Whatever you are doing: finding a new job, obtaining professional information, or becoming a thought leader, networking is the most effective means of getting what you want.
Visibility is the key
Keith Ferrazz, master networker and author of the book Never Eat Alone emphases that 90% of networking is just being visible. “People can’t network with you if they can’t see you.”
With over 200 million users LinkedIn is the biggest and best site for networking on the planet. Your LinkedIn profile is the gateway to people, contacts, and connections that will make your goals a reality. So, the question is how do I go about becoming the most attractive needle in the LinkedIn haystack?
3 Ways to Get Notice
1. Update your Summary
The Summary is one of the most neglected sections of your LinkedIn profile. Fill your profile with keywords that recruiters, customers, suppliers will use to search and find your profile. My recent summary changed from a narrative to a list of key words netted at a 30% increase in profile views. More views translate into more opportunities to network. Sharpen your haystack needle with a revised summary.
2. Become Active within a LinkedIn Group
A needle that stands out in the LinkedIn haystack is committed to consistently adding value; while engaging your peers’ informative conversations. Becoming active in a LinkedIn Groups can dramatically improve your networking. However, you need a strategy for engaging you needle in the LinkedIn groups’ haystack.
Stephanie Sammons, the Founder and CEO of Wired Advisor, where she teaches financial advisors and business professionals how to build digital influence to win clients, recommends these needle noticing strategies
- Pick Your LinkedIn Group Wisely
Stephanie urges her clients to join LinkedIn groups up to the 50 group limit. Within the 50 groups, you should really focus on 3-5 groups that will be the home for most of your networking activity. Then adopt the networking principle of “going small” to maximize your visibility by ensuring your top groups are small, a few hundred members; but, no more than a few thousand.
- Target the Most Popular Discussions in Each Group
The most “popular” discussions within a group generally get the most visibility. These are the topics where members are most actively engaged and they feature discussions that you will want to weigh in on. The most popular discussions are at the top of the group discussion page, and typically, there will be quite a few comments associated with them for you to review and learn from.
Stephanie urges you to weigh in on popular discussions, respond to existing comments, provide an insight or opinion or even ask a thought-provoking question to generate additional comments. You can also “Like” and “Share” these discussions with your connections. The purpose of the strategy: Your valuable comments will lead group members to your profile, growing your status as a Thought Leader and a go to person.
- Start Your Own Discussion
Starting your own discussion thread is also a powerful tool within a group; but, you must be strategic with this. Stephanie recommends that you wait to start your own discussion until after you’ve spent some time participating in the top discussions first.
3. Blog using the LinkedIn Publisher tool
Content is king on LinkedIn and the Linked Publisher tool is game changer. The new LinkedIn publisher tool allows members to contribute professional insights by publishing long-form posts on LinkedIn. Each post will show up on the home page of your connections; ready to be liked, commented and shared with potentially millions. Those of you who follow me have seen a dramatic increase in my LinkedIn published posts. You can use previous posts on this new easy to use platform to build an inventory of thought leadership information that will lead people to your profile. P.S. Since I am committed to using posting on the LinkedIn publisher tool on a regular basis simply liking and sharing my posts will increase your visibility.
LinkedIn is different from a job board where you post a resume and then wait for something to happen. Visibility on LinkedIn is under your control and is based on content and influence. Content that you can produce, supply and curate will grow your influence on LinkedIn; which will produce more views of your profile. Content, influence and strategy will make you the most attractive needle in the LinkedIn haystack.