It’s not always easy to navigate on LinkedIn – this applies to both the “oldies” and “newbies”. Therefore, we provide you with 18 do’s and don’ts, that you can use when strolling around on the professional network, LinkedIn.

1. Personal is “go”

If you want to create new valuable connections, it is a good idea to be personal in all your invitations to connect – both to those you know and especially to those you do not know.

Therefore, focus on sending a personal request indicating that you have done your research, and give the user an idea of how you could enrich each other’s network.

2. “Welcome message” is a go

Send a “welcome message” when you have connected. This is the difference between just adding new connections and creating relationships that could be useful in the future.

For example, in your message, you can thank them for the connection and show interest in them by, for example, complementing for some content they have shared or tell them how to enrich each other’s network.

3. Irrelevant messages are spam

The degree of spam depends on the recipient, but spam is generally characterized by content that the recipient does not find value in. Therefore, be specific in any message and only send content that you think the recipient finds relevant.

Tip: It is a no-go to send sales-related content in the first message.

4. Answer the messages you receive

It is rare for others to write a message and not expect an answer. It is nice to respond to messages and even better, to respond relatively quickly. Therefore, check your inbox regularly and answer with a “reply tomorrow” if you are busy for the rest of the day.

Tip: You can turn the “read” feature off – in this way, you don’t need to respond right after reading the message.

5. ”Who’s viewed your profile”

Do you ever check who has visited your profile? If not, you may be missing out on interesting people who have already shown interest in you. You have been searched, but no invitation has been sent – this does not mean that you cannot reach out to them if you find them interesting. Invite them to connect and, of course, send a message and tell them why you should connect.

Tip: With a free profile, you can view the last five LinkedIn profiles that have visited your profile under “Who’s viewed your profile”. This requires that you have an open profile, which means others also see when you visit their profile. This is edited under the privacy settings.

6. A professional profile picture is “go”

It is no surprise to anyone that we humans are visual. According to LinkedIn, profiles with profile pictures are shown 14x more than those without – grab the chance and give a good first impression to your visitors. It is, therefore, a huge “go” to have a professional profile picture.

7. Can your profile handle the “WIIFM filter”?

So, you might think, “What the heck is the WIIFFM filter”? It is a “filter” that is asking, “what’s in it for me?” and most people use it without knowing.

Therefore, your profile should reflect what you can do for potential customers – not a long description of what your product is, but what it can do for them. Therefore, speak directly to your audience as the user needs to know that they are in the correct place, and you are the person to solve their problem.

8. A visible name is “go”

First of all, it is against LinkedIn’s rules to have anything other than your name as your name. Secondly, and maybe even more important, other users will find you easier if you type in your full name – and preferably with recognizable middle names that stand out.

Tip: It is not permitted to use nicknames or add other personal information in the name, such as email or phone number.

9. Say goodbye to the boring headline and summary

You only have a few seconds to make your first impression – so give a good impression on the most visible places. The first thing other people see, besides the professional image that you have now added, is your headline and the beginning of your summary – these items should, therefore, be catchy and tell something about your professional life.

10. Activity … or lack of

It is easy for others to see how active you are on LinkedIn – and activity is good. When you are active and present, there is the possibility that you can become “top of mind”.

Be active and visible by posting once in a while – you may even want to write an article. Join conversations, comment, and share, when you find something relevant – but remember to focus on enrichment. It must create value in your network.

11. Privacy Settings

The privacy setting is for your sake, but do not forget that this is a networking platform. LinkedIn is “the place” to share your professional background – and not your personal information and family photos.

With that in mind, let your profile be public, show what you do, and make sure your full name is visible to your connections.

12. No connections to e-mail lists

It’s illegal and a huge “no-go” to use your connections’ information to add to your newsletter/permissions list. They did not allow you to use their information, so don’t.

13. Evidence is “go”

LinkedIn has made it easy to show off your skills in a credible way through “recommendations”, “skills”, and “endorsements”. These features are a huge “do” as they prove that others can stand up for your skills, have been happy to work with you, and received satisfactory results. This strengthens your credibility and shows that you can deliver the results.

14. Nurture your connections

Nurture your LinkedIn connections by engaging. LinkedIn often informs you when someone has changed their job position, has an anniversary, or something else. This is a great opportunity to reach out, care, and congratulate in a personal message.

The same goes for when someone responds to your content – remember to reply to comments or sharing’s with a thank you or a personal message.

15. Share enriching content

Sharing content is important to be “top of mind” in your network – but only if it is the right content and is considered valuable to the recipient. When you share content on LinkedIn, whether it’s your own or others’ content, the goal should be to create value.

You can share with your entire network or only with a few people who you think might benefit from the content.

16. Introduce connections

Help your connections by presenting them for possible connections that may benefit them. In that way, you continue to nurture your connections and show that you want to help.

17. Keep a positive and professional tone

Keeping a positive and professional tone is a “do” wherever you are. But keep in mind that LinkedIn is not the same as Facebook or Twitter – therefore, keep a professional tone that shows your professionalism.

18. Use LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn groups can be of great value. Groups are a great place to expand the network. Therefore, find out which groups your customers are a member of. In the groups, you can search for answers to problems or show yourself as an industry expert by answering other people’s questions. This can be valuable to both you and the company you represent.

The article is written with inspiration from this infographic.

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