How to Get Started with LinkedIn

Getting started on LinkedIn

 

If you are a business person and you do not have a LinkedIn account yet, you may want to consider creating one due to the sheer amount of opportunities available.  So with that said, if you are not utilizing LinkedIn to grow your business, then now may be the perfect time to do so.

However, before you do that, you have to learn the LinkedIn guidelines on becoming a member. Most of these are common sense, but it never hurts to spell them out. Feel free to refer back to this article to refresh yourself on what IS allowed and what ISN’T on LinkedIn. You’ll be glad you did.

  1. Be real: No fake profiles allowed. “Members of LinkedIn need to be real people, who provide real names and accurate information about themselves,” the company states. Just like in the real business world, it’s not OK to give “misleading information about yourself, your qualifications or your work experience, affiliations or achievements” on LinkedIn.
  2. Be professional: It should be one of those “it goes without saying” things, but better safe than sorry. Being professional means being honest and appropriate in what you post. Much of the value of LinkedIn discussions is the frank and open exchange of ideas and opinions, but this forum is not to be used “to shock or intimidate others,” the company stated. “It is not okay to use graphic images to shock others, and it is not OK to share obscene images or pornography.”
  3. Be nice: Mom always told you if you can’t say anything good about other people, don’t say anything at all. She was right. LinkedIn should not be used to harm others, or “harass, abuse, or send other unwelcomed communications” – junk mail, spam, chain letters and the like. Do not make threats of violence or property damage on LinkedIn, or attack people “because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, political or religious affiliations, or medical or physical condition”. LinkedIn is not to be used “to intentionally infect others with viruses, worms, or other software that can destroy or interrupt their data or computer devices. Nor is it okay to interfere or disrupt LinkedIn’s service,” the guidelines state. Respect other’s rights and follow the law: Don’t use LinkedIn to commit fraud. The company advises that “before sharing or using someone else’s copyrighted works, trademarks, private information, or trade secrets, please make sure you have the legal right to do so.” Note: Sharing comments and other updates is one of the hallmarks of social media. What is not good is taking other people’s content and passing it off as your own. At the very least, it’s plagiarism.
  4. Respect LinkedIn’s rights: What are they? You can find all the details in the User Agreement, “but put simply, please don’t use LinkedIn’s services to wrongfully take data or information. It is not okay to suggest that you are affiliated with or endorsed by LinkedIn when you are not, and it is not okay to violate LinkedIn’s intellectual property rights,” according to the company.

With that said, once you understand the guidelines, it is important to take action and present the professional “YOU”

One of the first things that you can immediately do is make an appointment with a portrait photographer. This is one of the best investments you can make that will pay off in many ways, not just on LinkedIn. Be sure to get high-resolutions photos in color and black and white that can be published on paper, as well as images that are already adjusted for newsprint. You will also want images that can be used well online.

Now that you got these guidelines along with 1 simple action item to get your profile on the fast track, you can now create your very own LinkedIn page. But remember – your success in LinkedIn is a direct result of your daily actions. You cannot sign up, build a profile, and then walk away.

Your success on LinkedIn is a result of consistent action taken on a daily basis over time.

Have you taken the time to look over the LinkedIn guidelines and to take a professional photo?  I would love to hear from you!

 

28 Comments

  1. I have to admit to taking the foot off the accelerator for a while now on LinkedIn. I've got a good size group of connections, but I realise I've neglected LinkedIn for a while in lieu of other social media activities. Thanks for your post Edmund. I'm off to put things right.

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    • Anytime Clive! 

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  2. Great advice and perfect points to get started!  I've been on LinkedIn for – gosh feels like an eternity – probably almost 10 years!!!  millions of connections!  and yes, for the most part, 90% are professional.  I'm not so sure about the groups however.  difficult to communicate and connect with people in them… far different than a FB group concept!  thanks Edmund, great job!! p

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    • You’re welcome Patricia! 

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  3. Great informative post. And you're right seems like common sense but some things may be overlooked.

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    • It’s good to be reminded from time to time.

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  4. Good tips, Edmund.

    People tend to forget that networking online is very much the same in person — mind your manners, be respectful and have integrity in your actions.
     

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    • Thanks Cathy! I couldn’t agree more. 

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  5. I do use linkedin, but I know there is more I can do with it, like participate more actively in groups..will have to start doing that!

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    • I would love to hear how that goes. =)

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  6. Linked in has become a sideline for me. I don't feel like I get as much out of it as I do with FB or even face to face networking. Maybe I"m missing something 🙂

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    • It's one of those things where you test different platforms to see what works best for you. If FB and face to face work the best, stick with your bread and butter.

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  7. Good info, Edmund.  I'm still learning LinkedIn but it is a great place to connect with other professionals and grow your business.

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    • Yes it is! That’s why we have to take advantage of what it can offer to grow our businesses. =)

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  8. Great post, Edmund !

    I want to add one more item though because it's something that drives me crazy when used incorrectly.  Linked in's e-mail system is beneficial for engaging with your connections and sometimes you'll have a particular e-mail that you'll want to send to more than one person at a time.  That's okay.  But do NOT use their e-mail system as a place to spam your connections with sales opportunities or announcements of events. Your connections will just get angry and remove you from their sight.

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    • Great points you presented here, Shelley! Thanks for sharing =)

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  9. Great advice! I'm not a LinkedIn pro by any means, but these tips are a great start. 😉 

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  10. LinkedIn is a great place meet new people.  Thank you for your steps on getting started.  

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    • Anytime Kim! =)

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  11. There are so many platforms out there.  I think it is hard for most people to know which platforms are best for their business type.  Great info on LinkedIn … what types of businesses would be best suited for LinkedIn?

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    • I think any business will fit in as long as the business owner knows how to find his niche in LinkedIn, and as long as he knows how to value professional relationships with other businesses and his prospective clients/customers. 

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  12. I'm guilty of not keeping up with LinkedIn consistently. Need to get a better handle on how to use it best with my business.

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  13. Thank you, thank you, thank  you for pointing out the need for a professional portrait. I see so many unattractive snapshots on top of an otherwise outstanding profile. Your profile is your resume — don't you want to make the best first impression you can? Also, please pick a human portrait photographer. While there are excellent dog photogs out there, they have a tendency to make their subjects look a lot like Fido. 

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    • My pleasure Jackie! =)

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  14. This is great Edmund… sad that they have to post rules about being nice, being accurate and professional… but then again.. they also have to post that hot coffee is Hot… imagine that! These are good reminders… would love to see what you have to say about daily or weekly engagement! 😉

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    • I’ll take note of that. Thanks for the suggestion Kristen! =)

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  15. Great tips Edmund!

    LinkedIn is definitely NOT like Facebook and to make the proper connections your tips are right on. Thank you – T 🙂
     

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  16. Anytime Theresa! There's more to come! =)

    Reply

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