How to use LinkedIn effectively: a guide for optimal use

If you’re wondering how to use LinkedIn effectively, why many professionals use this particular social network, and you want to understand how and why to make the most of it, you’re in the right place.

Yes, because LinkedIn is a peculiar social network, distinct from others as its ultimate purpose is to make you appear as an authoritative professional to find work. Who is LinkedIn suitable for? It’s extremely useful if you want to find clients as a freelancer or recruit other professionals if you’re a business owner or a recruiter.

In addition to having prepared a simple beginner’s guide on how to best set up LinkedIn in 6 steps, I recommend taking a Personal Branding Course that prepares you to profit from this social network’s functions and market yourself. With the guide, you can also:

  • learn how to install LinkedIn and how to create a profile;
  • get advice on mastering the basic functions;
  • apply some pro techniques for effective personal branding.

How to create and use a LinkedIn Profile in 6 steps

Understanding what LinkedIn is and how it works is very simple. The intuitive and light interface allows you to enter your personal information effortlessly, and with this guide, you’ll discover how little time it takes to sign up.

However, it is necessary to say a few words about the importance of thoroughly completing all the sections, to qualify exactly for the professional figure you represent.

Taking care of this aspect, along with the profile picture and cover photo, is part of the process of how to best use LinkedIn and requires the same dedication that a professional would use to set up their business card or resume to find a job position.

1. Create your profile

Understanding how to use LinkedIn to create a professional profile is going to be a breeze.

  • Go to https://linkedin.com and click on “Join now” at the top right.
  • Enter a valid email address and a password, and click on “Accept and Continue”.
  • Enter your first name, last name, and, on the next screen, your country, ZIP code, and location.

At this point, the platform will ask you to enter your most recent job title. It’s important that you carefully enter this information too, as it’s one of the first elements that define a professional figure on LinkedIn.

Also, specify the type of contract and any company you worked for. Then, check your email box to retrieve and enter the PIN sent to you by the LinkedIn team. Enter the pin as requested, to confirm your email address.

Complete the brief questionnaire to help the platform understand your job preferences. Set your initial preferences, which will be the starting point to understand how to use LinkedIn to find a job.

A final step will involve requesting connections with other profiles. The platform will also suggest some groups to follow, generally consistent with your professional qualifications.

2. Complete your profile

Upon reaching this stage, you are already at a great point in setting up your personal profile and understanding how to best use LinkedIn for personal branding.

From this moment on, it is important to:

  • Fully enter all the information regarding your professional training and your past work experiences.
  • Complete the section related to the summary, to identify yourself at a glance when your profile appears to other users during searches or when engaging in any activity.

To carry out these steps, simply access your profile and click on the pen-shaped icon. In this section, you can modify your personal data and write a concise summary of your professional activities.

Be succinct, as this information is essential for those who find you, contact you, or generally see how others view you on LinkedIn. Add your education types and levels.

how to use linkedin effectively in business

LinkedIn profile screen from https://linkedin.com

3. Personal URL

Another key element for your personal branding is the personal URL related to your LinkedIn profile. The automatically generated URL contains alphanumeric characters that can make your profile look generic.

To personalize your profile URL and use LinkedIn correctly, edit the URL in the “Edit public profile and URL” section. Remove the alphanumeric codes from the end part of the URL located under “Edit your custom URL”.

linkedin profile optimization

Screen from https://linkedin.com

4. Information section

The information section is a fundamental component of your profile structure and LinkedIn Marketing. It acts like your personal Sales Letter.

This section allows you to use more than 2,500 characters to detail your professional activities.

This section is especially useful for freelancers to understand how to use LinkedIn effectively to find clients.

Filling the information section with an engaging text in terms of copy and visual presentation, and using emojis correctly, can make a significant difference.

This is also an ideal example of how to use LinkedIn effectively for your business, as it provides the opportunity to illustrate to potential clients why you are suitable for them and how you can meet their needs.

Utilize all the provided characters and remember to include a call to action at the end, along with your email address for contact.

To fill in the information section, go to your profile, scroll down to the “Information” section, and click on the pen icon on the right side. Then proceed to enter your text in the provided box.

5. Profile photo and featured photo

The LinkedIn profile image should be chosen with considerable care, as it contributes significantly to the professionalism of your profile.

This is because if we want to give coherence to the professionalism that must emanate from our profile, we certainly cannot forget to set a photo that does us justice in this regard. So, how do you use a profile photo on LinkedIn?

First, choose a close-up photo of yourself dressed soberly and make sure you are looking towards the camera in the shot. Also, ensure that the photo resolution is high enough to have a good quality image in which you are perfectly recognizable.

It is therefore obvious that photos with other subjects besides you should be avoided. Also, avoid photos with other subjects and overly strong filters that might compromise the professional look you want to convey.

The featured photo is equally important and should be consistent with the message of your profile. Whether it’s a free stock image or one created using tools like Canva, it adds a personal and creative touch, significantly impacting the first impression.

6. Networking

Tips on how to use LinkedIn extend beyond just creating the perfect profile

LinkedIn is extremely useful for creating a network of contacts that can be advantageous for various objectives. “Linking” with other users by sending a “connection” request requires a few more considerations than on social networks like Facebook or Instagram.

