Tag Archives: Status Updates

6 ways to brand yourself on LinkedIn by being active: part 3

Now that you have a profile that brands you and you’ve started connecting with the right people, you’re two-thirds of the way to your LinkedIn goal. To wrap up your LinkedIn campaign and solidify your powerful brand, all you need to do is engage with your connections.

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In this three-part series we have been looking at the components of a LinkedIn campaign that will brand you, which include:

  1. Creating a powerful profile
  2. Connecting with the right people
  3. Engaging with your connections

I’m often asked by my clients how regularly they should use LinkedIn. My inclination is to tell them, like me, use it at least two hours every day—but I know that is unreasonable for them. In fact, it borders on insanity.

So I suggest at least half an hour, four days a week. Still, their eyes glaze over and I hear some groans of protests. But I stay firm on this requirement.

Why is it important to be on LinkedIn often? Because if you want to be top of mind, you need to be present. In other words, you must consistently communicate with your connections to brand yourself successfully.

Here are six very simple ways to communicate with your connections.

1. Share Updates

Sharing Updates

This is the easiest way to communicate with your connections and brand yourself as a thought leader in the LinkedIn community. However, what you write must be carefully thought out and must add value to people’s lives.

I’m not talking about tweet-like updates (although you can share updates to Twitter) every day stating you’re looking for work. I’m talking about illuminating updates that prompt participation.

I recently shared an update about how nine out of 10 people prefer extraversion over introversion. The response was tremendous, and I continued to brand myself as an authority on introverts.

Your updates might be about what’s going on in your industry. You can provide important tips (remember, you’re still an expert in your occupation). Maybe inspirational quotes are your thing.

The new LinkedIn profile combines articles, photos, and updates into one field (see below). This is in line with LinkedIn efforts to streamline its user interface (UI) as much as possible.

2. Publish Posts (Write an article)

Writing an article

By using LinkedIn’s “Write an article” feature to share your writing with the appropriate audience, you are gaining visibility and, therefore, enhancing your brand.

Again, it’s important that your writing adds value to your connections. If it doesn’t, you’re wasting your connections’ time.

Another great way to educate your connections is by acting as a curator. A curator is a selfless LinkedIn member who shares the writing of other LinkedIn members. In addition to educating others, you are building strong relationships with your fellow writers by sharing their work.

Don’t forget to “like,” “comment,” or “share” your connections’ updates. This shows you appreciate the efforts they’ve made to contribute on LinkedIn. In my mind, it is far better to provide an intelligent comment; rather than only “liking” an article.

Even if you’re unemployed, you should take advantage of this feature. You can demonstrate your expertise of your occupation/industry, thus strengthening your brand.

3. Participate in Groups

Groups went through an overhaul more than a year ago. Some believe that this feature may have suffered from LinkedIn’s attempts to enhance it. (Not sure what I’m talking about? Read this article for an explanation of the enhancements.)

Nonetheless, it’s important to participate in conversations that are going on in your particular groups. When you participate in a group discussion, your connections will see your input streaming on their home pages.

To brand yourself effectively, be certain that the conversations you start or contribute to add value. Don’t indulge in the silly arguments that can pop up in groups.

Many recruiters are members of groups that you may also be in. They may read your contributions to the group, so make certain you write intelligent, non-negative comments. Remember, it’s about branding yourself as a capable, positive job candidate.

4. Send Direct Messages to Your Connections

LinkedIn recently made another change in the way you communicate with your connections. Now, instead of sending individual InMails, all your correspondences are grouped together in an endless stream. It takes some getting used to, but it has proven to be an effective change.

Every once in a while, you should ping your connections, letting them know how you’re doing in your job search. This is another way to stay top of mind.

Keep in mind that your messages don’t have to always be about the job search. Sometimes, it’s nice to send an informal message, commenting on something like your connection’s daughter’s soccer game, or sending a link to an article you think your connection might appreciate.

Doing the aforementioned  will brand you as a concerned connection, not one who thinks only of themselves.

5. Endorse Your Connections for Their Skills

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You’ve probably read many opinions from people on the topic of endorsements – here we go again! Add me to the list of people who prefer receiving or writing thoughtful recommendations to simply clicking a button. And I’m not alone.

But in all fairness, endorsements have a purpose greater than simply showing appreciation for someone’s skills; they act as a way to touch base. In other words, they’re another way to communicate with your connections.

