LinkedIn: A powerful search engine where you can establish and build awareness of your professional expertise? An online networking tool to connect with colleagues and potential business partners? A simple way to learn about industry trends, start and join relevant conversations, and meet people who are likely interested in your products and services?
Yes, yes, and YES! (And yes.)
LinkedIn is a genius inbound marketing tool to put yourself out there for all the business world to see. And it’s not just corporations and job seekers on LinkedIn anymore. Whatever your business, your target audience is likely to be there, participating in group discussions, searching for opportunities, sharing value. So if you want more exposure, don’t neglect LinkedIn.
When it comes to exposure, bigger better, but it’s not just about the numbers. What you do with your connections and the network you build is key. Find out where you rank in a few simple steps.
The size of your network
It’s about who you know, and who they know. Every single connection you make has the ability to create thousands of new contacts. Each time you connect with someone, you increase your 2nd and 3rd level connections, which introduces you to a pool of shiny new potential clients and partners. For first level connections, the coveted status is 500+. Once you reach this milestone, you won’t get a trophy (no chocolate or margaritas, either), but you will get a boost of credibility in your field.
The number of views your account receives can be a good indicator of how your network is growing. How do you get more views? Spruce up your profile by adding relevant keywords to make your profile more ‘findable,’ link other social media channels to your account, and keep active and engaged with LinkedIn Groups. Viewing other people’s profiles will often lead to more views on yours, as well. It’s also advisable to check your profile views after trade shows or conferences, and if the number is steadily increasing, so should be your engagement and quality of your content.
Number of recommendations
A great way to assess your influence is the number of recommendations clients, colleagues, or employees write about you. This is a powerful way of displaying work ethic and business savvy, and highlighting your accomplishments, straight from the horse’s mouth. If you’re lacking in this department, reach out to customers or past employers to write you up a glowing testimonial. The more positive endorsements you rack up, the greater the ranking with potential new clients or partners.
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Number of skill and expertise endorsements
Not only can others recommend your work, they can also confirm the skill level you claim to have. These keywords are searchable on LinkedIn so the more relevant ones you have in your profile, the better. Getting more endorsements for specific skill sets elevates you to a position above those that have blank areas in this section. Again, reach out for endorsements from past clients or jobs to boost your credibility, and don’t forget to actively endorse your own connections.
Number of new invitations
The more active you are on LinkedIn – posting helpful updates consistently, getting involved in group discussions, sharing others’ posts – the more connection invitations you will receive. Plus, whatever you do outside of LinkedIn – blogging, speaking, networking in person – can lead to an increased amount of people wanting to stay connected to you through the network. The number of invitations you receive will give you a glimpse of how many people want to be associated with you and your business.
While these metrics are a start, the only tangible way of gauging your success is by the number of business leads generated or job offers received. Regardless of the size of your network, if you’re not getting genuine business connections, then reassess your profile and make necessary adjustments. Follow our sage advice and keep active on your account, even for just a few minutes a day, and you’ll be well on your way to LinkedIn success in no time. And don’t forget to download this report with 25 simple tips to position you as a thought leader and skyrocket your visibility on LinkedIn.