How to Be Active on LinkedIn

4 - social-media-good Once you have set up your LinkedIn Profile and completed it to “Advanced” strength or better, and you have made a healthy batch of initial connections, it’s time to become a visible part of the LinkedIn community.

LinkedIn’s entire pool of members is too vast for you to totally engage in, of course, but you do want to become a reliable authority in your particular business niche.  You want to become someone everyone automatically thinks of as a leader, when they think of your area of marketing or business.

You can start participating by:

  • Writing your own posts
  • Responding to other people’s posts
  • Sharing posts on Twitter
  • Participating in Groups
  • Following authority figures and niche peers

Your aim is to gain the coveted 500+ followers and connections – as quickly as possible – and a highly active account. This vaults your status up to top level.

Step 1.  Preparing to Interact

1-not-facebookBefore you start firing off LinkedIn posts, repeat this mantra to yourself:

“This is NOT Facebook.”

“This is NOT Facebook.”

“This is NOT Facebook.”

Facebook allows you to burble stream-of-consciousness observations, and it’s not uncommon to see posts complaining about sleepless nights, migraines, lemon meringue pie recipes, feeling down in the dumps or asking what the best cure for an infected sliver is. And Facebook users also seem to love spamming people, wittingly or unwittingly.

You won’t find that sort of post on LinkedIn.  It is a focused business network, populated by professionals.  Go to your Home Page and read feeds from your connections before you make your first post.  Get a feel for the tone and mindset of your networking peers.

Decide also on your LinkedIn goal.  Ask yourself what is most important to you, with regards to LinkedIn.  Ask yourself if you want to…

  • Become highly visible in your industry
  • Find and nurture potential joint venture partners
  • Find a job
  • Find potential clients
  • Build your list
  • Raise public awareness of facets of your niche (especially ones you specialize in)
  • Any or all of the above

Step 2.  Making Your First Post

First, jot down some ideas for posts that would most interest the connections you would like to engage.

  1. Select the best post out of the batch you have written
  2. Go to “Home”
  3. Enter your post into your feed textarea box


Notice that you can ensure a particular person sees this post by typing her name, or including an “@” sign in front of the name.  Directing your first post to one of your new 1st degree connections is a good idea because it instantly ensures your post will be seen by her connections.

(Just make sure you’re posting something she will find genuinely interesting or relevant.)

  1. Attach an image, documents or presentation for added value and interest.  (Just click on the paperclip within the textarea box, top right-hand corner).

Note that you still cannot attach files within LinkedIn messages.  And adding rich media like videos to your posts doesn’t seem to be an option yet.  (You can, however, add the URL for videos and multi-media presentations within your post textarea box.)

  1. Decide where to share your post.  You can press the tiny down arrow to the left of the blue “Share” button for a drop-down menu, which offers you three choices:
  • LinkedIn + Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Connections
  1. Be sure to check your post later for replies!

Step 3.  Follow Industry Influencers

“Participating” doesn’t just mean endless posting.  It means staying on top of not only your industry, but what top influencers in your industry and sphere of culture are thinking, saying and doing.

Knowing the latest news helps you make informed comments to other connections of yours who post about them.  And if you post a reply to one of their posts, you may be acknowledged by the leader you’re following – providing your post is really worthy and has something original or insightful to say.

You can’t follow just anyone, however:  At time of writing, LinkedIn has a preferred list own picks within a section called LinkedIn Today.  It is to be hoped you can find someone within that list who will add to your social networking life.


Note there are four tabs you can access, to keep up with the latest:

  • Your News
  • Influencer Posts
  • All Influencers
  • All Channels

Select “All Influencers” to find people to follow:  Select “Influencer Posts” to see what they are actually posting.

Step 4.  Analyze your Connection Value

One way to increase the value of your participation: See who has been viewing your Profile, and how often they have accessed it.

You can also choose whether or not you want them to see you (and how many times you’ve checked their Profile).

  1. Go to your “Account & Settings” tab and select “Privacy & Settings”.


  1. A new page will open up.  This page is almost like a central dashboard:  You can perform a number of functions from it, as well as instantly see your status in certain key areas.


For example, you can instantly see how many introductions you have left (5 introductions for a basic Account).  You can see what type of account you have – and instantly upgrade it.