Don’t get click-happy when endorsing your connections. This will make you appear disingenuous and damage your brand.

6. Use the ‘Companies’ Feature

Search Groups

I saved one of the best features for last. The “companies” feature epitomizes networking on LinkedIn. It allows you to find people who are in a position to help you. It encourages you to be proactive.

In my LinkedIn, workshop I explain that the attendees should have a list of companies for which they’d like to work. It’s important to set foundations before applying for jobs at these companies. This means building a network of valuable people.

Once you’ve located the person with whom you’d like to connect, you manually connect with said person by going to their profile, clicking “connect,” and writing a personalized invite. Failing to send a personalized invite will hurt your brand; you’ll be seen as lazy.


Engaging with your connections is the only way to stay top of mind on LinkedIn. You may have the best profile ever and 5,000 connections, but if you are not active on LinkedIn, your results will not be rewarding.

11 reasons why I update so often on LinkedIn

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Yesterday I tried really hard to refrain from sharing more than one LinkedIn status update. This resolution lasted an hour before I gave in to my urges, like someone on a bad diet. I don’t know what it is about this habit of mine, where I update no less than five times a day.

Daniel Newman an Adjunct Professor of Management at North Central College probably had me in mind when he posted Six Bad LinkedIn Habits That Must Be Broken on TheSavvyIntern.com.

I quote Daniel, “People don’t check LinkedIn nearly as often as Facebook or most other Social Networks for that matter. So I recommend that statuses are updated no more than once or twice a day.”

It’s not only Daniel’s suggestion that makes me examine my propensity to update. One of my colleagues told me I’m over the top and need an intervention, some kind of professional help he told me. So to validate why I update no less than five times a day, I came up with 11 reasons.

Visibility. I reason that to be relevant on LinkedIn one must update. But how visible is too much? When people tell me they see me a lot on LinkedIn, are they just being nice and really thinking they see me too much on LinkedIn?

It’s fun. I can hear the guffaws from the peanut gallery, those who can’t think of what to update to save their life. Believe it or not, I enjoy writing and sharing articles…sometimes my own.

It keeps me from having to watch crappy television shows. Weighing watching The Bachelor against scanning my home page or Pulse for articles to comment on. Well, I’ll take the latter any day of the week.

It’s ideal for introverts. Here you go again, Bob, talking about introverts. I personally believe that updating on LinkedIn is an ideal way for introverts to communicate their thoughts. (Read 6 reasons why introverts prefer to write to understand what I’m talking about.)

I’m competitive. Or somewhat narcissistic if you like. Maybe subconsciously I enjoy receiving “Likes” or, better yet, comments on them gives me a feeling of being on the screen in Times Square.

I want to educate my followers. This is my pat answer to my aforementioned colleague and others who ask why it’s important to update at least once a day. Sharing articles…many times my own…what’s going on in my professional life, sage words of advice, etc, are intended to help my connections.

I’m addicted. This is perhaps my greatest fear. That I’m out of control and may need an intervention, as my colleague suggests. But like any addict, I can’t stop going to the strategically placed Share an Update box on my home page. It’s calling for me, “Bob, why aren’t you updating. It’s been an hour since your last one.” STOP, I yell. But then I give in.

I’m not as bad as some. I know this is a lame reason, almost an excuse, but some of my connections show up on my home page 10 times in a row. Do I remove them from my list of connections? No, I HIDE them. So I try to space out my updates.

I use it as a teaching tool. During my LinkedIn workshops when my attendees are outraged by the idea of having to update at least once a day, I demonstrate how to share an update within three minutes.

To share is golden. I wrote a popular post about sharing others posts that are relevant to your connections. One of the best ways you can serve your connections is by sharing educational posts. I prefer to share my connections’ post before those published by popular publishers.

Okay, I’m an exhibitionist. I admit I like the attention that comes with updating and getting responses, positive and negative. I won’t go all Freudian and say this has something to do with my childhood, but I know I like to be seen.

So here you have the reasons why I update and feel it impossible to follow Daniel Newman’s suggestion to update (only) once a day. I hope that he’ll revise his article to say, “Update as much as you’d like.” But I don’t think that’s likely because in all honesty, I’m the perfect example of an update freak.

Photo: Flicker, Eva the Weaver