Using LinkedIn like a Boss

Using LinkedIn like a Boss

It’s without a doubt LinkedIn is the number one platform when it comes to building your personal brand online. Now I know that as a rock star Office Professional you already know about the importance of having a LinkedIn profile, but what I hear the struggle with the most, is how to use it to our advantage.

I’ve been to quite a few conferences and networking events this year and it constantly surprises me how many fellow Office Professionals I meet who don’t have a LinkedIn account or active account. I am sure you can relate to one of the biggest fears why many fellow Office Professionals don’t use it to their advantage, which is “judgement”, however, the biggest one is that they aren’t sure what to do or how to use it.

Can you relate?

I won’t claim to be a LinkedIn expert (we have some amazing LinkedIn trainers we can highly recommend if you need one), however, one thing I know is that when you have the basics right great things can and will start to happen. With LinkedIn being the biggest professional online networking platform, here are the things you need to know and do to get started.

1. Make a plan

We’ve all heard the famous quote by Benjamin Franklin that “Failing to plan, is planning to fail.” Well it’s the same for LinkedIn.

It’s important to know your why and what it is that you want to gain from LinkedIn. What does your future self need from it.

  • Are you wanting to climb the corporate “ladder”?
  • Move into a different area of your company?
  • or perhaps you are planning to jump ship and change jobs in the near future?
  • What skills and knowledge do you need to know and gain from it?
  • Build and create your online presence and personal brand to stand out?
  • Become an influencer?
  • Show leadership?

Once you know your why you can move onto positioning yourself to where you want to be.

2. Make sure your profile is complete

A half finished profile isn’t going to help you or get you anywhere. When you’re networking online, people still want to connect with you and know about what you are about. Some of the basic profile items you need to make sure you have completed are;

  • Make sure you have a profile photo. After all you wouldn’t go to a networking event with a paper bag over your head would you? Keep it professional. If you want to post a profile picture of yourself in Thailand stick to Instagram or Facebook. (Though, I would warn against anything that you wouldn’t want your Grandmother to see as you want to make sure your online personal brand is consistent. Remember EVERYONE can do a search on you so don’t post anything that could stop your career progression in the future.)
  • Tell your story! But please write it in the first person. Write about what makes you, YOU. Your major achievements, your style and your value. Use bullet points and the new formatting LinkedIn is rolling out so that you can highlight areas you want people to know about.
  • Ask for a recommendation from co workers, bosses and ex bosses. Anyone who has experienced your work first hand. If you manage events it could even be someone who attended an event you managed. Word of mouth is more powerful than you think. “Do what you do so well, people can’t resist telling others about you.” ~ Walt Disney
  • Stand out more and add a cover image to your profile. Is there an event you’re managing or is there something you want to share with people who you connect with? Add an image in the top section of your profile for more promotion. If you’re passionate about the company you are part of use this space to help promote it. Check in with your marketing department to see if they have any suggestions or any collateral that would be of benefit to you both. (Tip: this is also a great way to build internal connections.)
  • Like me I am sure you are a “Jack” or “Jill” of all trades and can do anything anyone asks. If you want to stand out in a certain area, make sure your skills and endorsements match your plan. Put the ones that help you achieve your career goals at the top and take away anything that doesn’t fit in with the plan.
  • Fill in all the different areas with as much relevant information with relation to your career as you can.
    • Awards
    • Education
    • Samples of work
    • Major projects you have been part of
    • Volunteering
  • Customise your visibility and details including your URL. It will help your profile stay tidy and make it easy for you to share and be found through your profile.

3. Know and understand who you need to have in your network and connect!

We’ve all heard the saying before “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” In our roles whether it be PA, EA or in an administrative role we’re generally adaptable and resourceful to figuring out anything that comes our way. While this skill is a necessity to be great at what we do, our value and the future of our career can be made stronger with the connections we have and make.