You can change your password, change or add an email, purchase InMails and more.

You can also “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile”, as well as control other visibility options.


You’ll most likely want to let them see your full name, Profile photo, location and title – but if you are really researching someone or studying a competitor (or even just simply getting the hang of LinkedIn) you may want to choose one of the other Anonymous options.

Be aware, however, that doing so will disable Profile Stats.

The real reason we are looking at this feature, however:  So you can be aware of who is viewing you – and you won’t be confused when you see “real people” mixed with anonymous someones on LinkedIn.

Do keep an eye on who has viewed your Profile and how many times they have done so.  There’s no way of telling why they viewed it – but the important thing to check is that your Profile is generating interest.

  • Who are they?
  • What industry are they in?
  • Are they your competitors?
  • Are they your connections?
  • Are they 2nd or 3rd party connections of your connections?

If the answer to the latter question is “yes” – send them an invitation to connect.  Do NOT say “I notice you’ve been stalking me…”  DO as your first degree connection to introduce you or reference your first degree connection, when asking your “stalker” to connect directly.

Growing your online network greatly increases your chances of meaningful participation.  But do take time first to read the instructions for managing your Account Settings.

There are many ways you can fine tune participation with the right settings – which effectively increases meaningful interaction.

Step 5.  Integrate with Twitter

Another function you can quickly perform from this Account Settings Page:  Syncing your LinkedIn account with your Twitter account.

Just click on “Manage your Twitter Settings” in the “Profile” section of your settings dashboard, and a pop up window will open, where you can click on “+Add your Twitter account”.


Even though you are already logged in, you may be prompted to sign in again with your LinkedIn password.  Once you do so, you will see a screen asking you to permit LinkedIn to post to Twitter for you by accessing your Twitter account.


This screen will also let you know exactly what LinkedIn will and will not be allowed, in terms of Twitter permissions.

Sharing between LinkedIn and Twitter creates powerful cross-promotion, and is able to draw in a bigger section of your market.

In addition, your connections on LinkedIn who also rely heavily on Twitter will see more of your content, and feel comfortable with your sharing methods.

Step 6.  Start or Participate in a Help Forum Discussion

Got a blistering hot topic? Start an open discussion in LinkedIn’s open Help Forum.


Be warned, however:  All LinkedIn forums are public.

In order to make the most of your discussion (while protecting your security):

  • Avoid revealing personal information
  • Search before posting to make sure there isn’t already a highly similar discussion
  • Be sure to read the forum’s guidelines
  • Add tags to help other forum users find your discussion
  • Fine tune your Account Settings, if you plan on making public posts

Unfortunately LinkedIn discontinued its popular Question and Answer function; and now Help Forum questions seem to be its substitute.

Where this becomes useful to you:  When you check out recent Help Forum discussions and provide answers, if you have something positive to contribute.


LinkedIn Participation:  7 Top Tips

Finally, let’s finish with 7 top tips on creating maximum, targeted LinkedIn interaction:

  1. Keep things positive.  While you may get initial reaction from controversial or combative posts, it’s not the way to foster connection and invitations.  Nor will it present you in a desirable light, if people are looking for someone to employ or work with.
  2. Remember that five quality connect requests are worth twenty indiscriminate ones.  Not only will you annoy people if you “spam” people you don’t know, you risk having them respond to LinkedIn’s prompt on whether or not they know you.

If more than five people answer “No”, your account may be suspended.

  1. Make LinkedIn a habit. Log on daily – and respond/reply/comment. Your LinkedIn connections are like any other relationships you value:  You need to feed and nurture them.
  2. Be selective in Groups and Industry Leaders you choose to follow.  Keep on top of discussions.  Check out their posts daily.

Become an expert on your experts!

  1. Join Groups – but not too many.  Better to belong to two highly active Groups and participate in discussions than join seventeen and ignore them all!
  2. Provide resources for your network connections. Post infographics. Attach handy templates or checklists people can use.
  3. Always keep your LinkedIn networking goal in mind.  Don’t post anything that takes attention away from what you are trying to become known for.

And here’s on final, bonus tip:

  • Don’t overthink your LinkedIn participation.

