LinkedIn is a large global network used by business professionals and recruiters.  It has built an entire platform around connecting business professionals so that they can be more successful.  

It can be very helpful if used correctly.  If you want to ensure that you are getting the maximum benefits from LinkedIn, follow some basic LinkedIn guidelines.

Be Prompt

It’s important to respond promptly when someone is trying to connect with you.  LinkedIn is focused on business professionals communicating with each other.  You should respond to the sender within 24 hours of receiving the message.  Even if you are not interested it’s a professional courtesy to still respond promptly.

Keep Invites Relevant

After you join LinkedIn they will ask you to invite contacts from your email list to LinkedIn.  However, it’s better for you to wait before you do this.  Instead, complete your profile and then you can personally invite others to connect with you on LinkedIn.  Then each of those contacts would then create their own profile.  Keep your invitations limited to only relevant connections.  Avoid inviting family and friends unless they are actual business connections.

Customize Automated Messages

LinkedIn offers automated messages for different types of messages such as recommendations.  However, it’s not recommended that you use them.  Don’t send out connection requests, invites, etc. in a bulk format.  Spend time creating a special message for each person.

Connect to Engage Not Sell

When you are active in your groups and on your feed and engaging with your connections, you want to focus on building those relationships not making sales.  You first want to nurture and build a mutually beneficial relationship.  The selling will happen, but not if you start out with sales being your primary reason for engagement.

Actively Participate

You want to stay engaged and actively participate.  Update your status at least three times a week but no more than once a day.  Publish articles, participate in groups by commenting and engaging with its members, and share your blog posts.  If you fail to stay active and go dark for any period of time, it’s like starting completely over on LinkedIn. See our previous post, Post Like a Pro on LinkedIn, for tips on posting protocols.

Remember that when you are using any social platform to network, that you are in it for the long run.  Nurture your audience and take your time building those relationships before introducing them to your offers.  Be sure that your proposals are useful and relevant to your audience.



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