I'm often asked if one should upgrade to a paid LinkedIn account. My answer is always yes but I understand its hard to upgrade when you haven't seen the full value even with your free account. Like most professional related social channels, with LinkedIn you have to put some work and effort into adding content and understanding all of the features before you can make an educated decision whether if its good for you or not.
Here are 2 different things I recommend anyone with a free LinkedIn profile do NOW.
1: Sass up your headline
Your LinkedIn headline is one of the most important parts of your LinkedIn profile. Odds are, most people are only taking a look at your picture and judging the words you have in your headline. You actually have 120 characters to play with so I would maximize that space out!
Here are a few tips to help you choose the best Linkedin headline.
-Take your LinkedIn profile/resume or a job description and create a word cloud to find/notice the keywords that show up.
-Use the "|" separator bar between keyword (on a pc, its above the enter key)
-Choose 2 or 3 keywords that best represent your job history, or your ideal job and put them into your headline.
-Include an outcome phrase in your LinkedIn headline like....
-"Protecting Client's Financial Assets"
-"Delivering IT Services for Small to Mid-Sized Companies"
-"Employed Part-Time for Economic Reasons"
-Use all or as many of the 120 characters as you can. As you can see in mine, I added my Twitter handle.
-Be creative! Test out specific keywords and watch your "Who's viewed my profile" stats to see if it positively or negatively affected your view rate. ]
-If you're in sales, place keywords in your headline that would resonate with your target market.
2: Saved Searches
If you are in sales and aren't using this...shame on you! This is an EASY way for you to have potential leads sent to you each week.
How do I do a saved search?
Click on the blue search button at the top of your screen. Your entire network will then come up. Then, using the advanced criteria either on the left of your screen or by clicking the word "advanced" right next the the same blue button, you're able to whittle away at the list of people you'd ideally like to prospect. After you've found the right list of people, click on "save search" at the top right hand side of your screen. Name it very specifically and then choose to get an email once per week. You will then get an email each week with a list of new people who match your criteria.
There you go. 2 really quick tips to help you take full advantage of your free LinkedIn Profile.
Bonus: Another really cool tool for those of you that use Gmail and Chrome is Signals. It's a new feature by Hubspot that allows you to track the emails you send and get alerted on your desktop when someone opens the email you send. They also integrate with LinkedIn and Hubspot but you have to be a Hubspot customer for those features to work.