Jen Lehner with 3 tips on how to use LinkedIn

Jen Lehner with 3 tips on how to use LinkedIn

Last week I had the great pleasure of interviewing Jen Lehner – one of my favourite people in the social media scene.

Jen has a great knack of making jobs that seem overwhelming, simple so I asked her to give me her best 3 tips on how to make LinkedIn work. As she says, most people just use LinkedIn as a place to park their resume but with a little effort, it can be so much more than that.

Here’s what Jen had to say…

Interview with Jen Lehner

ER:

One of the questions I get asked a lot from people is: I know LinkedIn’s a powerful tool, but I don’t really know how to deal with it properly. Do you have maybe three quick tips that people can get started and get confident in LinkedIn?

JL:

I do actually. I love LinkedIn – LinkedIn is absolutely… it’s not just important… if you use LinkedIn correctly, it can be an absolute goldmine. So it’s much more than a place to just park your resume. But the three, maybe three and a half, most important things that people need to do is –

Number one is make sure you reach all-star status with your LinkedIn profile. You don’t have to pay for this, you can do this with the free version. In fact I have the free version of LinkedIn. But LinkedIn will guide you off on the right hand side, it will tell you – there’s a little circle – and it will tell you where you are, and how close you are to reaching all-star status. All-star status just means you have listed up to three different experiences, prior experiences, that you have (I think it’s like) thirty contacts, maybe more. And it’ll tell you exactly what’s missing on your profile. So make sure that it’s complete, number 1.

ER:

It’s a satisfying process isn’t it? You can see as you achieve everything.

JL:

Very satisfying. There have actually been studies of the human psyche on how much we love to see progress bars, right?

ER:

Yep

JL:

We like to see things fill up, so yes, for those of us who like instant gratification, it’s there for you!

ER:

Yep

JL:

Secondly, there’s a summary. The most important part of your profile is your summary. And where people sort of mess up here is that they make it really super boring. So it’s like, written in the third person, and it says “Suzy accomplished this, and Suzy this and Suzy that.” Nobody reads that – nobody has time for that. What is needs to say is – we need to think about human nature; human nature is: we look at something we’re there looking at your profile, ‘cause if we’re interested in your services, we’re trying to solve a problem. So I need to know what’s in it for me, when I look at your profile. So it needs to say: “This is what I can do for you” – bam, bam, bam, bullet points. “This is why you want to work for me” – bam, bam, bam. And then, you know, you can fluff it up and make it a bit funny. Don’t be afraid to inflect your personality. Again, this is not your resume. And you can also, hasn’t always been the case, you can add rich media. You can add a powerpoint or keynote presentation that you’re proud of. You can add a bit of video. You can add a “love” video in fact. Why not have a piece produced, very inexpensive video, of you looking directly at the camera, for you know, sixty seconds where you look right into the camera “Hi I’m Jennifer, I’m a digital strategist.” And (waving at bugs) sorry… And I make it my b-… Don’t do that on the video!

ER:

Is this Summer camp?

JL:

Yeah, it’s the camp – there’s bugs everywhere! Um, but anyway, that’s the point. You just have your direct message looking right at your viewer. So many creative ways you can add rich media to your profile. Um – the next thing (of course it goes without saying) your profile picture should be the best picture you can come up with. Meaning, it should be a professional picture.

ER:

Yep

JL:

And I recommend using a really vibrant pop of color, like if you’re a female, a hot pink or red or even a bright yellow. You want to differentiate yourself – that’s the whole point of all of this. Okay, so your very best picture of you looking directly into the camera. And even if your best friend tells you that the picture you have up there looks good enough, it doesn’t if it’s not professional. Okay, it’s professional picture.

ER:

Yep

JL:

And then finally, I made a couple of notes… I’ve got one more, and then half a point. The next one is – there’s a feature on LinkedIn that is called Publisher. And you know you’re able to update your status on LinkedIn by simply putting a link to your blog post or some other interesting article that might be industry-related for you, and that’s great. And it’s important. But there’s a little feature in there called Publisher and you’re able to go in, and actually create like a blog post or an article from scratch, within LinkedIn. And they reward you greatly for this. Because, like your summary, you can add rich text, so you can create a video or embed a video, a PDF, anything you want to put in there, a slide-deck, and there’s word processing tools right there so you can highlight and bold and add bullets. When you publish this, what happens is, all of your contacts are alerted that you’ve done so. And so every single one of them gets a message that you just published this post. That’s number one.

Number two – if it gets a certain number of likes and comments (and that doesn’t mean it has to get a hundred likes or a hundred comments) LinkedIn wants to see that there’s a little bit of action and activity. They will then add this to their platform that they call Pulse. And this is sort of like a LinkedIn magazine. And then it really gets sent out through the stream. So the reason I know this works – I’m actually not a big blogger, I do a lot of video tutorials, I put a lot of things on social media – but on my own blog I don’t do much. So what I’ve done is – I’ll take any video that I’ve created somewhere else, I’ll plop it into Publisher, I might add a bit of text explanation in the beginning, at the end maybe I’ll add a PDF – and I’ll send it out there. I’m getting 800, 1500 views. On my blog, I might get… 6.

ER:

Yeah right.

JL:

You know… So it’s been amazing for engagement. And it’s brought me new clients. So it’s really, really a wonderful thing. One tip is – do it in the evening, because what LinkedIn does is… it’s sort of like a freebie. It gives you some time to get some likes and share, and then in the morning when they check, it has a better chance of going into Pulse, is what I’m trying to say. If you publish it in the middle of the day, and it doesn’t get hits right away, it might just sit there.

 

 

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