When LinkedIn launched back in 2003, the home page promised to make your “professional network faster and more powerful”. With a promise like that, naturally, the platform attracted those seeking opportunities and employment.
Then LinkedIn added its first revenue stream: job listings, allowing companies to post job listings and search the network for prospective employees. This further positioned LinkedIn as THE place online for job seekers.
But over a decade and a half since LinkedIn’s launch, the internet has completely changed the business environment.
Marketing has shifted from businesses pushing out advertising to a two-way communication channel between business and consumer. Consumers can access reviews and recommendations on businesses to help inform their decision making. Online connections have overtaken in-person networking and meetings.
Today the first place our potential customers, collaborators, investors, clients will go to source information is the internet. So we need to take every opportunity to put our very best foot forward online. And that includes having an up to date and optimised presence on LinkedIn.
What are the benefits of using LinkedIn if you’re not looking for a job?
- You can tell people who are looking for you online exactly what you want them to know. LinkedIn profiles rank really highly in search engine results so if someone is looking for you online, chances are they will find your LinkedIn profile. This gives you the opportunity to craft a summary that spells out exactly what you do, who you help, how you help them, what your skills are, what opportunities you are open to, where people can go to find more information (e.g. a link to your website) and how you like to be contacted. BONUS: if you’re willing to pay for a premium LinkedIn subscription you can even see exactly WHO has been checking you out on the platform!
- You can use LinkedIn to stay up to date with industry trends, information and news. By following or connecting with people within your industry and following industry-related company pages and hashtags, you can curate your own industry-based news feed, completely unique to you.
- You can position yourself as an authority in your industry. You can share your knowledge, your insights, your work and even testimonials from clients or customers you’ve worked with previously. This all helps to show the world that you know your stuff!
- LinkedIn helps you build social proof. LinkedIn offers your connections the ability to endorse or recommend you on the platform. In a world where recommendations and reviews are king when the opinions of our friends, family and even strangers play such a big role in our decision-making process, this can be very powerful.
Why would I use LinkedIn if I’m already using Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms?
- It’s a solely professional platform. Other platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow for a mish-mash of our personal and professional information and content. Doesn’t a space that allows you to separate your professional life from your personal life just makes sense? It certainly does for the 260 million monthly active users on LinkedIn.
- It’s a trusted platform. While other platforms derive the bulk of their income from advertising, LinkedIn’s income comes mostly from subscriptions. You also won’t be left wondering if content is paid or not – you won’t see a #ad or #sponsored post in sight.
- When optimised correctly your LinkedIn profile will rank highly in search engine results. With a little thought into the keywords you use in your profile you can increase your chances of being found online for exactly what it is you want to be known for!
- Organic reach is not dead! You may be struggling to get eyeballs on your content over on other platforms but if you’re using LinkedIn to share content, you’ll find organic reach is higher than other platforms.
If you’re not using LinkedIn simply because you are not looking for your next career move, you’re missing a massive opportunity.
My advice? Give it a go. Spruce up your profile (or create one), start connecting or following your peers, the people you look up to, your industry leaders, business or organisations you admire and hashtags related to your industry and see first-hand how the platform can work for you.