LinkedIn is more than a job board. It’s an online networking powerhouse. Or it can be if you take the time to invest in it.
LinkedIn, like most social media, can seem overwhelming. Getting your profile right or even just finished. Connecting with the “right” people. Posting articles. It all feels like it’s going to take soooooooo much time. And energy.
One rule to rule over all the others
Don’t be overwhelmed – start with 10 minutes and the rest will take care of itself.
Clear the red “bubbles”
My number one rule for LinkedIn is simple – no red bubbles allowed. Whenever something happens: new connection request, birthday, a comment on your post; LinkedIn notifies you. They show up as little red bubbles next to the impacted section. If there are numbers in the bubbles then a lot of activity has been happening. And you’ve missed it. The first thing of your ten minutes is to make sure there are no red bubbles.
Priority is to acknowledge connection requests
Not sure if you should accept their request? Look at their profile: What do they do? Is it complementary to what you do? Are you in the same industry? That’s not necessarily bad, just something to be aware of. Are you in the same city? How many people do you have in common? What are the pros and cons of connecting with them? This shouldn’t take a long time but it’s one of the most valuable things you’ll do.
Responding to other notifications
Is it someone’s birthday? Work anniversary? Change of job? LinkedIn tells you all this and it’s an easy way to connect. Birthdays are a great way to stay in touch with someone. Who doesn’t like to get a cheery “Happy Birthday”? Just remember – LinkedIn is not Facebook. So don’t “Happy Birthday” on their wall, send them a direct message.
A work anniversary can be a simple thumbs up. Though if it’s a long time anniversary (based on your definition) you could take an extra minute to actually write a one-word post.
Same thing for a job change. Respond accordingly. If you know it was a dream job or a major change, i.e., college student who went from sandwich artist to accountant, then give it the moment it deserves by commenting on it. But if you’re in doubt, an easy thumbs up will suffice. Bonus: note where the job is – is it a place you’re interested in doing business with? Then maybe it’s time for a coffee to catch up.
Read your wall
Basically, this means to take a few minutes and look at what LinkedIn has put on your wall. It’ll be a combination of sponsored (ads); company updates and personal posts. Focus on the people – unless it’s a company you want to get an in with. What have your connections shared? Acknowledge these in some way. A thumbs-up is okay but if you take the time to actually read an article, then take another minute and leave a comment
Work on your profile
Depending on what your profile looks like, this could take up most of your 10 minutes. Don’t get too bogged down. Save this for the last 3 or 4 minutes. For example, if you need to add five organizations but only get two done before the timer goes off, finish the rest tomorrow. That’s why the 10 minutes a day is such a beautiful system. It’s not overwhelming and “done” is better than perfect (so they tell me).
Ready? Grab a cup of coffee, set your timer for 10 minutes and turn on the power of LinkedIn. First step? Connect with me.
Know someone who could use a little LinkedIn help? Share this article. Have a group of people ready for more? Bring me in for an informative hour on “Top Ten LinkedIn Tips”.