How To: 5 Ways to be Effective with LinkedIn as a Young Adult

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can help you build meaningful relationships to millions of professionals across the globe. It helps people get hired, salespeople and small businesses find new leads, and Professionals gain credibility from being active in the community like participating in group discussions. There are over 300 Million active LinkedIn users registered. However, what separates the rockstars from the rest of the pack is primarily on how they choose to use the tool. People are human and are intrigued and disinterested what they see for a number of different reasons. However while there are different strokes for different folks, there are some commonalities amongst the rockstars of the group. (and no it is not that they all have 500+ connections.) Below are five examples that are effective and that you can do no matter if you have been in the workforce for 25 years or 25 minutes.

Be a Thought Leader

What is a Thought Leader? Is a person who has mastered thinking more thoughts than anyone else? Kind of…. A Thought Leader is considered a subject matter expert in their field/industry. Markets are like weather and businesses are like you and I. The weather changes every day and every day we have to be ready to adapt to those changes. Businesses have to adapt to the always changing conditions of their markets. If they don’t they risk failure. Thought Leaders then serve as the weathermen for businesses. This is primarily because powerful thought leaders operate in “zero time”, meaning they create content around trends and where they see their followers markets are moving to next and what is going to be valuable to stakeholders within them. They also are really good in finding new angles and unique approaches to solving problems. The great thing for you is that you are already a Thought Leader.  You solve problems and make game changing observations everyday without even knowing it; and I am willing to bet you have a unique way of doing so. Find something your passionate about, apply what you see or what you solve for, and define how it adds value to the people who follow you.

Post What you Want to be Known for

How did IceJJ Fish become the YouTube sensation that can’t sing? How did Kevin Hart become one of the Top 5 people most followed on Instagram? How does a heaux become a heaux? (I will drop this I just thought it was funny) They develop a reputation on what they want to be known based on their actions or content. Rockstars on LinkedIn are no different; when they post their followers learned overtime what to expect from them CONSISTENTLY and then DEMAND IT! This then becomes their REPUTATION! I emphasize these things because your followers look at you the same way, and will learn over time what you post about. The key is being focused rather than ambiguous, be memorable rather than conforming, and post what you want to  be known for.

Build Relationships with Your connections

How many of your connections do you keep in touch with? If you are like most LinkedIn users (including myself sadly, ☹) you probably do not contact most of your LinkedIn contacts after you connect with them. While LinkedIn is a tool to connect you with others across the globe it is only the start of your relationship, you have to nurture the rest. Rockstars keep in contact with their different connections whether it is by having a conversation around trending topic that affects their industry, opportunities to meet in person, and seeing if there is anything you can do to help them. Yes, I did mean that last part see what you can do to help your connections. Most people in a networking space seek find people who can help them be better in what they are doing. I think this backwards, networking is about reciprocity. If you offer your help and your focus is on the other person and NOT yourself. I belief in karma, and genuinely building relationships where you can help another will allow that person to develop trust in you. Trust allows them to feel comfortable, and you would be surprised that those who have those feelings about you usually reward with the same and mutually beneficial opportunities. Do unto others what you would want done to you.

Be Active in LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups are great resources to be active in. Groups are usually composed of the most interested people in their spaces and being active allows you to be engaged in fruitful discussion. More importantly, you are engaging with other Thought Leaders and Industry Experts in their fields. When you develop credibility with these individuals you will be sought after more by more companies and more individuals seeking your help/ your advice. Not to mention if you are looking into a position/career change it would not be such a bad idea for your future employer to see how you think and approach topics in their industry. For all you know, they could be in your LinkedIn group.

Engage with other LinkedIn Influencers

Thought Leaders link to think. They thrive off of thought provoking commentary provided by their audience. It helps them grow because they are able to learn from the responses you post, take in the support and typically they want to engage with you more. In turn they may do the same when you begin publishing content around your area of expertise. It goes to this notion of “Iron Sharpening Iron” and as your reputation builds around what you want to be known for, the Thought Leaders & Influencers will help you grow by challenging and supporting the topics you post about.

These are 5 ways that the Rockstars of LinkedIn use the tool and have experiences success. Whether you are an employee, entrepreneur, professor, or student being an Influencer is based on how your followers see value in the content you publish. The stronger credibility you build amongst your group, the more of a compelling case you can make when you are making sense of the value you bring to the markets you participate in and the organizations you are a part of.  

Good Luck,