Hidden Gems in LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an amazing social media channel for professionals. You are probably well aware of that; however, what you may not be aware of is how much LinkedIn actually has to offer. It offers some features that are not so well-known but if you start to use them, you will not understand how you ever did without them in the past.
For the benefit of the user
It is not uncommon for business people to use LinkedIn in the most basic manner. That may be because they feel that they get what they need from those features and everything is fine or it might be because they are not aware of how much LinkedIn actually has to offer and how much it can benefit their businesses. Now is the time to delve more deeply into LinkedIn's features, common and less common so that you can bring your business to the next level.
However, it is important for you to understand that those LinkedIn features are not apparent when you go to LinkedIn. You will need to work to find them.
The recommendations and endorsements feature: When it comes to your professional relationships through social media, recommendations through LinkedIn are an essential contributing factor to your professional success. The same thing applies to endorsements. If a person is trying to find information on what you happen to offer, a great way for that person to determine if you are the person with whom he or she should interact, recommendations and endorsements will elevate you to the top of the search engine page.
The reason for that is probably obvious. It gives you and your business credibility and it makes the other person feel that he or she can trust that you know what you are doing because you are positioned as a subject matter expert. The truth is that it is generally pretty simple for you to obtain endorsements and recommendations. Of course, that is, assuming that you have a strong enough connection with the other person that he or she is willing to give you an endorsement or a recommendation. Of course, you have the control, once the recommendation or the endorsement has been written, to display it or to hide it (and to use it when you feel it will have the greatest impact. If you wish to hide an endorsement or a recommendation, go to profile (at the top of your screen) and select "edit profile."
Once you have done that, you will see "Skills and Endorsement and it will allow you to make changes to your profile. At that point, you should select "manage endorsements." At that point, you can eliminate what the skill(s) that you don't want to show. However, it is important for you to realize that your recommendations create a very important perception in the eyes of the other person. You want him or her to view you as knowledgeable and you want that person to come to you before anyone else when he or she needs what you are offering.
Contact information tab: In this tab, your online connection can enter his or her contact information. That is a beautiful thing when you want to synchronize your contact list on your smartphone with your contact list on your computer or other devices. Everything will be pulled into the right places. How convenient is that? In some cases, you will even receive an alert about certain pieces of information, such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc. With this tab, the chances of your losing the connection with the other person is slim to none. Indeed, you are probably well aware of how important those connections are.
A personalized portfolio: The whole idea of using social media is that it gives you a way to stand out against your competition and it allows you to let numerous people know why they should build relationships with you. One of the effective ways to do that is by displaying a sample of your work on your LinkedIn profile.
If you happen to have a large number of portfolio items, you may want to choose the one that you consider the best. A portfolio should feature the best of your creative talents. Too much may not necessarily be a good thing. There are a few ways to show off what you can do. One is by adding still images. Another is by creating a video or a slide show in which you show off what you can do.
The feature to show how you are connected to your LinkedIn connections: This tool, which is on your profile page, will allow you to connect with other people who are second-tier (or beyond) connections to you. This is a great way to get to know those people and to begin interacting with them. This feature lets you see your connections' connections.
In addition to communicating how you are connected to your first-tier connections, it also allows you to see how other people are connected to their first-tier connections. After that, you can go about acquiring introductions to the people with whom you would like to interact.
LinkedIn is a fabulous social media tool that has tremendous capabilities and it is up to you to leverage whatever you feel is effective and appropriate for your particular business. It will be worth your while to study all that LinkedIn has to offer and then you will be in a position to pick and choose what you think will work best for your business.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company's Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.
His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master's degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master's degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).