This post relates to: Linked In group Power Users – Tricks, Tips and Wish List, established to help Linked In users get more from Linked In. URL’s to articles are listed below.
How to Improve your Linked In profile
I have to confess I have profiles floating around various sites on the internet that are less than current and less than complete.
If you are active on Linked In and wish to get some benefit from having a profile on Linked In, you should consider taking a few minutes to complete your profile.
Apart from looking more professional, a more complete profile will also make you easier to find on Linked In, and the web as a whole.
Linked In has established its self as a networking site for business professionals. It is one of the first places that many people will look to vet or get an understanding of prospective clients, suppliers, colleagues etc.
You may not wish to put your entire life on Linked In, however a “holding profile” with no picture and less than even the most basic details is fairly uninspiring at best.
I have included URL’s for a number of articles specifically about improving your Linked In profile and there are some very good suggestions in those.
My top personal suggestions would be.
This is in all virtually all articles you will read about improving profiles, and is worth repeating.
The photo should ideally be a decent “head shot” / face photo.
Across ALL Social Media and Social Networking, a good photo including your face has always been one of the most important elements of a profile.
Many studies show that facial recognition is one of the first things that babies learn, and it is one of the most important cues for interpersonal interactions through out our life.
Linked In is a business networking site, consider a professional business related or business like photo, but at least have a picture, preferably including your face.
If it is a company or group then perhaps a logo.
If you have a really cool eye catching “other” photo, or avatar, then maybe…?
In short the picture reflects who you are and how you want people to “see” you and your profile on Lined In. If you want people to look at your profile and take you seriously on Linked In you should have a good picture, preferably a photo clearly showing your face.
Review after a few days
Check for typos, date errors and that it all “feels right”.
You need at least a few days “space” from initial draft to get some objective distance from initial writing so that you can find typos, and check that it really portrays who you are.
Ideally talk to a trusted friend, colleague or spouse ask then to check and provide honest (even if blunt) feedback.
…sending a copy of your profile out to your “contact list” probably will result only a few people glancing at it and no-one actually reading it, let alone giving objective, constructive feedback.
I have seen lawyers who’s profile states that they specialize in “Business Low”.
…not really something that inspires confidence!
Review every 6 – 12 months
If you and your career or business are in a very dynamic state, check your profile a little more often.
It is not a question of vanity, but ensuring it looks and feels “current” reflecting who you are and how you want people to see you.
If you are looking for a new job, I am sure you would review your year old resume, before sending it to a prospective employer.
Your Linked In profile is like your resume for everyone, including prospective clients and suppliers!
Please see the URL’s posted below. It includes one from Linked In, about their “improve your profile” feature, as well as one that talks about the importance to companies for their staff to have good profiles.
5 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
4 Easy Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile: Stand Out to Employers, Recruiters
8 Ways Employees Can Improve Your Company’s LinkedIn Presence
This is one of a three part article on growing your Linked In Network for the Linked In group:
There are three main areas to focus on to grow your Linked In network.
1.You inner circle, colleagues and associates
Colleagues, friends and associates. The people you know and meet.
Linked in offers a way to feed your email list into Linked In and generate invites directly from Linked In. I would recommend against that and suggest better alternatives in “Emailing invitations for Linked In”.
These can be sales, supply, employment, recruitment prospects, etc
That is covered in “Strategic Prospecting”
3. The world of Open Networking.
This is a way to massively and quickly grow your network, without getting a slap on the wrist from the Linked In administration.
The first major milestone is 500 members after which Linked In automatically cloaks your number with “500+”
For anyone struggling to grow a network, mention of Linked In users have several thousand, or even several tens of thousands of users must appear mythical.
Many novice users, have restrictions placed on their Linked In activities as they try to grow their network.
The key is in Open Networking.
Because the people keen on growing their network will more like be restive in their desire to achieve results in connections, I am posting it first.
