LinkedIn Has Millions of Members
Some of these LinkedIn members are called "Super Connectors." These people have more than 3,000 connections. These people often add people from outside of their industry as well as within their own. They strive to maintain contact with people from different worlds. Hypothetically, you may find an SEO (search engine optimization specialist) who friends politicians, ambassadors, lobbyists, and doctors. The goal for Super Connectors is often to make their online Rolodex as thick as possible. The maximum amount of LinkedIn connections is limited to 30,000.
If you click on many of the images, you'll find tutorials and screenshots on how to increase the number of connections available.
LinkedIn Learning: Super Connectors and LIONS
There are two types of impressive people on LinkedIn Super Connectors and LIONS. Super Connectors are people who have 3,000 or more connections. The reason why this is uncommon is that it turns out more than 50% of people who use LinkedIn and have less than 500 people as first connections. A LION, on the other hand, is a "LinkedIn Open Networker." Oftentimes LIONS will write directly in their profile if they are open to accepting connections outside of their network. Famous LIONS include Steven Burda, Marc Freedman, Stacy Donovan Zapar, Shally Steckerl, and more.
LinkedIn Tip: It's Not A Very Effective Dating Site
I had a coworker who once noticed that a gentleman asked me out through LinkedIn. It happened twice since I started my profile around 2008. It turns out that out of 3,000 plus connections I received a passive response rate of 0.066666666666667% That's abysmal. There's a more effective way to get a better response.
LinkedIn Cover Photo Tips for Your Profile
The following are best practices to make your LinkedIn profile begin to stand out. Make sure to smile in your photos. Skip the selfies. And make sure you are facing the camera to look at your audience. Skip using the basic avatar. It's not memorable and it's ill-advised to use your company logo as your profile photo. LinkedIn aims to connect people with people.
LinkedIn Cover Photos: Make Sure They're Professional
It turns out that LinkedIn profiles with professional headshots get 14 times more views than an amateur photo. It's worth the investment but if you're dead set on taking your own photo, please skip the selfies, shots in the bathroom mirror, pictures that look suggestive and forget posing with props.
LinkedIn in Search
One of the best ways to set your profile up to be searchable within LinkedIn is to follow this formula: Be sure to include your official title and not a fictional title, either. If you're the CEO write it or write out Chief Executive Officer. Use the specific keyword of your job description. If you're a Laborer, write it. If you're a Web Developer, Editor, Journalist, Mortician, it doesn't matter. Just use the most common name that it's called so people can find you on the social networking site. Then add some of the basic keywords about what you do. For example, an SEO specialist might write SEO, Social Media, Blogger, Content Development. Then add the company name and finally, your value-add. A value-add is something that is unique to you. It's something only you can provide. It's your most unique quality that's valued in your industry, office or community. It could be soft skills like a strong work ethic, positive attitude, good communication skills, time management, problem-solving skills, being a team player, self-confidence, the ability to learn from criticism, flexibility, or working well under pressure.
It's important to fill out this information because when you type in "Search" you're able to search by names, skills, titles, companies, and even content that other LinkedIn participants can read. This also means when you post content in LinkedIn through the publishing feature these people will also be able to find your content (in LinkedIn and on the web if you use the publishing feature) so it is an excellent time to start working on your content marketing plan.
There are several ways to find new jobs on LinkedIn. First, it's important to make sure that you have set your profile to let recruiters know you're interested in new work. You will receive emails from time to time with job opportunities. Second, you may receive direct messages from recruiters who are looking for your skills. Third, by publishing great text and visual content, like 3 million other users, they may share your content for you. This content makes you appear like a thought leader and that you're knowledgeable about your industry and how to help customers solve their problems. Finally, you can actively look for jobs through the platform.
Unlike traditional advertising which has a lot of upfront costs, when you have a copywriter, SEO company or a great writer on staff it's best to use the platform to share industry news, insider knowledge, inspirational stories, personal projects, advice and sharing articles. If you post articles on LinkedIn (though publishing) they are searchable in Google so make sure to use your keywords. Make sure when you post that you drive customers to a specific call to action to help increase leads.
How to Grow Your Audience
When you're trying to grow your audience it's best not to add someone and then try to sell them your product or service right away. Instead, it's best to use the person's name and then give people a reason to connect with you. In this instance, Schweb Design was hosting a meet-up for developers. We searched for developers who were within a driving distance of our venue. Then we sent a personal invitation to each person, who, in turn, became the first connection. The bonus is that because we were offering an event to a specific audience these developers resonated with the messaging and checked out the event. The event was then linked to Eventbrite to keep track of the tickets. The result from this marketing endeavor far outweighed men asking for dates on the same platform, so it is much more effective. The call to action, in this case, was to drive developers to fill out the Eventbrite form.
According to their blog, LinkedIn conducted a study for the past six years to deduce the worst words to use on your profile. Why? These words are overused and although we often hear these words in a business sense, and it's easy to write what you hear repeatedly, it just makes your copy blend into the background because it doesn't communicate anything special. Oftentimes buzzwords are used when people want to seem more knowledgeable in a subject matter that they might not know. Sometimes they use it to communicate with their direct audience because that's the language they use. People also use buzzwords because it's easy to do and it seems as though that's what everyone else does.
Instead, focus on professional accomplishments.
Benefits to Consider
Most users say they use LinkedIn for networking purposes. As such, they want to make connections with people who can help solve their problems. Users say that using the platform gives them an online space of belonging with a group of experts who will help the user grow professionally. This powerful medium drives 50% of all traffic to B2B websites, and users (who include 40 million decision makers and 61 million senior level influencers) read 9 billion pieces of content per week. Great short content that's around 248 words often converts to a lead.
It's important to get recommendations on LinkedIn because it is anecdotal evidence that you are as good as you say you are with your skills, talents and people skills. Recommendations are a form of social proof. Think about all the times you checked out a Google or Yelp review to find out what your peers think about food, companies, services and more. By adding third-party endorsements, it may help hiring managers and decision makers understand your skills and the value you'd bring to an organization. After clicking on Ask for a Recommendation, make sure you send the request to people who will give you powerful recommendations and support your personal brand by reinforcing your values. Request that the person who is giving you the recommendation be specific with your accomplishments. Ask one person at a time to make it seem as though it happened organically.
Skill endorsements are different than recommendations. Skill endorsements allow your first connection contacts to reinforce how you'll add value to a company. Add skills you believe are relevant to your job and industry and then make sure the ones that you're an All-Star in show up at the top. Delete any skills that are meaningless to your career goals.
In the end, if you have a well-rounded profile that shows you're an industry expert and you use the platform in a clever way to reach out and add value to your audience, you can expect your connections to grow and potentially leads to increase because the content comes from a trusted source and actively solves a customer's problem.