contacts, you’ll download a CSV file in your email.
- Make a copy of your Profile. This will give you access to the latest version of your profile. Since you update different elements of your profile as your career changes and grows, it’s likely that you don’t have a backup copy of the latest version of all the elements of your profile anywhere except in LinkedIn. From the home page, click on your profile in the left hand column. Then, to the right of your photo, click on the three dots and choose Save to PDF.
Frequency: Monthly or as you make changes.
- Review Endorsements. As a good citizen of LinkedIn, you should regularly be sharing the endorsements for the connections you know well and believe in. Your Endorsements (showing as Skills), help convey what your personal brand is all about. Ideally, you have a focused set of Skills to demonstrate and communicate your strengths in a focused field. Like a major brand, you are better known for something, than trying to be everything. This is your opportunity to be laser focused on who you are, what sets you apart, and what makes you compelling to your target audience. Only 3 of your Skills appear in your Featured Skills set on your Profile and those are the ones that show off who you are. Take a Post-It and write down a list of your Top 10 without looking at your profile. Then go back into your profile and look at the Endorsements you have received: How close are the two separate lists? It may feel odd, but you can even delete endorsements for skills that aren’t part of your brand. Next, reorder your Skills (yes, you can put them in any order you want) to emphasize the ones that are important to your career goals if you don’t like the default order.
- Clear your Inbox: Between networking, friend emails, spam, and InMail, you may get a good volume of messages in here weekly. With everything else going on, I’ve realized that I need a dedicated window to clear my LinkedIn inbox: respond, delete, archive, and initiate some new conversations. Getting to or close to inbox zero on a weekly basis helps make sure you are being responsive and timely with your communications, which again, is critical in this professional environment. As a tip, I found that Mobile is the best place to quickly cull emails into Archive (swipe left and Archive), instead of deleting, to shorten your list of follow-ups that may need a keyboard to fully compose.
- Review your notifications: Related to #5, I hit my Notifications daily to touch back on news, who’s viewing my profile, networking, responding to comments, etc. What I found is that when I’m on the go during the week, I miss some of the specifics, especially if there’s a post with multiple comments or if I want to drill down into profiles and connections. Best time to do this? Grab a drink and sit down on the weekend to browse through on Desktop LinkedIn to make sure you are fully covering the bases on the depth of what your Notifications are giving to you.
Whether you carve out 15–30 minutes a day or tackle the bucket on a regular interval, assign yourself a calendar or to-do list reminder to help develop the habit of performing these tasks on a regular frequency. Committing to your professional profile above any other social network only will benefit your personal brand and career in the long term and earn you that ‘All-Star’ profile status on LinkedIn.