By Ryan Velez
Linkedin is a social media goldmine for the career-oriented individual, carrying 500 million users and 10 million job postings. However, not everyone is leveraging this to their advantage. Black Enterprise has provided some valuable tips for the person looking to promote their businesses and themselves via Linkedin.
For one thing, you want to make sure that you have the right definition of networking on your mind. During an interview with The Wharton University of Pennsylvania, the billionaire founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman said, “The key thing in networking is to make sure that you look at it as a mutual alliance. You’re building a set of allies, kind of a virtual company around you, and you help each other.” As a result, the contacts you build are people that you’re going to want to have an understanding of beyond their basic job description. Don’t be afraid to vet your invitations.
Here’s an equation for you when it comes to social networking: Content + Conversation = Currency. Are you putting out content for your Linkedin audience? This can range from sharing your perspective on trends in your industry to using the power of storytelling to connect and build trust with an audience. In addition to what you put out there, give consideration to how you’re putting it out there. Your Linkedin content should be able to demonstrate your personality as well as your career focus, while getting across your passion. Adding videos is always a helpful idea.
In addition to providing regular content, you don’t want to be passive when it comes to how you handle your actual connections themselves. Don’t be afraid to read through your list of connection quarterly or at some other interval. It may pay off to look at connections at your career level as well as a few steps above. Take the time to engage them in conversation, or respond to articles they share in order to build a bit of a relationship and familiarity.
After doing this for a bit, you can start to leverage this to your mutual benefit. Send the connection a mutual email introducing yourself and sharing the opportunity to partner on something resourceful. This could be an article, mutual connection, or upcoming event.