I love LinkedIn. It helps me build a robust professional network, which in turn makes me better in my role as a creative director and agency principal. I enjoy its thought leadership on topics that interest me – especially how to guide and direct results-oriented teams. Endorsements are great, too. They make it easy to give if someone does an amazing job – and also to receive. While I’ve always appreciated a handwritten note, endorsements tell you – and the world.
LinkedIn isn’t paying me to shill for them, but if you don’t have a LinkedIn Premium account yet, get it at least for a while. You can always go back to free if you find it doesn’t provide a strong enough return for you. Upgrading your account lets you search with greater precision. Equally important, it boosts your visibility and expands your reach among audiences important to you. People with whom you have a mutual connection or interest. People you really ought to know – and who should know you.
I’ve used the executive-level, networking-building account. Other subscription levels are designed for those seeking jobs, searching out sales or recruiting talent. I won’t go into the varied deliverables for all the fee levels and possible savings by paying annually rather than monthly. You can see those clearly at https://www.linkedin.com/premium/products?family=general.
I simply want to share that as a professional who tries to keep her social-media interactions to an appropriate level – enough to benefit from the platform but not so much as to swamp my day – LinkedIn delivers. I can send InMails to jumpstart conversations with individuals I’ve never met, but want to. I can refine my searches so that more often than not I find the right person fast. And advanced searches serve up more profile information than I could see otherwise. LinkedIn even shoots leads my way, alerting me weekly about new profiles that align with my past search criteria.
Many free LinkedIn users have their settings on anonymous so they can view profiles without revealing themselves. Well, that goes both ways. If this is true for you, then when LinkedIn shares that others are looking at your account – you can’t see who. That information remains hidden. Which can be frustrating. It’s like being told, “Someone called and asked for you, but he didn’t leave his name.”
Most professionals use a free account, and I get that. Premium offers a strong cost/benefit, but only if you do the work. It’s like joining a health club. If you don’t work it, you won’t reap the benefits. But even if you just stay with free, start spending a bit more time on the platform. Being inspired by what other professionals contribute. Learning more about that person you just met at a business luncheon. Sharpening your recruitment efforts. Deepening key relationships. Broadening your network. LinkedIn means business.