I remember hearing about this platform back in 2016. My friend was scrolling through her account when she turned to me and said: “Jessica, this is like Facebook, but for professionals, you gotta get on it.“
You may have heard of a similar saying.
Now after using LinkedIn (on and off) for 8 years, I’d say that “Facebook for professionals” is a pretty apt way to describe it.
But there’s a lot more to the app than you may think. And as a regular user and creator on LinkedIn, I’ll discuss in this article what LinkedIn is, how to use it, and some of its benefits.
Let’s dive in!
So, what is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional platform designed specifically for professional networking.
With 810 million Linkedin users worldwide – it’s a place where you can connect with other professionals, share your work experiences and skills, find new opportunities, and much more.
You know how Facebook connects you with mutuals you know?
And how Tinder connects you with potential partners you’d like to date?
Same thing. LinkedIn connects you with professionals and businesses.
Want to know what Sally from 10th grade is up to now? Find her LinkedIn profile to see her whole professional life since you graduated and parted ways.
Want to find more clients to sell your digital marketing services to? Great, here are millions of CEOs you can add to your social network and start pitching to.
I can go on forever, but the platform can be broken down into three primary functions: building relationships, sharing content, and finding opportunities.
I’ll go into more detail about these functions later on in the article. But for now, let’s talk about…
What is LinkedIn Used For?
Whether you’re a business or an individual, there are many reasons why you should be using LinkedIn. I’ll break it down into the 2 broad users of individuals and businesses.
LinkedIn for Individuals
LinkedIn is a platform for anyone to build relationships with other professionals, share their skills and experiences, find new opportunities, and much more.
Here are just some of the things you can do on LinkedIn as an individual:
- Creating connections with others in your field
- Joining Linkedin groups that relate to your industry or passion
- Finding job opportunities or internships
- Expanding your professional network for future opportunities
- Taking LinkedIn course for career development
- Creating content or sharing content that you find interesting
- Getting insights into what companies are hiring
- Building a personal brand
LinkedIn for Businesses
At the end of the day, Linkedin is a big business community. So, it’s no surprise that businesses can also use the platform to their advantage.
Here are some of the ways to leverage LinkedIn as a business
- Create job postings to hire and recruit the best candidates.
- Build many business connections with LinkedIn members within the same industry
- Promote brand awareness using the publishing platform
- Posting updates and articles related to their industry
- Sharing company news, such as new products or services, job openings, etc.
- Finding new sales leads
- Using LinkedIn marketing solutions like ads to promote brand awareness
Main Features of LinkedIn
Now, as mentioned before, LinkedIn has three primary functions: building relationships, sharing content, and finding opportunities.
All of the features of LinkedIn support these 3 functions. So let’s run through some of them.
1. Building Relationships
One of Linkedin’s main features is expanding your professional network and connecting with other professionals. LinkedIn makes it easy to find and connect with others in your field, whether you’re looking for a new job, prospecting, or just wanting to expand your network.
To build relationships on LinkedIn, you can:
Use the search bar to find any Linkedin accounts.
The LinkedIn search bar makes up anyone’s Linkedin profile easy. You can type up names or a job title and filter through things like location, companies, and degrees of connections.
Send Linkedin connections
If you want to connect with any LinkedIn profile – the Facebook equivalent of becoming “friends” – you can send them a connection request with a personalized note.
Note that LinkedIn has a limit of 100 connection requests sent per week. Meaning that you can’t connect with more than 100 people.
If you’ve just signed up with a free LinkedIn account, you probably should stick with connecting with people you know first. Low connection acceptance rates may flag your profile with suspicious or spammy activity to LinkedIn.
What’s a social media platform that doesn’t allow you to chit-chat? You can send anyone you’re connected with with a message. Note – you must be connected with someone before you can send them a message.
Alternatively, you can upgrade to premium accounts like LinkedIn Premium or LinkedIn Sales Navigator and send anyone a message – regardless of if you’re connected with them or not.
Join groups related to your interests
If you’re not sure who to connect with, just start by joining groups related to your industry or interest and interacting with people in the groups
2. Sharing Content
LinkedIn is also a great platform for sharing content. You can share things like blog posts, videos, photos, and much more. This is a great way to increase your visibility and build your personal brand.
To share content on LinkedIn, you can:
Post updates on your profile
Share anything you want with your connections. People want to know what you’re up to – and are nosier than you think!
Start a newsletter
You can write a newsletter and share it with anyone who subscribes right on the LinkedIn platform
3. Finding Opportunities
LinkedIn is also a great place to find new opportunities:
- Job seekers can do job searches and find new placements and internships.
- Individuals can learn more about what companies are hiring.
- Hiring managers can use the platform for talent solutions
- Companies can post jobs that Linkedin users can apply to
- Businesses can find business ideas just by keeping up to date with the latest trends on their news feed
- Businesses/Sales reps can find sales leads and customers.
To find opportunities on LinkedIn, you can:
Use the LinkedIn search function
The LinkedIn search bar is a great way to find what you’re looking for on the platform. Whether it’s jobs, companies, or people, just type in what you’re looking for and filter through the results based on your needs.
Post job openings and browse resumes
Businesses can post job openings directly on the platform and quickly get in touch with potential candidates who are a good fit.
Check out the “Jobs” section to see what companies are hiring
Individuals looking for a new job can type in any desired companies or positions to see who is hiring.
Follow creators or industry influencers
Anyone can follow LinkedIn creator profiles, keep up to date with the latest trends, or just get a fresh perspective on different topics.
Integrate Linkedin with chrome extension apps
Some tools like Lusha and Contactout can connect directly with your LinkedIn account to get you emails from a single LinkedIn profile.
Many small business owners and sales reps use LinkedIn for this one feature. And why wouldn’t you, when prospecting can be super easy and quick?
Ready to expand your professional life?
LinkedIn is so much more than your other social media platforms – it has a real chance to help you advance your career, open your professional social network, and change your life.
I’ve personally used LinkedIn over the years as both a job seeker and a business owner.
As an example, I used LinkedIn to land a 6-figure job 3 years ago when I was 20.
I’ve also used LinkedIn to land high 5-figure – 6-figure clients for my SEO consulting business.
More recently, I’ve started publishing content on the platform and have built a personal brand where people recognize me as an SEO authority.
But more importantly, I’ve connected and built SO many amazing relationships. Just through interacting with their work, saying Hi, and connecting.
Having a LinkedIn profile is, IMHO, the future of resumes. Companies and brands are increasingly looking for people with a strong online presence. And what better place to build that than on LinkedIn?
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and create your profile today!