For many years I thought LinkedIn was just the place to post your resume or look for a new and improved job.
Aside from promoting work events, I rarely logged on and hardly posted. I didn’t think LinkedIn could help my already-established career.
Fast forward to early 2020. I had recently left my long-time executive role in marketing and events to pursue my consulting full-time and was looking for a way to connect with fellow marketers and potential clients.
I read countless articles on the power of networking on LinkedIn and decided to give it a second look.
What I found surprised me; this wasn’t the LinkedIn I used to know!
How had I missed out on this new and improved professional community?
I soon started sending out connections and commenting on posts of interesting people whom I wanted to meet and learn from.
And it wasn’t too long before things started happening.
In just a few months, by interacting, engaging, and offering insight, I met new colleagues, landed clients, and was invited to speak on a podcast.
All by showing up daily on LinkedIn.
And the good news is you can do the same. Even if you’re new to LinkedIn or have 500+ connections, it can be a big boost to your career and client connections.
Get found online, faster
If a recruiter or future client looks you up online what do they find? With a LinkedIn profile, they’ll find you faster and in the top rankings of search pages. Try it for yourself: Google your name and see it appear in the top three search results.
If you have a blog, Google also gives authority to LinkedIn’s long-form articles. That means you can update your existing blog or content, add it to LinkedIn’s articles section, and have a better chance of it being found.
It’s your digital reputation, not your digital resume
When Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2016 for $27 billion, it became more of a professional social networking site rather than a resume and recruiter site. Each month new tools and features are rolled out often to showcase your skills and feature your best work to potential clients.
Think of your LinkedIn profile as the digital story of your career. It’s your online reputation and proof of your personal and professional achievements. That’s why many people forgo business cards and use their profiles to highlight their blogs, published articles, videos, photos, and best podcast episodes.
Online networking is the new normal
2020 showed us a digital presence is practically the ONLY way to meet and build relationships.
Gone were in-person weekly or monthly networking events, industry conferences, and annual summits to connect with people who can move your career forward.
When we can’t meet face to face, how are you going to network and market?
LinkedIn is this place. Currently, there are 900 million+ professionals worldwide and thousands of new members are added weekly.
Check out these impressive stats and see how fast LinkedIn is growing top-tier professionals.
It’s a friendlier and more inclusive social site
It’s the business world so LinkedIn members are on their best behavior. Trolling, inappropriate messages and abusive behavior are not common.
As one connection told me, “People on LinkedIn post and comment about stimulating things that I find interesting and help me improve personally and professionally.”
I’ve met some of the friendliest, smartest and most encouraging connections on LinkedIn. And it’s not just people in my industry or country. From Australia, the UK and Canada, I’ve zoomed offline with professionals I would’ve never had the opportunity to meet in real life.
No matter your age, experience, country or industry, everyone can contribute and is warmly welcomed in the LinkedIn community.
Your Ticket to More Opportunities
You don’t have to have thousands of connections and followers to start seeing and making a difference. Even if you’re new to LinkedIn or if you haven’t logged on in years, just showing up and participating daily can make a noticeable difference to your personal brand.
LinkedIn can help you find:
A job you love
Awareness of your brand or business
Investors to fund your next venture
Influential people ready to collaborate with you
Let’s start connecting
I learned the hard way, wasted precious time, and don’t want you to make the mistake I did. Start today so you can make your mark on the professional world.
Follow me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellebgriffin for personal branding, content marketing, and thought leadership content.
Note: This article first appeared on SheOwnsIt.com in December 2020.