How to Use LinkedIn for Beginners: No Bullsh*t Guide

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Megan 2024 02 06 110633 bvnz

Megan Farrow

6 minutes


Alright, let's cut the crap and get straight to it. You're here because you've finally decided to get your arse on LinkedIn, or maybe you've been lurking around LinkedIn for a while. Either way, it's time to get stuck in. LinkedIn isn't just for those who wear suits or those who love to brag about every minor achievement since primary school. No, it’s for anyone looking to boost their professional life, and we're here to show you how to not fu*k it up.

Our take? Not everyone requires a personal brand. For many, a standout profile that captures attention is key. If you're just getting to grips with LinkedIn, hear us out: at co&co, we think business profiles are sh*t. Sorry but they are. They're unlikely to bring any real value to your professional goals. So, what will? You can use LinkedIn effectively in so many different ways. It could be empowering your employees to act as brand advocates, which is great for amplifying your company's reach and impact. This will outperform those traditional business profiles all day long. Let’s start from scratch and look at the basics. 

Step 1: Sort Out Your Profile

First impressions count, even in the digital world. Your profile is what helps to set you apart as an individual, so let's not make it look like you've just rolled out of bed. Get that profile picture looking professional. No, your latest pub crawl pic won't do. Make sure it’s up-to-date and in high resolution. When it comes to content, whether it's your bio line or about section, fill in every section with something meaningful: who you are, what you've done, and where you want to go. Make sure to maintain brand consistency and add CTAs wherever you fancy.

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Step 2: Connect Wisely

Now, don't just start sending invites like you're handing out flyers for a lost pet. Be strategic. Connect with people you know, want to know, or should know. Think quality over quantity. And when you send that invite, add a personal note. Even if deep down you’re trying to rack up those numbers, just make it look like you’re not.

Few sources of inspo for you:

👍A simple “Hey, would be great to connect ” is better than being silent.

👏“Hey, I saw your post on [x subject] and thought it was mega” is better in general. 

Remember, these aren’t just digital avatars you’re collecting; they’re potential leads, partners, or even mates in the industry. So, when reaching out, be as genuine as you can muster. If you’ve met them before, mention where or how. If you’ve never met but admire their work from afar, tell them. A little flattery can go a long way, just don’t lay it on too thick.

By personalising your approach, you’re not just another notification; you’re a potential conversation, a connection that might offer them value too.

Step 3: Engage, Don't Just Broadcast

Here's where many people fu*k it up. LinkedIn isn't your personal billboard. It's a two-way thing. Engage with your connections' posts, share content that adds value, and be genuine about it. Comment on posts, congratulate achievements, and share articles or insights that actually help people. Be the person who comments with more than just a generic "Great post” because that really is just boring. Don't just talk about yourself; nobody actually wants to be around that person. Get the LinkedIn algorithm on your side by engaging by starting meaningful conversations.

It's not about keeping score, but if you're active, supportive, and genuinely engaging, you'll find your efforts pay off. You'll see more interaction on your posts, grow your network with quality connections, and maybe even learn a thing or two along the way. Get in there, mix it up, and be a part of the conversation, not just a bystander. Last but not least … don’t post and ghost. We get it you might feel too busy to stick around but if that’s the case get someone else to run your LinkedIn for you.

Hitting 'Publish' on your post and then disappearing is like dropping the mic at a party and walking out without seeing the reaction. It’s not only rude; it’s a missed opportunity. When you share something, stick around. Engage with those who take the time to comment or share your post. Answer questions, fuel the conversation, and be present. This isn't just about being polite; it's about building relationships and fostering a community around your content. Show people some love and they'll do the same in return. 


Step 4: Content is King

If you've got something to say, say it. Write sh*thot posts, share updates, and post about your experiences. This is your chance to show you're not just like everyone else. You've got a unique voice, so use it. Despite what others might tell you, you don’t need to be earning x amount of dollar to add value to the conversation. You've got ideas, experiences, and expertise that can benefit others. But please keep the sales pitch at home. We’re marketers at co&co, it’s literally our job, selling is in our blood, but even we know there's a time and place. Provide value, not a brochure.That's how you stand out.

Step 5: LinkedIn is Not Tinder

Optimise your profile in the same way you would for a dating profile. Remember, it’s all about looks to begin with. But let's get this straight: LinkedIn is for professional networking, not for finding your next date. A sharp profile picture and a well-crafted summary are like your best pick-up lines, except here, you're not trying to score a date; you're aiming to impress potential employers, clients, or collaborators. Think of it as dressing for the job you want, not the club you're heading off to later.

LinkedIn is the place for professional connections, not your next romantic escapade. Keep it professional, always. That means no cheeky chat-up lines in your intro or suggestive winks in your profile picture. You're here to network, share expertise, and grow your career, not swipe right on industry hotties.

In essence, optimise your profile to attract the right kind of attention. Make it so compelling that people can't help but want to connect and engage with you on a professional level. Let your accomplishments and professional demeanour do the flirting for you, winning over clients and employers with your expertise and professionalism.

Wrap Up

Using LinkedIn isn't rocket science, but it does require a bit of common sense and effort. Keep your profile sharp, connect with intent, engage genuinely, share your wisdom, and always keep it professional. Do this, and you'll be on your way to making LinkedIn work for you, not the other way around.

Remember, we're here to help you. Whether it's with your LinkedIn management, LinkedIn training, branding, or event planning, co&co has got your back. Let's make some noise and get you noticed. Fancy working together?

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