Yes, its that time again. The start of a new year and – depending on when you read this – the time to make resolutions or to remind ourselves of the resolutions that we’ve already stopped paying attention to in 2013. When you are planning your 2013 resolutions, don’t neglect social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and yes, LinkedIn. Let’s take a quick look at some items to add to your LinkedIn checklist for 2013.
New Look for 2013
If you haven’t been to your LinkedIn profile in a while, you may not recognize it. Why? Well, starting in late 2012, this social network began giving itself a facelift. This is one of the biggest reasons to take time to review your LinkedIn profile and update your information. Your first step for 2013 is to give this official LinkedIn blog post a read to get acquainted with the new look and new features.
Give Yourself a Facelift
Now that you’ve seen the new look, its time to give your own profile a quick review. Start by updating any professional information that is out of date. If you’ve acquired any new professional skills, add them to your profile. Make sure your website links are still active and add any new urls to your profile. Lastly, take advantage of the new feature and ask your connections to endorse your work for the professional skills you have listed in your profile.
Watch Those Words
Do you truly want to stand out from the social media crowd on LinkedIn. Well, you might want to watch what you write to describe yourself and your skills in your personal profile. Avoiding the most overused LinkedIn buzzwords from 2012 is a good place to start. Remember, your LinkedIn profile is often a virtual first-impression long before a face-to-face first impression. Make it count, watch the words you use in your profile and make that first impression an impressive one.
Get Out and Mingle
If you’ve been ignoring those messages in your inbox asking you to connect, now’s the time to start replying. Seek out new connections in your industry and step outside your personal profile and join a variety of LinkedIn groups related to your profession and interests. As with any network, this social network gives you a better ROI when you are better connected. Get out there and mingle with your connections and fellow LinkedIn professionals to grow your business.
Now that you’ve stepped outside your virtual circle of connections and joined a few groups, it is time to quit lurking in the shadows. Speak up and engage the LinkedIn social network community. Don’t take this as an opportunity to promote yourself and toss out some lame sales pitches. Offer valuable content, answer questions honestly, help others: As you do this, you’ll notice your network growing, you’ll be seen as an expert in your field and you’ll probably gain some new business as a result.
How do you use LinkedIn to grow your business? We’d love to hear your success stories. Please share them in the comments below.