Typically, LinkedIn is viewed as a way to search for jobs or for recruiters to find new talent, but what if we told you it could be a great resource for professional networking and development? Stay tuned, and great ready to connect.
Who is on LinkedIn and Why is it Important?
Like many social media platforms, there are millions of people using LinkedIn. In fact, according to LinkedIn there are over 740 million users who are utilizing or have profiles on the platform. Meaning, if you joined today you could potentially already have a network of hundreds of people who have worked at the same company as you at one point. That’s the beauty of LinkedIn – the ability to easily connect with like-minded professionals and industry leaders, increasing the ability to stay up to date on industry trends, competitor initiatives, and career best practices.
While on the topic of searching the internet for people and professionals, you might find the exercise of googling yourself to be interesting. Typically, if you have a LinkedIn account it will likely show up as one of, if not the very first things to populate. Think of this as a free way to create a professional narrative of yourself that you can control, the ultimate personal branding package.
Steps to Using LinkedIn
Now that the potential of LinkedIn is understood, follow the outlined steps below to take full advantage of the platform:
- Build your personal profile to all-star level
- Add connections
- Join local/industry groups
- Create relevant industry content
1) Build Your Personal Profile
As previously mentioned, your profile can be looked at as the ultimate personal branding package. When building out your profile, the goal should be to reach LinkedIn All-Star status. This article outlines How to Achieve All-Star Status on LinkedIn.
The main items include:
- Using a professional headshot
- Design a branded banner image
- Create an informative headline and include your industry and location
- Complete the summary section in detail
- Add current position and previous work history
- Include skills and expertise
- Detail education and volunteer experience
2) Add Connections
Building your network begins with adding connections – think colleagues, previous classmates, business acquaintances as well as industry leaders. To add individuals to your network, LinkedIn has outlined these options to connect:
- A member’s profile – Click the Connect button on their profile page.
- The Search Results page – Click Connect to the right of the member’s information.
- The Grow Your Network page – Search your email address book to find contacts or invite them using their email address.
- The My Network page – If you have any pending invitations, they will be displayed near the top of the page.
3) Join Local/Industry Groups
You can quickly expand your network and keep up-to-date with the latest trends in your field by joining groups dedicated to your industry and/or specific to your region. If you’re looking to connect with individuals in the multifamily industry the below networks are a great place to start:
4) Create Relevant Industry Content
Publishing content on LinkedIn provides the opportunity for you to share your original thoughts on industry topics, and establish yourself as a thought leader in the space. Posting relevant content illustrates to your connections that you are staying up to date with the latest business trends and allows you to share your successes and failures, for the greater growth of your industry.
Best practices of posting content include:
- Post/Share content 1-3 times a month: Personal Updates, Industry Content, and/or Company Updates
- Utilize industry hashtags
- Tag relevant companies, individuals, and groups
- Provide personal insight
- Engage back with those who comment on your content
To see these strategies in action, please connect and engage with Venterra’s CEO and Co-Founder John Foresi and Chairman and Co-Founder Andrew Stewart on their LinkedIn accounts as they are beginning to embrace the platform and will be sharing announcements about business successes as well as publishing subject-matter expert perspective stories and articles related to our markets, investing, real estate and the multi-family industry.