LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional social network, with 128 million U.S. users, is a potential gold mine and a proven success-generator for active professionals. However, since LinkedIn is not a spam engine, you need to actually reach out and directly connect with others in order to gain its full benefit. Simply “being on LinkedIn” with a so-so profile, and with no interaction, absolutely does not cut it.
No matter whether you are currently employed, pounding the pavement, underpaid, introverted, digitally-challenged, a CEO, or an assistant to an assistant, here are 5 of the most compelling benefits you can gain by expanding your LinkedIn network.
1) LinkedIn is Your “Side Gig” Marketing Solution
Some of today’s most successful professionals have a profitable “side gig” to complement their main source of income. Whether it is consulting, contract-based services, project management, or even non-related business offerings, your LinkedIn profile can help to attract new clients and augment your income. The bigger your network is and the more professional your profile is, the more likely you will be to attract prospects. I have a side gig (in addition to my resume writing & career coaching practice) of writing business plans… and I’ve landed wonderful contracts to create business plans from as far away as England and South America – simply by being on LinkedIn and mentioning my business plan writing in my profile.
2) LinkedIn Gets You Noticed for Leadership
Whether it is landing a speaking engagement, getting invited to join a nonprofit board of directors, asked to assist with a community event, being approached to mentor newbies in your industry, or getting quoted by a reporter for an upcoming article, your LinkedIn profile is where people will find you. These are exactly the types of leadership activities that put you directly in the spotlight for the best business and career opportunities.
3) LinkedIn Will Help You to “Pay It Forward”
For whatever reason, should your cousin or niece or neighbor or friend or business colleague suddenly find themselves of work, you can come to the rescue! When they share that they are anxious and uncertain of their future, you can be their “go to” hero. With a super-healthy LinkedIn network, you will be able to help them by putting out the word to your connections that this wonderful person is now available on the job market, and perhaps offer to introduce them online. I know this works because I have done it, time after time, with success. There is simply no better way to gain stature within your field than by helping others. And gaining stature also works like magic to attract new opportunities.
4) LinkedIn Will Help Launch Your Blogging Career
LinkedIn has a super-easy interface to write and post articles that get you noticed by your connections and that can be shared with your online groups and on other platforms. Simply go to your LinkedIn news feed and look for the box near the top that says “Share an article, photo, video or idea” – and click on “Write an article” to get started. Write about your ideas and share your industry knowledge in those areas where you have expertise.
5) LinkedIn is Your Job Insurance Benefits Policy
We all would like to think that our careers are recession-proof, long-term, and layoff-free… Yet current statistics show another picture. Even with our relatively healthy employment market in 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that most jobs end within 5 years, and 87% of workers ages 25-29 keep their jobs fewer than five years. If, or I should say, when you are seeking a new position, having a dynamic LinkedIn profile and robust network can save you weeks or even months in your job search. Do the math… Gaining a month or two of salary is a financial no-brainer!
Grant Cooper won the national Career Directors International President’s Award (CDI National Conference, Orlando, FL).
+Grant Cooper, founder of Strategic Resumes & Career Coaching, has appeared as a career expert on CBS, ABC & FOX, has published more than 300 media and journal articles, teaches seminars at major industry conferences, and serves as a judge for national resume writing competitions.
Grant has assisted the U.S. Air Force, Kinko’s, the Louisiana Dept. of Labor, the NFL, the NBA, as well as universities, regional banks, medical centers, celebrities, nonprofits, and corporations. Grant’s clients land positions at Fortune 500 firms.
Email Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org