Business Connect Network MediaLinkedIn may be more job board than social recruiting tool these days but that doesn’t mean it’s not a necessary part of nearly every recruiting arsenal. In fact, sales people, marketing folks, HR Pros and lots more use LinkedIn on a daily basis, not just to connect with other professionals but to ensure that they get a daily dose of content from LinkedIn’s new content engine.

In fact, LinkedIn is constantly open on my desktop and iPhone. Why? Because I frequently use it to connect with colleagues, research competitors, recruit new employees and close new business; but I don’t (and likely never will) pay for it. Here’s how to optimize LinkedIn for your daily professional life, even if you’re a cheapie like me:

1) Make your profile super cool.

LinkedIn bought Slideshare, which means this is actually really easy to do these days. Simply upload your latest presentations and watch people flock to your page. Make your picture professional but welcoming, and do your level best to get that little circle icon to 100 percentwhile this takes some time, it’s invaluable in showing others on LinkedIn that you are serious about professional networking. Yes, your friends from college will make fun of you. Ignore them!

2) Change it up at least once a month.

More, if you want to show up in people’s feeds. You know all those recruiters and marketing folks on LinkedIn we talked about? They are on LinkedIn often, and have a lot of connections. One way to ensure you stand out is by making small but important changes to your profile on the regular. That means updating your experience, switching out a photo to one that actually looks like you TODAY, and adding new skills to your profile. (If you have no new skills to add, you are stagnant and doing it wrong!)

3) Peep your stalkers.

Man oh man, if there is one feature I LOVE about LinkedIn it’s the ability to find the people who are checking out your profile. While some empathic perception of people is required for this ultra-fun activity, it’s invaluable in closing new business for Red Branch Media. I always ask why they are seeking me out, if I can help them or if this is my lucky day and they are finally ready to hire the best B2B marketing agency in the space. It leads to fun conversations and enough business (and job offers!) than you’d think.

4) Be Passive-Assertive.

So maybe you’re too shy to try the above. Then go look at people YOU are interested in. If there is an easy way to let a company know you’re interested in working there, it’s checking out the hiring team. This has dual benefits: First, it shows you are proactive and interested and second, it indicates that you are someone who researches things before making a move (you should eventually like apply or contact). At the least, ask them to join your network. (P.S. Do NOT over stalk. Look once, max TWICE before contacting directly. Otherwise you are for sure a creepo.)

5) Interact.

Sometimes I think that people forget that LinkedIn was built for us to interact with one another (as was Facebook, Twitter, et al) so instead of liking one more post, add your opinion, join a group, post a job, crowdsource a question you’ve been wondering about, say congratulations on your colleague’s new job (also a great source of new business!! Upsell baby!) and invite people. Did you know that adding and linking a couple of experts who don’t know each other can increase your LinkedIn presence by 2000%? Just kidding, I made that up, but it’s still a good idea.

I hope some of the above help you. I’ve often found that many of the amazing things we do with technology are things that the builders of that tech never imagined. What do you do with LinkedIn that’s different? What other technologies do you use in ways that are dissimilar from your colleagues and friends?


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