As a modern entrepreneur, your online identity and digital presence are essential. And when expertly executed, a big win for your personal brand. Benjamin’s Desk EIR, Patrick Baynes offers some advice on maximizing your LinkedIn experience. He knows a thing or two about the platform, so you might want to keep this bookmarked.
DO spend an hour or two optimizing your personal profile. It’s worth your time to get your page up to date with where you are and the things you’ve been working on. Have your team do the same.
DO show up looking good. Your online profile will often be a first impression. Invest in a current, clean, professional headshot – it’ll pay off in the long run.
DO use it before you jump on a call. Do your research on the person you’re connecting with. What is the relationship there? What do you have in common? Be strategic in your pre-call planning to find those shared connections. Having background on a person of interest will help to make the conversation happen.
DO connect with everyone you meet. Be open-minded in building your network. You probably will have different goals and a different agenda in a year from now, you never know who you’ll want in your network to help you get ahead.
DON’T neglect your profile. An page that hasn’t been updated since 2014 looks sloppy and doesn’t give a current impression of your professional identity.
DON’T look unprofessional in your photo. Other than your name, this is the first thing someone sees when they check you out. Visual impressions are key online, a bad headshot is a missed opportunity.
DON’T forget to check out your connections before a meeting. You won’t always find what you’re looking for, but you could miss commonalities that would make the difference.
DON’T be an “Ivory Tower” networker. Being selective and excluding people from your network won’t get you very far. You’re only limiting yourself by being picky.
Patrick Baynes was an early employee at LinkedIn, and is the co-founder of PeopleLinx and UpdatesCentral. His experience extends across business functions with a passion for building repeatable success and scale through systems and processes. Patrick serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Benjamin’s Desk, helping new and existing members solve their business challenges.