Recently a high school boyfriend I haven’t talked to in 20+ years invited me to connect on LinkedIn with nothing but the canned invitation.
I’ve voiced my objection to this in the past. Someone once told me it’s because some phone apps don’t allow you to include a personal note with the invitation. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t fly.
With this LinkedIn complaint already rolling around in my head, I was fairly dismayed to spot this profile image of a random guy making a group comment: A photo of him hugging his wife. OK for Facebook. Not for LinkedIn.
With that, I decided I needed to call in the big guns, so allow me to introduce my favorite LinkedIn expert, the fabulous Brenda Meller, assistant vice president of marketing at Walsh College and self-proclaimed social media ambassador. Read on as Brenda drops some of her extensive knowledge about the vast, but not TOO complicated, world of LinkedIn.
Tip for Beginners
Personalize EVERY invitation you send on LinkedIn. Seriously. This tip alone will increase the rate of your invitations being accepted. Include a salutation including their name, a frame of reference, your request to connect. If you’re savvy, you’ll want to offer them your assistance, then a closing including your name. Like this:
Dear Jennifer, it was great seeing you at the Inforum Troy breakfast at Walsh last month. Let’s connect on LinkedIn. Let me know if there is anything you need. Sincerely, Brenda
BONUS: Invite Brenda to connect with you: www.linkedin.com/in/brendameller
Tip for Intermediates
Review your profile and make updates once per quarter. To remember to do this, set a calendar reminder. Check your current job description and add any recent achievements. Make sure your profile photo still looks like you (women with frequent hair style changes, take note). Spend a few minutes scanning your profile. Does it look interesting? Have you missed anything?
BONUS: Identify a few industry leaders you admire and look at their profiles once per quarter, too.
Tip for Advanced Users
Try to find yourself in an advanced people search using keywords only. Try just a few keywords at a time. Is it easy to find your profile? Or are you relatively hidden? (Keep in mind, if people can’t find you on LinkedIn, you might need to freshen up that profile.) In the process, check out profiles of others who come up in searches. Why are they ranking higher? Let their profiles inspire you to make updates on your profile.
BONUS: Google yourself. What do you mean, you’ve never Googled yourself???
Brenda oversees Walsh’s marketing strategies and tactics for the College’s award-winning “Live. Breathe. Business” campaign, serving the Admissions, Alumni/Development, Career Services, Walsh Institute, and all campus locations. Her areas of responsibility include advertising, marketing, branding, public relations, social media, and web / digital media. She loves her job and thinks you should, too.
Brenda hosts the Walsh College social media webinar series and periodically speaks on social media for associations including Automation Alley, the Troy Chamber, Toastmasters, the Institute for Supply Management – Southeast Michigan, HRAGD (a local chapter of SHRM), and MichiganWorks!. In addition, she authors three blogs: Meller Marketing, 15 Minutes a Day on LinkedIn, and Marketing and Social Media for Walsh College. In her spare time, she’s pursuing a Walsh MBA. She credits her motivation to coffee and the occasional slice of pie.