It’s very easy to join LinkedIn, but not everyone does it well. Here are a few tips from personal experience.
To me, groups are the heart and soul of LinkedIn. Joining a group says you are interested in the topic area and gives you a valid reason to connect with anyone in the group.
When I receive a connection invitation, I appreciate a personal comment that says I am not part of a general numbers game. When I invite someone into my network, I try to find something about them that I can reference in the invitation that shows I am interested in them personally.
I run several groups on LinkedIn and I appreciate members who post Discussions that stimulate dialogue. I do not appreciate the member who posts repeatedly (there is only so much room on a page before others’ posts get pushed out of sight) or is blatantly marketing a service or product (that one goes to Promotions).
Posting an interesting and relevant article is a safe way to market yourself if you are reluctant to respond to others’ posts.
Congratulating someone in your network when they post an update about themselves is something that not very many people do, so you will stand out in the mind of that person.
When someone writes a recommendation for you and you allow it to appear on your site, return the favor. Ideally, you have asked someone who really knows you or your work; a safe rule of thumb is to only ask for recommendations from people you would be comfortable recommending. An even better rule is to recommend them first. Then send them a personal email telling them you have done so, in case they do not have their account set up for daily alerts.
Lastly, avoid politics or articles that clearly take a controversial social tone. Someone will be offended and there is nothing more uncomfortable than being attacked publicly.
Wait, sorry, one more thing. Critique your profile for grammar and punctuation errors. When you are presenting yourself to the public, it is ridiculously easy to ruin credibility with simple mistakes. Review your profile on a regular basis for errors, or just to make sure that you still feel the same way you did on the day you created it.
There is a group for everyone’s interests on LinkedIn, but these are a few ways to stand out in the crowd.