LinkedIn tips for better virtual networking

At Goff Public, we’ve been working remotely for nearly six months. This new professional reality is coming into clearer focus as we look to the fall – many of the conferences, chamber meetings and networking events we usually attend won’t look the same this year.

While we can’t network in person for the foreseeable future, it’s a perfect time to brush up on digital networking skills – beginning with your LinkedIn profile. Like other social media platforms, engagement on LinkedIn surged at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as many users sought to maintain their professional connections, find new opportunities and use this time to enhance their skills.

Once seen primarily as a tool for jobseekers, LinkedIn today is the place to build your professional brand, nurture relationships with colleagues, peers and clients, and share your expertise. With more than 690 million users, the platform is well-loved by entrepreneurs and sales professionals, but even people working in large organizations can benefit from the ability to self-define their work and value on the world’s largest public network.

Here are our best tips for building an authentic profile and engaging more on LinkedIn.

1. You are more than your current company and job title: The default headline is usually your current position and company. Unless potential connections are deeply familiar with your organization, your job title likely doesn’t say much about what you do. You can include your current role, but use the 120 characters to also describe what that means, focus on specific areas of expertise and provide more detail on your geographic reach.

2. Ditch the third-person bio: Many users utilize a third-person biography from their company website for LinkedIn’s 2,000-character ‘About’ section which appears before your job experience. This isn’t the right approach for a platform that’s all about building authentic, professional connections. Instead, outline what you do and why, how you got to this stage in your career, and what kinds of connections and opportunities you’re looking for. Pepper in some personal details to make it easier for potential connections to strike up a conversation with you.

3. Find and build connections: Take stock of your current connections and see who’s missing. Make it a habit to seek new connections on the platform, even if you’re only meeting digitally at first. If you participate in online events – like panels or webinars – connect with other participants, panelists and organizers after.

4. Participate as much (or as little) as you’d like: Once you’ve cleaned up your profile and connections, your LinkedIn presence can passively work for you by helping you put your best face forward, but that’s only the beginning. Set a goal of logging in twice a month to catch up with connections and share content. To really build your brand, demonstrate your expertise through conversations in LinkedIn groups and blog posts.

Check out this great example profile from LinkedIn’s Talent Blog. Here, Bruce opens with a strong statement, describes his unique approach to the recruiting field and gives readers insight into his personality.

More example profiles can be found on LinkedIn’s Talent Blog.

While many of us forget about our LinkedIn profiles once we’ve secured a new opportunity, we could be missing out on new connections, partnerships and clients. Revisiting our profiles and participating more online during the era of social distancing can help keep us connected to the world beyond Zoom.

Video was important. Now it’s key.

The competition for your audience’s time is fierce. Never before have there been as many messages or mediums used to engage consumers. To successfully communicate in today’s landscape, you must think of new ways to engage your audience through the powerful and growing medium of digital video.

Businesses have felt the headwinds, and data shows that video is a strategic investment. According to Forbes, the average person will watch 100 minutes of video content per day by the end of 2020. Forbes also estimates that 82% of content creation will be video by 2022. Market forecasts point to continual growth, signaling the need for organizations to adapt their communications and leverage video going forward.

Currently, many consider video a great tool when time and budget allow. This should no longer be the case. As Goff Public’s video production expert, I encourage clients and organizations to prioritize video as a primary component of their communications.

Accelerated by COVID-19 and a work-from-home society, video has become one of the most effective storytelling methods for organizations. This is true for three primary reasons:

1. Video reaches a larger audience. 
We are constantly bombarded with online content. So, what messages are proven to break through? Research shows that people are more likely to pay attention to video compared to other mediums. As a result, many online platforms boost the reach of video content to appeal to this proven user preference.

2. Video boosts engagement
In today’s fast-moving world, it’s hard to stop people in their tracks. Visuals, sound and text combined creates more impactful messages that get noticed. People better understand and relate to video, because the medium employs multiple forms of communication to share an idea (such as watching, hearing and reading). Coined as an “empathy machine” by Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Roger Ebert, video resonates more deeply with viewers.

3. Video simplifies the complex. 
Video is the most effective medium for communicating complex concepts in a way that is understandable and accessible to your audience. They’re the perfect conduit to tell comprehensible stories, and are less labor-intensive to interpret.

Multimedia is now the mainstay for modern communications. Video is an effective and fast-growing medium with no signs of slowing down. Savvy communicators will recognize that investing in video is a way to modernize your messaging and strategically position your organization for success.

Video is a valuable communications tool for every industry and organization. Click here to see how it was used to showcase the legacy of iron mining and the mission of the Iron Ore Alliance. Learn more about Goff Public’s comprehensive video services.

TwinWest teams up with teachers and companies for virtual program

The TwinWest Chamber of Commerce Foundation hosted an externship program to help teachers, administrators, and other K-12 educators understand the business community and how their subject matter is applied in the professional world. This year’s virtual event gave rise to participation from businesses across the country. Learn more in the Sun Sailor.