Just get on there and interact – every day.


How to Set Up your LinkedIn Profile

how to

LinkedIn has changed over the last five years to adapt to a wildly metamorphosing online and offline business culture, as well as trends. LinkedIn Profiles have likewise changed.

This guide will show you how to set up a strong, basic Profile.

And if you’ve already created a LinkedIn Profile, it may be time to revamp it – especially since LinkedIn has radically changed the look and functionality of Profiles recently to keep up with its biggest competitors – Facebook, Google Plus and YouTube.

Step 1.  Getting Ready

You’ll create a much more seamless and cohesive profile if you line up your content and graphic ahead of time.  Put thought and time into creating content that is fine-tuned to your target demographic.  Preparing as many elements as possible in advance rather than scrambling to create as you set up your profile will increase your chances of presenting a cohesive image.

  1. Invest in a Professional Headshot

1-HeadshotOne major change LinkedIn made to Profiles is the size allotted to Profile photos – 500 X 500 pixels.  This will display at 200 X 200 pixels in your profile, so if you are using the old style of Profile photo, your old one will now be too small and your Profile viewers may see a lot of ugly white space round it.  So change your headshot, if you haven’t done so in the last several months.

Make sure you do use a head-and-hint-of-shoulders shot – it is now a LinkedIn rule that you cannot use any other type than a full headshot.  Pictures of blossoms, babies, dogs, cute hedgehogs and spectacular skies may actually get your Profile photo deleted.

And if your photo is deleted three times, LinkedIn warns that you may not be allowed to upload more photos in future.


7 Tips for Professional-Quality Profile Photos:

  • Remember that your photo will be relatively small.  Make the most of it and eliminate background distractions.  Your image should fill at least three-quarters of the space.
  • Remember that your feed icon will be even smaller (60 px X 60 px).
  • Make sure the background is not too “busy”. Even if there are no other distractions, a highly-textured background will only detract from the force and energy of your Profile photo – and you want it to feel active and dynamic.
  • Don’t blend in with the background.  Go for contrast:  If your hair is light, try a neutral dark background:  If your hair is light, the background should be dark.
  • A three-quarters view is better than a full-on view (more flattering).  Lean towards the camera slightly if you want to minimize a double chin.
  • Avoid extremes of light. Strong lighting conditions will throw distracting shadows.
  • Avoid photos that are too dark or too over-exposed

That first glance at your Profile Photo will automatically create judgment in people’s minds.  Make sure that all judgments are in your favor!

  1. Determine your Keywords

These now play a major part in helping your Profile be found organically on LinkedIn, so make sure you choose up to half a dozen strong keywords.

  1. Write Your Summary

Do this in advance and have it ready to upload.  Use your keywords; both in the Title and in the body of the Summary.  You have 2,000 characters to play with and you can now include anchor text – so make the most of this.

Write about only those details your ideal client would be most interested in.

  1. Make Sure all Landing Pages are Tested, Optimized and Ready

A small point; but broken links do happen, so test.

  1. Decide on your Job Title Headline and Description

Don’t be too clever – while it might be fun to describe your job title as “Head Biggy” on, keep it professional on LinkedIn.


On the other side of the coin, avoid overused and emotionally meaningless job titles like “CEO” and instead use your keywords (e.g. “Owner, Blog Setup Service”).

And don’t worry if LinkedIn won’t let you insert your custom Job Title and Description during initial Profile set up:  You’ll be able to do so later.

Step 2. Accessing Your LinkedIn Profile

Another way to access your Profile:  Simply click on the “Profile” tab in your top, horizontal LinkedIn menu.

If you don’t yet use a LinkedIn account, go to LinkedIn and sign up.  You’ll be prompted to add contacts and create a Profile.  Stop when you get to that part, and refer to this guide.

If you already have a Profile, but need to update it to the new Profile format, go to LinkedIn’s Profile sample.  Before you click on “View Your Profile”, however, hover your mouse over each of this sample Profile’s sections, to get a better idea of the changes.

 3-Meet Profile

If you have an existing account, click on “View Your Profile” to access and edit your Profile immediately.

Step 3. Go for Profile Strength

The sample Profile (pictured above) shows you a nearly-full circle representing “Profile Strength”.  This is what you want to aim for, and it’s easy enough to accomplish:  Simply fill in every section as completely as possible.