Think about it. You’re working on juggling several projects and while you do have the ability to do everything time is of the essence. Having a reliable network you’ve created where you can call on in times where help is needed, is essential in getting things done on time and on budget. But using your network for self use isn’t what it’s all about. Being able to connect people together is also important in being valuable. Imagine you met someone at an event. Connected with them on LinkedIn. They realised who you knew and who you worked for, then asked to be connected to your executive or sales team only to win a massive deal. Sounds a bit out there but it does happen! If something like this happened what would it mean for you. Your value would increase ten fold.

LinkedIn isn’t all about the sales side of things. Understanding and knowing who you need in your network should form part of your plan. But don’t just think about connecting with fellow Office Professionals who shine or fellow colleagues. Expand your thinking and think about

  • Who do you need to know to help you in your career?
  • Who are people in the future who you might need to help you?
  • Are there people you can help through connecting?
  • What are some of the gaps you need to fill in order to be 100% sure you will always have the connections you need to get a job done?

I recently read (well listened each day on Audible) to Janine Garner’s “It’s Who You Know” book. It’s about creating your perfect inner circle of success and who you need (or don’t need) by your side helping you to shine. Some of these tips are from her book and it’s absolutely recommended if you want to map out and create your perfect network.

4. Take advantage of groups

Groups are a great place to connect with fellow Office Professionals, help you find solutions and stay up to date with the latest trends. My tip here is to make sure your groups are relevant to you and provide what you need so you can continue to connect and grow.

5. Connect

While connecting with everyone in your organisation is a great start look outside the square.

  • Who have you met previously you found inspiring and would love to stay in touch with?
  • Are there any fellow external Office Professionals you deal with on a regular basis? Perhaps suppliers, other PAs or EAs?

When you connect be sure to customise your connection message. If it’s someone you met at an event a while back make sure you remind them how you met.

I.e. Hi NAME, It was great to meet you last month at EVENT. I’d love to connect here on LinkedIn. Regards, NAME

Stand out and make them feel important.

If you’re reading this, I’d love to connect. Send me a connection request and let me know you’ve seen this. It will make my day!

6. Stay active

Don’t be shy. Keeping visible on LinkedIn means you are going to have to step outside your comfort zone and be active. By this I am talking about

  • Sharing your own content in articles or posts
  • Sharing other content you find of value and adding your two cents (remember who it is you have in your network and what will be of value to them)
  • Share your company news from their page (your marketing team will LOVE it and everyone will see you leading the way)
  • Interacting with others. If you find something of value on LinkedIn through a connection “Like” it and let them know. Add your two cents if you have something to say. This not only helps them with fluffy things like “vanity numbers” it also keeps you visible and sharing your knowledge. It’s also about building relationships with them and conversing.

While hours and hours could be spent on LinkedIn each day aim for 10 minutes a day to stay in the loop.

7. Grow

The beauty of LinkedIn is that people love to share their knowledge first hand which creates one of the best places online to learn. Put this together with the LinkedIn learning platform Lynda and you’ve got yourself a very powerful tool to shape and mould your career to be what ever it is you make it to be.

These are some of the basics to get started but if you’re looking for more tips like this, be sure to sign up to our 2nd Annual Online Summit to Shape Your Future.

Looking forward to connecting on LinkedIn soon!

PA Pages

PA Pages is all about YOU! We know that the role of the Personal Assistant or Executive Assistant along with other various Office Professional roles within the Australian workforce has changed substantially over recent times. Today many of these roles hold a large amount of influence, decision-making and require us to be a Jill (or Jack) of all trades. Our mission is to provide you with the ultimate online resource where Office Professionals like you can be inspired and empowered to be the best leaders, problems solvers and support person in the office. We aim to provide you with everything you need through our online community whether you have a question about the workplace or your career, need to organise a team building activity, send a gift, book a chauffeur driven car, or want to know how to do something you will find it all here on PA Pages. Personal Assistants, Executive PA, Virtual Assistants, Secretaries, Receptionists and more!

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