Open Networking On Linked In
This is by far the fastest way to grow a network on Linked In. Most open networkers will quickly get several thousand 1st degree /direct connections. Some will get a few thousand every month or so.
There are certainly many active open networkers that have several tens of thousand direct 1st degree connection. In turn their network which numbers in the tens of million becomes significant portion of the total 135+ million plus Linked In community.
While that is “cool” in many ways, before going further I should stress that it need NOT be about growing a big number. None the less, for some it becomes a quest, so for those interested, here are some tips!
Becoming a LION
The acronym LION (Leading International Open Networker) is seen in many groups and personal profiles, and these are the people you will be connecting with.
There are some variations, such as LIONESS, the ladies in the group and TLION, so called Top LIONS.
There is also ONA (Open Networkers Alliance), or simply phrases in a profile like, “Open Networker”, “Welcome Invitations”, “Happy to Connect”, etc, etc.
The key is that they, like you,……should you decide to go down that path, are expected to welcome new connections, even if there is no direct or clear advantage in connecting and in most cases you will not know the person, before the initial connection.
In essence it is connecting on Linked In, mainly to grow your network with the possibility rather than the expectation, of it leading to other opportunities.
It will generally lead to massive growth in the number of 1st contacts in your network and of course your overall network size.
Advantages of a broad Network
Some would say “why bother” and to be fair it can be time consuming.
Many open networkers will include their number of contacts in their profile and it may seem that the focus is on quantity rather than quality. That is to say, building a large network rather than a focused network of colleagues and associates that you have a close relationship with.
To paraphrase Reid Hoffman a Co-founder of Linked In, some of the best opportunities will be from your wider network of 2nd & 3rd degree connections. Your “allies” or closer connections, friends and colleagues will be sharing a lot of the information and connections with you directly, through conversations, meetings, emails, and other forums.
….so you and your “allies”, will probably hear the same new from the same source, before it reaches a broader network.
A larger network can lead to broader connections and opportunities as well as a wider audience for anything your broadcast your messages.
In many cases people get some intrinsic value from having a larger “number”, be that a “warm and fuzzy feeling”, or something more tangible.
From a full disclosure perspective, I am an open networker and will sometimes get active in growing my network, thought to me the real value of Linked In, is in Strategic Networking.
So if Open Networking on Linked In appeals to you to, there are some practical tips below.
Maybe not a LION or ONA?
If you are not sure about Open Networking, here are some other perspectives.
Once you are registered with Linked In, you can potentially connect to anyone else in Linked In, even if they are not within your direct network.
Depending on their privacy settings some may be a little harder than others but either way, you can reach out to them. It does not make much difference if you have 1 contact or 10,000 contacts.
Mark Cuban has 0 (ZERO) connections, and he appears to be “scraping by”. lol
Many people have more relaxed privacy settings for 1st contacts or their own network, so a bigger number will mean more people see more of your profile and information.
If that is a concern for you, then perhaps this is not the ideal approach.
If you want to “network well” and get to know your contacts open networking it can be time consuming and perhaps you would get a better ROI on your time by more focused strategic networking!
Apart from LION, LIONESS, TLION, etc the main bits of jargon are.
“Do not SPAM or IDK”
“IDK” is an acronym for “I Don’t Know”.
It means the networker (person) will not complain about unsolicited invitations to connect from people they do not know.
Normally they will connect if invited.
In the very rare circumstance that they choose not to connect, rather than complaining they will simply delete the invitation.
Connecting – follow the rules!
In the “non LION world” some people who receive unsolicited invitations to connect, especially from people they do not know will report it.
Linked In, is essentially designed to allow people who know each other to stay connected, and for people to introduce trusted connections to others.
People who are reported will have restrictions placed on their account, and typically need to include the email address of further people that they want to invite to connect.
Typically that is lifted after time.
In short if you click on “CONNECT” to invite people to connect whom you do not know, you run the risk of being penalized.
By agreement, LIONS and Open Networkers have mutually agreed to side step the Linked In guide line.
