I got 6 questions this past week about using LinkedIn as a Business Tool and decided to put the questions and answers into both an article and in a YouTube video series.
I hope these questions and the answers are useful for you:
Question #1 – When should I update LinkedIn after I quit my job?
There is no one clear answer to this question.
I recommend you mark the job as ended when you are ready to do so.
If you are retiring, make this step a Celebration, maybe with friends and/or co-workers.
If you are moving to another job, make this change as soon as you can. If you are in business development or community engagement role you should make this change within a few days.
If you are unemployed and actively looking for a job, you may wait until you find that next great job. so make the change.
If you are leaving the job because the organization is toxic or a horrible place to work you want to not only mark the job as ended, you may also want to remove the job from your LinkedIn Profile. This depends on how long you worked there.
How quickly you mark the job as ended depends on your own situation.
However, plan to do this step as soon as you are ready. Don’t forget to do it.
Question #2 – What should I post to get noticed on LinkedIn?
The answer to this question depends on what you want to be noticed for?
Additionally, posting content is not the only way to get noticed.
Engaging on existing conversations (content) is a powerful way to be noticed.
If you want to be noticed as an authority in your industry, you should be posting content and engaging on content that is relevant to the industry and meaningful to those you want to notice you.
If you want to be noticed as a community advocate, you should be posting and engaging on content that is relevant to your community.
Being clear on who you want to be noticed by is vital for you to determine what content to use.
What you post must be highly relevant and of interest to your target audience. You should minimize posting content that is all about you and/or your business.
This is similar to going to networking events in person. If every time you show up you are handing out your brochures and business cards in time the people in the networking events will begin to turn their backs on you.
Show up regularly with good, useful, interesting stories about others, the industry, community, etc, and they will accept a story now and then about your business.
Don’t post the same types of content every time you show up on LinkedIn. Mix it up. Different people want to ‘consume’ different types of content. Videos, articles, links to good & relevant content you find online, short posts, images, and documents are all good types of content to use.
If you can’t create your own content, consider having someone help you to create content that creates interest in your target audience.
Question #3 – Should a Company be on LinkedIn with their Company Name?
Not every company needs to have a Company Page on LinkedIn.
However, no Company should use a personal LinkedIn Profile to show up on LinkedIn. Personal Profiles are for human beings.
If a company wants to be represented on LinkedIn beyond their employee’s LinkedIn Profiles, they should create a LinkedIn Company Page and plan on feeding it.
A well-built LinkedIn Company Page focused on the company’s target audience can become an additional branding and even lead generation tool.
However, this takes work.
You must do the following:
Create the page content highly focused on your target audience, not all about the business. This is not an About web page that we see on company websites. The target audience wants to know how the company can serve them.
Regularly provide content that is relevant and useful to your target audience. Again, they don’t want to see posts that say your company has the best widgets ever. They want to discover how your widgets are helpful to them.
Additionally, the content you share on your LinkedIn Company Page can be about the industry, your community, your target audience, and other interesting stories.
Every now and then the content can be about your growing and developing team, your business, and your products.
Remember to write the content in context to your target audience.
Question #4 – How long should a LinkedIn Post be for maximum views?
A LinkedIn post can have as many as 3000 characters.
A LinkedIn post can also have up to 9 images on it.
You can have a document, a video, and/or a link to online content in a LinkedIn post as well.
Lots of authors know how to write content that appeals to their target audience and keeps them interested in reading.
Unfortunately, this is not a skill most LinkedIn Members have.
Christopher Chang wrote an article in December 2021 on this topic. where he mentioned relevant, actionable, interesting, fun, intriguing, inspiration as content types that get the best views. He did not indicate post length as an important attribute of these types of posts.
Dominick Sorrentino wrote an article in January 2022 on the 5 different LinkedIn Post types (text, native video, blogs, third party, photos/graphics). Regarding text only he also did not mention the length of the post, however, he did speak to including relevant hashtags, keeping the sentences short and meaningful, and using a conversational tone that shows your audience you are accessible and sincere.
LinkedIn is a human to human social networking site. It is the world’s largest professional networking platform.
LinkedIn Members expect to be networking with a single human being when they are engaging with a LinkedIn Profile. The messaging, invites, posts, comments, replies, are all assumed to be from and by a single human being.
I have experienced LinkedIn Members who have others manage their LinkedIn activity. The invites and messaging are from virtual assistants or people on their staff. Once we connect the tone of the conversation changes when the actual human associated with the account shows up. For many, including myself, this is not what we expect or want when engaging with anyone on LinkedIn.
Note, if LinkedIn discovers you are sharing your LinkedIn Profile with another it is not unlikely that your account will be shut down. This is another reason I do not recommend using LinkedIn in this manner.
Question #6 – How do I read unsent Messages on LinkedIn?
This is another version of a similar question I get often. Thus, I decided to answer this one.
There are possibly two scenarios to this question.
#1 – How do I read my draft LinkedIn messages?
There is no draft folder for LinkedIn messages. If you start a message and then begin to navigate away from the unsent message, LinkedIn will ask you if you want to cancel navigating away or discard the message. If the page refreshes you lose the message that you started.
#2 – How do I read unsent messages that I have not received yet?
Like every other messaging platform, you will never see the draft message another person, in this case, a LinkedIn Member is writing until they hit the send button.
In LinkedIn Messaging there are options to view UnRead, Archived and even Spam messaged. However, there is no draft or view an unsent message intended for you.
Here is the full YouTube video answer to all of these questions. You’ll find the Table of Contents in the Description Box
A LinkedIn Profile has numerous predefined areas for us to populate with information that tells our target audience who we are, what we have done, and what we do today.
However, not everything we have done or do easily fits into these predefined sections of LinkedIn Profile.
Here are a few examples to consider:
Tutoring – often we think of this as a form of education. But sometimes this could be work. If you tutored someone else for more than a week or two, maybe you want add it as an experience entry. Include the improvement the person you tutored achieved from their work with you. This could be seen as a training skill to some business owners and hiring managers.
Family Home Care – I hear of this as a distraction to many from the typical career achievements. However, this could be an experience entry where you show your project management skills, budgeting, time management, mentoring, organization skills, etc. Look deeply into the work did and think beyond family home care.
At Home Schooling – Many of those who have provided this service their students did not look at it much beyond the title. Again, consider PM skills, organization, training, mentoring, scheduling, etc. etc.
Running a ‘Side Hustle’ or at home business – I know lots of people who have Ebay, Etsy, Facebook Market Place, Craigs List, small sign businesses, niche photography businesses, even people who purchase abandoned storage units and resell the contents. The skills used to do these jobs can be very useful to hiring managers, if you can present the skills you used and developed while doing this work.
When looking at your experiences consider, what skills did you use in these experiences?
Often you have to dig deep and look at the experiences differently than you are inclined to do.
All of the experiences we have play a role in our professional development in ways we never imagined. Tell these stories on your LinkedIn Profile, where relevant and useful to build your brand.
Look at your volunteer activities in different ways.
Look at the courses you have taken over the years, in different ways.
Do the same for your overall education experiences, publications you have written, certifications you have achieved, the people you have worked with, and on, and on.
Being able to tell the relevant stories as best as you can often positions you as a better resource or candidate than the others.
LinkedIn can help you be discovered for your professional ability and by recruiters if you are in career transition. The Skills section of your LinkedIn Profile is where you list all of your business skills.