Becoming known as an expert in your LinkedIn network

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Becoming known as an expert in your LinkedIn network

How would you like to become known as an expert in your LinkedIn network? Maybe let’s start with the definition. It is someone who is trusted, who is reliable and can be counted on to help with accurate information on a particular topic. Why would you want to be known as expert in your network? Well, if anyone does need help with something in your network that is related to your area of interest, you should be the go-to-person. I am assumming that being known as an expert in a particular area should, all things being equal, be good for business.  You are already good at what you do but is it known within your LinkedIn network? Let me share a few tips on how you become more valuable as an expert in your LinkedIn network.

Complete and accurate profile

The basic requirement is a comprehensive LinkedIn profile where all relevant parts have been completed. These includes the Summary, Skills and Expertise Section, Honors and Awards and a few recommendations. When someone views your profile they should immediately know what your story is all about. The profile does the talking. When they connect with you, they are now just waiting to hear from the horse’s mouth.

Why not send an email to everyone?

Why not just try to send an email to everyone in your LinkedIn network and tell them that if they ever want invest in bonds, they should talk to you as that happens to be your area of expertise. The problem with this approach is that there is no existing relationship. It will be just a bolt from the blue for most people who get it and it will also lack context. You will be seeking to build something without any foundation by using this approach. Being connected is not enough. They need to know, like and trust the person they are dealing with. In addition to this, there must have been a need that you have actually identified and it must not be just a random hit and miss affair in terms of who might be actually interested in what you do. Some also call this the “Spray and pray” approach.

Area of Focus

If you are going to share information on LinkedIn, determine your area or field of focus. It might be a wide range of fields but you should at least think about it. Are you going to be sharing information about Business, Social Media or Technology in general or anything of interest to you?  You are already involved in some industry or field so deciding on  one won’t be difficult. You don’t do everything there is to do under the sun. You have chosen to look at specific things and it will serve you well.

Finding the information

Where are you going to find this information? You will need to find credible sources of information. You might be doing your own in-depth research but this is likely to take quite a bit of time. You can use tools like alerts to your mail that come through whenever there is something appears in the media relating to your interest. You can also follow certain people on Twitter and other social media that helps you to quickly gather information. These tools include Google Alerts and Apps like Zite, Google Currents for example which can provide news based on your interests.

Curate content that you share

Sift through the information that you come across and only share what you feel might be valuable on LinkedIn. Remember on LinkedIn it might come across as spammy if you share more than 5 updates a day (this is a-self-imposed-standard or limit). This limit of 5 will force you to only share information that you believe to be so important that it must be shared and not just anything you come across.

Be active in LinkedIn groups

Take time to participate in LinkedIn groups and take part in discussions that enable you to building your own body of knowledge as well as to share your existing knowledge. Do this without any selling or marketing. There is no need to inform other Group members in your comment that if they need more information they should get in touch with you. They only need to simply comment after you or just send you a private message. It is really that simple.

Be on the lookout for network members in need

Set aside some time every now and then to look at your connections’ profiles. Who is doing what in your network? When was the last time you reached out to someone in your network. Are you not curious to know more about what other people are doing? Where can you help? Where can you chip in? Why do this? You are definitely not a charity! Well I believe in the principle Givers Get and that helping others builds trust more effectively that you seeking more leads in your own business.

Hope you find a few of these ideas to be useful as you seek to position yourself as an expert on the platform.

4 Comments

  1. Haroun Kola says:

    Thanks for these tips Bruce, I think its time I progressed to interacting in groups on LinkedIn now. I’ve joined them, but not joined in 🙂

  2. Ramon Thomas says:

    This is a good breakdown of expert profiling. You and Haroun may both like this lecture I delivered at various conferences in 2007 and 2008 – How to Blog your way to Becoming and Expert http://ramonthomas.com/2007/09/blog-your-way-to-being-an-expert/

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