The main thing to know is that you can invite as many LION’s to connect as you like, but do NOT carry that strategy over to other parts of Linked In.
You will certainly see some profiles that are clearly open networkers and you can invite them to connect.
You could put LION in the people search, just ensure it refers to Networking rather than their name or company name!
There are some lists of emails of LIONS floating around. It is worth noting that they are normally the primary Linked In email of the member.
To find them, view their profile, and invite to connect, you can paste the email address into the people search and they should appear in a drop down directly below the search.
The easiest way however is to search for groups that focus on Open Networking. Some are listed below along with keywords to search for the many others.
Most open networkers on Linked In are nice courteous connections to have in your network.
There is fairly wide notion of “paying it forward” amongst Linked In open networkers, IE> offer assistance for business or facilitating other connections etc, and very few a people who are pushy, SPAMERS, etc. Hopefully that will continue.
Obviously there is no problem letting people know what you offer, but let them follow up for engaging in business if they are interested.
If you see a profile that includes LION, ONA, etc you can simply click on it and follow the normal steps to invite them to connect.
Many people come to open networking after overstepping the guidelines with more privacy oriented people. In many cases they will then have to include the invitees email in the invitation.
To that end, many open networkers will list their email address in the post on networking groups. They are for invitations, not SPAM.
If you are out of invites and unable to get more, you can of course contact them by other means, email or other Social Media and invite them to connect.
Some will connect, some will not, some may reply and indicate they object to your request, some may be out of invites themselves.
Certainly if you are going to email, just put a short personal intro and invitation. You should also mention that you are emailing as you are out of invitations, if that is the case.
If you are going to ask people to go the trouble of inviting you, at least make easier by pasting the URL link to your invitation page.
Here is mine as an example.
…which I shortened for my own use to a neater version, which I include as a standard part of my email signature on virtually all emails.
You are issued with several thousand initial invitations. Once you have less than 100 you can request more via “HELP” at the bottom of most Linked In pages.
Generally if you have operated within the Linked In guidelines (at least in the time leading up to the request) you will receive more within about a week.
Other Social Media
Some LIONS will invite people to connect on Twitter, Face Book and other forms of Social Media which you may want to consider.
Needless to say there are certainly other groups on Linked In that focus on growing Face Book and I am sure there are others.
Open Networking Groups
You can search under Groups for LION, ONA, Invite, Open Networking, Connect and so forth. There are literally hundreds of related groups.
Many have 10 – 20,000+ members, though many of those members are across multiple groups.
You can browse the search list. Many groups are locked and require application for membership.
Search for groups that contain LION, ONA, Invite, Connect, Link, Top Linked, etc and some are listed below.
Open, Open Networking Groups
If you want to get started straight away, here are some open groups. You can start inviting people to connect, and of course you can post an invitation for other people to connect to you!
TRUE Open Networking (you will be able to invite members, but at the time of writing this, not post a comment)
Locked Open Networking Groups
Joining groups is easy, and particularly for Open Networking Groups it is routine.
Linked In limits group membership to 50 groups per member, why I do not know….?
Here are some more open network groups. Note! The membership numbers are approximate.
Also consider that it may be more furitful to be more promenent in a smaller group that lost in a larger group.
OpenNetworker.com 64+k members
LION500.com (Open Networkers) 59+k members
InvitesWelcome.com (Open Networking) 22+k members
Leading International Open Networkers (LION) 20+k members
FastTrack Business Network (LION) 7+k members
Expand My Network 5+k members
Black Belt POWER Networkers 5k or less members
ONA ~ Open Networkers Alliance 5k or less members
Top Connected Open Networkers – ONA 5k or less members
International Community of Open Networkers (ICON) 5k or less members
500+ 5k or less members
The True LIONs ★ (Open Networking) ★ (Open Networkers) 5k or less members
“Count Me In” The Official Group 5k or less members
Obviously if you are building a network you are welcome to invite me to connect.
If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the group forum, or contact me directly via Linked In after connecting.
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