I regularly do training on LinkedIn and have spoken to many groups on how to use LinkedIn. Two things that I notice are constantly coming up are questions around content and connections.
While it's great to work on things like your summary and profile, I do think the most critical elements are content you share and connections you make.
Think about it... associating your personal brand with the content of your posts that go on your timeline (which your connections see) makes you stand out and become synonymous with that content. This builds credibility and trust.
Content to share
There are two places I think are best for content sharing on LinkedIn - the 'share an update' section on your LinkedIn home page and on LinkedIn Pulse.
Every time you 'share an update' on LinkedIn it goes into the news feed of your LinkedIn connections. Regular updates related to your field of expertise increases your visibility and positions you as a leader.
LinkedIn Pulse is an online news aggregation feed within LinkedIn designed for members to share self-published content with audiences. Those audiences can be anyone on LinkedIn, so it's such a great way to really amplify your content.
Before you start freaking out about how much content you need to start producing, remember you can use your existing articles and blog posts to upload to LinkedIn Pulse. (However, they do need to be your content, not curated).
You should actively build your connections - the more you have the better.
Having only a few connections suggests that other people aren't willing to connect with you, or you're not willing to connect with them, which may give the wrong impression. You should aim to get 500+ connections (below that LinkedIn shows the exact number of connections you have on your profile).
There are 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections. The more 1st degree connections you have, the more 2nd and 3rd degree connections you will have, and the bigger your network. You can freely connect with only 1st and 2nd connections so the more you have the better.
Generally speaking, it's a good idea to accept most people as long as they don't look dodgy, i.e. they have no photo and no connections.
Don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn!
About the author
Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field. www.unknowntoexpert.com
Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business. www.cpcommunications.com.au