1. Optimizing your profile for search results – You want to be at the top, don’t you?
Action: Be sure to place your most important keywords (mine are “office furniture” and “LinkedIn”) in the following places on your profile: Headline, Summary, Specialties, Job Titles, Job Descriptions, and Recommendations. You get extra weighting by having these words in your headline and job titles.
2. Saving three searches – You want to find them, don’t you?
Secret: You get to save three searches if you are on the free account.
Action: Once you have found an Advanced People Search that produced a good list of prospects, simply click “Save” on the top right of the search results, and your virtual assistant will be on the lookout from that point forward for more people who meet the criteria you have identified as important to you.
3. Joining groups with lots of members – You want to talk to the largest possible audience, don’t you?
Secret: Profiles of the members of the groups you are in become part of the search population along with your extended network (levels 1, 2 and 3). Also, larger groups have more people listening, watching, engaging, and ultimately buying than do small ones.
Action: Be sure to make a conscious effort to join the larger groups in your geographic region and your industry as well as groups related to your other interests.
4. Communicating with your network – You want your voice to be heard all over the place, don’t you?
Secret: The status update is an efficient way to communicate with your connections, not only those on LinkedIn but across other platforms, like Ping.fm.
Action: Have a plan to post a business-related status update each day, and link that update to your other social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, your blog, Flickr, MySpace, etc. Nothing is more effective in building your brand than your name showing up on someone else’s home page when you are sharing information, events or ideas and asking questions each and every day.
Secret: You are allowed three websites (hotlinks) on your profile. These are the only positions on your profile where people can click to another spot on the Internet automatically.
Action: Be sure to use all three slots. You should customize the titles of these websites-avoid “My Company” or “My Blog”-with a marketing pop, using all 26 available characters. Consider as well referring to those hotlinks in the Summary section of your profile, saying something like I say: “Click on the link to the details of my upcoming beginning LinkedIn class in the Website section above.”
Now that you know the Top 5 LinkedIn Secrets, begin using them today, and you should quickly begin to reap the benefits that result from increasing your ability to find and be found by others and keeping yourself top of mind by sharing helpful information through the use of status updates and website links.