4-basic-profileEvery time you log into your Profile, you will see a blue box at the top, suggesting Profile sections to fill in.  (This will happen whether your Profile is new or updated, as long LinkedIn feels sections are incomplete.)

These blue boxes are nothing more than friendly reminders, and if have sections not yet completed, you will continue to see them until your profile is close to 100% strength. So go ahead and skip any blue box for now if you wish – or fill each one in, if you prefer.




As you fill in (or skip) sections, you’ll see them greyed-out to the right-hand side of the browser page. The current active section will be contrasted in white and blue.


Step 4. Filling in the Blanks

Your Profile content should be as dynamic and as aligned to your target connection as possible.

  1. Upload Your Profile Photo

Click the grey “Choose file” button and select your file.  (If you are updating your Profile rather than creating, click the little camera icon that will appear as you hover over your existing photo).  Click the yellow “Upload” button and you will be given a chance to drag or resize your new photo, if you need to.


Once you are happy with your re-positioning, click “Add to profile”.

  1. The next section, “Skills and Expertise”, replaces the old “Specialties” section.


Start typing your most relevant skills.  Notice that as you begin to type, a drop-down menu will appear with helpful suggestions.  Type in or select a skill or specialty; then click on “Add”.


Once you have entered all the skill and specialties you want, hit “Save”.  Repeat with the next skill.

  1. At this point, even if you skipped a couple of sections, LinkedIn decides you have finished initial set up.  It invites you to share your Profile via Facebook and Twitter. DO NOT share your Profile until you have viewed it and decided you are satisfied.


If you do choose to share it, change the generic wording.


Step 4. Growing Your Network

Once you have reached the point of being asked to share your profile, click on the “X” within the “Share your profile” blue box to close it.

You will be immediately taken to the next section of building your Profile.


Complete this in much the same manner as the previous section, by filling in information on the left-hand side of your browser page and seeing it “ticked off” (or greyed out) in the right-hand list.


Once you have completed these four sections, click on “Take me to my full homepage” to view your results.

BE SELECTIVE, when adding people and companies to follow.  It’s not like Facebook:  On LinkedIn, relevance and quality beats quantity, hands down.  Your reputation can rise and fall on your connections.  But for now, just add the minimum contacts that LinkedIn directs you to add.


Step 5. View Your New Home Page

Your “Home Page” is not your Profile.  It is the equivalent of your Facebook Timeline feed.  View it, but don’t bother adding more contacts or creating a post right now.  You want to do that when your Profile is as fully optimized as you can make it.  (We haven’t finished yet!)


Instead of posting, click on “Profile” to automatically open your Profile again.


You will see all the sections laid out when your Profile opens – along with your Profile strength:


Now you can complete any sections you skipped, to bring Profile strength up to its maximum.


Once you click on “Improve your profile”, you’ll be taken right back to any “blue box” sections you missed, and you can easily complete them.


This time through, you’ll see new “blue box” sections appear


…Including the option to add your Summary.  (Simply paste in your pre-prepared summary.)


Step 6.  Beefing Up Your Profile

Keep rinsing and repeating this process (clicking on “blue boxes” and looking to see your profile strength; plus view new sections you can add).

Make sure you close out these sections, when finally done with them, by clicking the links to the right of “Save” and “Skip” (or “Next”).


Only then will you see the next round of sections to add.

(If you are updating a Profile rather than filling in one for the first time, extra sections will automatically appear in the right-hand column.)

If you reach this blue box…



…But your profile strength still isn’t at max and clicking “Done” doesn’t offer any more suggestions…


…Do not panic.  Simply click:

  1. “Home” in your top horizontal menu
  2. Your post picture icon
  3. The grey “Edit Profile” button, once the new page opens


Click the grey button and you will now see your Profile exactly as do those who are simply updating an existing Profile – with all optional extra sections listed in the right-hand column.


You can now:

  • Change your profile photo by clicking on the camera icon
  • Click on any pencil icon to edit sections, Titles or Headlines


  • Add extra sections
  • Move sections around by dragging and dropping


Follow these steps, and your Profile will now display close to full strength!