Especially for new users, it’s advisable to connect with people who share common interests or work colleagues.

Then, through careful analysis, you can contact those on LinkedIn who are potential clients or professionals capable of enhancing your professional growth and providing job opportunities.

A dense network of contacts, built with the above criteria, provides an excellent foundation for any career development. Having a carefully chosen network is crucial for creating content or participating by reading, commenting, and sharing posts of interest. Groups are also important, allowing users with similar interests to exchange opinions and accelerate networking opportunities.

To send a connection request, simply click on the user’s profile and then on the “Connect” button. It’s a best practice to write a note when sending a connection request, especially if you don’t know the recipient.

If you’re wondering how to write to someone on LinkedIn, it’s simple. You can send a message with your connection request, or click the “Message” button on the person’s page. This increases the likelihood of your request being accepted.

To join a group, submit a request by clicking the “Join” button next to the group icon. Remember not to send requests indiscriminately and to limit them to no more than 15 requests per day to avoid restrictions on your account for suspected spam.

Last but not least in importance, it’s advisable to delete all unaccepted and thus pending connection requests after a few days if they do not receive a response.

Why and how to get noticed on LinkedIn

Once your profile is fully set up, explore the advantages of using LinkedIn and the key functions for getting noticed.

The Pulse feature helps showcase your authority and competence in your field, allowing you to create articles as if on a blog platform. This includes adding headlines, featured images, and video links, similar to creating content on your website.

Under the dynamics of how to use LinkedIn to find clients, it’s important to publish interesting and stimulating posts to engage your network and attract potential contacts for your services.

If you’re a beginner in content creation, start by participating, intelligently commenting on others’ posts, and sharing your opinions.

It is precisely through one’s contribution in analyzing ideas and concepts that added value is provided. By participating in constructive discussions, it is also possible to understand what might be useful to learn to expand one’s professional skills.

Discover if you have the essential skills to excel in Social Media Management!

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How to use LinkedIn effectively for businesses

This section briefly explains how businesses can leverage LinkedIn for their operations. If you are a business owner or looking to open a company page, LinkedIn provides the capability to create and manage a dedicated page.

To create a company page on LinkedIn, it’s essential to first have a personal profile. The steps to open a company page include:

  • Clicking on the “For businesses” icon at the top right;
  • Scrolling down the right side of the screen and clicking on “Create a company page”;
  • Specifying whether to create a page for a small, medium, or large company, or a “Showcase Page” associated with an existing company page.

Creating a “Showcase Page” is useful for focusing on specific products or services your business offers, helping followers stay updated on those particular elements.

Once a company page is created, the next step is to utilize all the functions on the platform to generate relevant posts and content, including product information and trending topics. An editorial plan and insights study become critical in this context.

Premium functions: using LinkedIn for hiring

The paid features of LinkedIn, which fall under the various profiles defined as “LinkedIn Premium,” are also noteworthy. The platform indeed offers subscriptions that can be chosen according to one’s needs and requirements.

To understand how LinkedIn Premium works and how to use LinkedIn for hiring, it is first necessary to distinguish between the different purchasable profiles. These include:

  • Premium Career
  • Premium Business
  • Sales Navigator
  • Hiring

The prices are ranging from $30 to $90 per month. A LinkedIn Premium subscription provides access to both common extra functions across all plans and specific features tailored to each.

In response to the question “How much does it cost to subscribe to LinkedIn Premium?” the immediate answer is: that it varies. However, one of the useful common functions is the ability to see a report on who has visited your profile in the last 90 days. 

Regarding the topic of hiring, it is important to focus on the Premium Hiring subscription. This type of subscription indeed allows access to particularly useful functions if one is working as a recruiter on behalf of a company.

How does LinkedIn recruiter work? Recruiter functions include the use of the “Talent Hub” platform, which allows for managing potential job candidates and their possible hiring. It is also possible to create job offers and manage candidates as a team with other recruiters of the company for which the search for job positions is being conducted.

LinkedIn Ads

Knowing how to use LinkedIn Advertising is another crucial aspect of the platform’s capabilities, particularly for promoting your business.

To use this feature, you first need an advertising account and then can create advertising campaigns. It’s essential to have a clear goal and target audience in mind for each campaign.

The campaign customization interface lets you choose to aim for “Brand Awareness”, “Consideration”, or “Conversions”, depending on your objective.

The operation and procedures for selecting the target closely resemble the features of many other well-known advertising platforms but with the difference of being able to direct campaign content towards certain types of professionals.

This allows for a very clear optimization of the resources expended to publish and optimize the Ads themselves.

 

Download the Free E-book and learn effective strategies for using a LinkedIn profile for Personal Branding

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Conclusion and free consultation

Applying the 6 steps from the LinkedIn guide for beginners will help you learn quickly how to sign up on LinkedIn, even without experience, and become active in job searching or finding clients for your business in just a few minutes.

If you’re interested in thoroughly understanding LinkedIn and personal marketing, consider requesting a Free Strategic Consultation for more detailed information.

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