“Why should I use LinkedIn if I am not actively seeking employment?”
Contrary to popular belief, being happily employed doesn’t negate the necessity to be a part of the LinkedIn community. If you think the 400 million professional users of LinkedIn are all there to find a job, you have not tapped into the other benefits of being on LinkedIn.
Here are three LinkedIn benefits that everyone can take advantage of:
1. Establishing Your Professional Brand
It’s somewhat of a no-brainer, but there is a clear connection between career advancement and professional branding. It’s nearly impossible to climb the ladder or land clients repeatedly if you fail to establish yourself as a trustworthy authority among your target audience.
The first step to taking control of your professional future is taking the initiative to manage how individuals perceive you in the marketplace. LinkedIn gives you access to free digital real estate, giving you the flexibility to craft a compelling profile that immediately raises your social appraisal.
Through your professional headline, you help others determine if they want to invest in your brand. Use the tools that you have at your disposal to brand yourself as a thought leader and you will never have to search for a job or client again; numerous requests will be coming to you asking what it will take to work with you. That’s the power of a sharp professional brand.
2. Growing Your Professional Tribe
You can’t be an online ghost and expect to generate leads who will support your brand.
You may already have a healthy network of connections because of the quality of work that you perform or networking events that you attend. But there are over 400 million LinkedIn users who are waiting to get to know you; they need your words of wisdom, services, and products in order to reach their goals.
There is someone who needs exactly what you have; they just don’t know that you exist yet. Allow LinkedIn to reach your target audience while you sleep by creating a profile that attracts intended viewers to your profile.
Publish content, share conversation-worthy updates, and join LinkedIn Groups. These are all actions that you can take to grow your professional tribe. When your content spreads, people become more interested in what you have to offer. You also start to meet like-minded individuals who can support you and encourage you on your journey.
LinkedIn allows you to keep track of the connections that you have. You can see what industry they are from, schools they attended, jobs they worked, and other relevant information that lets you know the type of people occupying your professional network.
You should also pay attention to the number of connections that you have. The more connections you have, the more visible your profile becomes to people outside of your network. The magic LinkedIn number for connections is 500. Under 500 connections and everyone knows because it’s visible on your profile. Over 500 connections and your network quantity becomes your little secret.
3. Preparing for Greater Opportunities
Nothing guarantees you that you will have your job next week. No amount of loyalty, hard work, or late nights can guarantee that you will have the same workspace, title, and co-workers when you wake up next Monday morning. You can’t predict the actions that other people will take, but you can position yourself for success no matter what happens.
LinkedIn allows you to create your professional future. What do you want to be known for? What are you most proud of? If time and money wasn’t an issue, what would you do? Who said that you had to wait until retirement in order to live the life of your dreams? All it takes is a click of a button and your opportunity can pop up in your inbox within minutes of updating your profile.
LinkedIn allows you to expand your mind and take advantage of opportunities that weren’t even on your radar. You may be asked to be a conference speaker, partner on a huge book deal, or partner on a new business idea because your profile speaks to the experience that someone else seeks. There are multiple opportunities that are searching for you–not because you are a job seeker, but because you have defined yourself as a credible leader that others crave to know more about.