Networking Dos and Don’ts: How to Use LinkedIn Like a Pro

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Just when you figured out Facebook, another social media site had to become popular. Now business professionals from around the world have to learn how to navigate another site.

The truth is that this can be intimidating and overwhelming even for the most experienced Internet marketers. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to improve your experience on LinkedIn and learn to network like a pro.

1. Complete your profile

Your first step in utilizing LinkedIn is going to be to complete your profile. Choose a professional image for your profile picture. You must include a profile picture when you use LinkedIn.

Many professionals make the mistake of not using a profile picture, but this can backfire. Keep in mind that while your privacy is important, so is presenting a businesslike-image to the people you connect with on LinkedIn. If you don’t use a profile picture, other users may assume that you’re not a real person or that you don’t understand how to use the site.

If you want to connect with others, completing your profile is essential. You’ll also want to include a summary of your skills, a list of your work experience, and links to any of your publications.

2. Include a personal message

When you joined LinkedIn, you’ll have the option to connect with other users. Similar to Facebook, connecting with another user lets you see their profile and chat with them.

You’ll also be able to see their status updates. When you request to be someone’s contact, always include a personal message with your request.

Even if the person knows you, write a short note.

Something as simple as “I was impressed by your profile and would like to connect” can be incredibly meaningful.

3. Thank people in a timely fashion

When someone chooses to connect with you or sends you a connection request, shoot them a brief message. You don’t have to give them your life story or bombard them with a list of your websites.

Simply send them a message that thanks them for connecting with you. Something like “I look forward to networking with you” or “I look forward to speaking with you further” will let the person know that you understand professional courtesy.

It will also demonstrate that you aren’t adding them as a connection simply to boost your number of connections.

4. Join groups related to your industry

Finally, always join groups related to your industry. There are hundreds of groups on LinkedIn designed to help you connect with other professionals.

When you request to join a group, you’ll be able to see other members and connect with them. You’ll also have the chance to participate in group conversations, to share your own blog posts, and to ask questions about your industry.

Groups are a great way to meet new people and to learn about different companies.

Joining groups also gives you the perfect chance to find out about new job openings in your field.

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