Dr. Kim Burns

Are you on LinkedIn?

Let me get more specific about what I mean, because “on LinkedIn” could mean anything from posting every day to having a profile that’s been collecting virtual dust since your last job search.

What I mean by “on LinkedIn” is, do you use LinkedIn regularly in your professional life to connect with others and share your work? Because if not, I think you should be.

Despite what you may think, LinkedIn isn’t just a digital job board or place for job seekers to highlight their expertise for potential employers. Recently, some coaching clients shared they are hesitant to engage with LinkedIn because they fear it might signal to others that they are trying to leave their current positions. In fact, I used to worry about this myself a few years back.

It’s definitely a pre-pandemic mindset that I’ve had to break out of.

Today, LinkedIn is a place where I form meaningful connections with others and grow my network. It’s a place where I get to showcase the things I’m working on and share what I’m thinking about. 

And you know what? Amidst all the noise and chaos of social media, LinkedIn stands out as a place where I find enjoyment and fulfillment in my online interactions. It’s a space where I can authentically showcase my work, share my thoughts, and engage with like-minded peers. 

So, if you still think of LinkedIn as a place only for job seekers, I encourage you to consider some of its other benefits. It’s a place where you can truly amplify your professional presence and unlock opportunities for growth and connection. Consider the benefits outlined below.

LinkedIn can lead to meaningful connections

LinkedIn is a goldmine for forging meaningful connections with people you may not have interacted with otherwise. Personally, I’ve struck up some fantastic relationships through LinkedIn. These connections have opened doors, leading to opportunities to meet people in real life (well, on a screen, thanks to Zoom). 

LinkedIn isn’t just a tool for job hunting—at its heart, it’s a platform for networking and relationship-building. While opportunities may arise from these connections somewhere down the road, the true value lies in the connections themselves. 

Whether it’s finding a mentor, landing a speaking engagement, teaming up on a project, or just connecting with like-minded peers, the connections made on LinkedIn can be game-changers. And in a world where travel costs continue to grow and professional development budgets are cut back, the significance of virtual networking cannot be overstated.

LinkedIn is the #1 place to share work-related content

When it comes to work-related content, LinkedIn is where people go. Personally, I’ve noticed that my work-related social posts get significantly more engagement on LinkedIn over other platforms. When people come to LinkedIn, they’re already in a work-mindset, so they usually come ready to connect, share insights, and engage in meaningful discussions.

What should you be sharing on LinkedIn? Anything and everything work-related, including:

  • Updates on exciting projects and events
  • Highlights from a recent publication (yours or someone else’s)
  • Insights from research projects
  • Reflections on recent news, trends, or developments
  • Helpful tools and resources
  • Success stories or lessons learned
  • Accomplishments (yours or those you work with)
  • Conferences or workshops attended
  • Recommendations of books, podcasts, or articles related to your field
  • Thought-provoking questions or ideas you’ve been mulling over

LinkedIn is a great place to showcase your work and accomplishments, ensuring that your professional network is aware of your contributions and achievements. By actively engaging with your network and sharing valuable content, you’ll not only increase your visibility but also establish yourself as a knowledgeable and respected professional within your field. Speaking of which…

LinkedIn can help establish or grow an online brand

LinkedIn is a great place to establish your professional online presence, aka your online brand. 

Why should you care about having an online brand? It’s about positioning yourself as a recognizable and respected authority within your industry—a go-to resource for knowledge and inspiration. When you connect with someone, share content about the work you do, or engage in discussions, others in your network get a glimpse into your expertise, interests, and personality. 

Over time, people who interact with your content will begin to associate you with specific topics or areas of expertise. Eventually, when someone seeks information or insights on a particular topic, your name will immediately spring to mind. 

And the best part is that you don’t need a complex strategy to establish an online brand on LinkedIn. Start by connecting with colleagues and peers you know in real life, engaging with their content, and sharing your own work and thoughts. With each interaction, you’re laying the foundation for a strong and enduring online presence that reflects your professional identity and establishes your credibility within your field.

LinkedIn can expand your reach

LinkedIn is a platform where you can extend the reach of your work beyond those you interact with in person. When you share content or participate in discussions on LinkedIn, you’re not limited to the people you encounter in your day-to-day interactions. Instead, you open up avenues to connect with professionals from diverse backgrounds and industries, spanning geographical boundaries.

Whether they stumble upon your posts through their network or discover your profile while browsing relevant topics, each interaction presents an opportunity to expand your reach and forge new connections. These newfound connections can lead to collaborations, mentorship opportunities, and more.

Bottom line: Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you only need LinkedIn if you want a new job

In my experience, LinkedIn offers far more than just job opportunities; it’s a dynamic platform for establishing your professional presence, expanding your network, and showcasing your expertise. 

By actively engaging with your network, sharing valuable content, and cultivating meaningful connections, you can leverage LinkedIn to enhance your career trajectory and unlock new opportunities for growth and development. The relationships I’ve forged and the insights I’ve gained through LinkedIn have been invaluable. They can be for you, too.

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