4 Expert LinkedIn Secrets You Probably Don’t Know Yet

If you’re reading this, I assume you already have a decent LinkedIn profile. You likely know the basics and mistakes to avoid and have experience networking on the platform.

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to listen to Darrell Angai, Worldwide SMC Business Applications Strategy Lead at Microsoft, share his best LinkedIn tips with the Microsoft Aspire community. His expertise with the platform stems from nearly 5 years of experience working at LinkedIn, where he spent more than 15,000 hours helping brands and organizations understand the value of LinkedIn to create economic opportunities, build a digital sales organization and leverage the power of relationships to expand into new markets and accelerate growth. He is also a Rock Your Profile Ambassador who has been certified in teaching LinkedIn best practices to thousands of people and numerous community organizations across North America.

In this blog post, I am excited to share Darrell’s more advanced LinkedIn advice from his deep knowledge and experience with the many different aspects and data-driven insights from the platform. Many of these tactics can be used to drive sales in an enterprise setting or expand your network and job hunt at the personal level!

If you’re not active & engaged in your digital community, you lose the benefit of being a part of the entire network.

darrell angai

Explore and contribute to your community

Being active and engaged is so important. It’s not just about liking and commenting on posts every now and then. You should strive to become a thought leader in your space and share updates that are interesting to your network and audience. Be open with your connections and contribute to your community of connections by sharing your learnings, findings and experiences. The more active and engaged you are, the more you’re likely to find emergent opportunities and recruiter outreach by ranking higher on search relevance.

Not only does active engagement help you stay connected, it helps you get noticed by those who you may want to engage with for work, career or other economic opportunities. You can also find new and useful information based on how you engage with the content on your newsfeed.

If you don’t have a lot of confidence in contributing to your community yet, start by exploring what the platform can do for you. Find people who inspire you with their content and re-share it with your network because there may be others who are on the same path as you. Search up different companies, read their news and reports, and figure out which ones you are interested in learning about or working for one day. Take the time to understand what these companies care about, what kind of people work there and what kind of content they like to share. These insights can help you build a path towards a future career change.

Make effective connections

When trying to make connections, look for others who are actively engaged on the platform. Some people are more open and willing to help (e.g. mentor, coach, refer) than others. These people are more likely to see your message and are often more willing to respond and connect with you. Look at their profiles and recent activity pages to figure out if they post or engage regularly. Then, craft a personalized, thoughtful and succinct outreach note.

Always personalize your notes when reaching out to others. Mention who you are, why you’re reaching out, and what the call-to-action is. Be clear and concise because too much information makes it hard for people to understand what you’re looking for.

Look for relationship overlaps because these people are 5x more likely to respond & connect with you. 1st degree connections are those who you are already connected with. 2nd degree connections are those who are not connected to you but are connected to your 1st degree connections (aka you share a mutual 1st degree connection). Other relationship overlaps include going to the same school (aka someone with the same alma mater as you) or having worked at the same company.

Build strong, valuable relationships

Relationships are the key to getting referrals because people help those who they have a relationship with. It’s important to take the time to get to know someone for who they are and what they care about, and vice versa. Diving into these more personal topics can add depth to a regular coffee chat where you’re trying to learn about someone’s role, team, and company. If people like you, they will want to help you. So don’t just focus on impressing them, but on what you can do to add value to the relationship and to their lives.

Earlier in your career, leverage LinkedIn to explore opportunities and interests through others. Mid-career, learn how to build and grow your network on LinkedIn by finding the right opportunities and helping others make connections through you. Later in your career, keep an eye out for great talent and invest your time in giving back to others.

Be mindful of building a quality network over a quantity network. A quality network can actually give you value. A quantity network gives you noise. Realize that people talk to each other and that your name may come up in these conversations, so it’s important to show up well and present yourself in a way that is aligned to the brand that you have worked hard to build.

Invest in your personal brand

Your LinkedIn profile is not just a regurgitation of your experiences. It’s a chance to showcase your story, which is not defined by the job you have right now or the one you want one day. Focus on sharing how your experiences have driven you to be where you are in your career. Dive into the lessons learned and where you want to go next, and why. These are the angles that make you unique whether you have 1 year or 10 years of experience.

When making any career transition, it’s important to define your WHY. What motivates you? What journey are you on? Why are you on this particular journey? Having a solid WHY helps you inspire others to support you along your journey. If you’re not sure, then reach out to other people to understand if this is really what you want to do and ask for help figuring out how you can get there.

You also don’t need to be super articulate all the time. Just show up with an open mind and earnest interest in who you’re meeting and be clear about why you’re meeting them. Ask good questions because it can help people open up to you. When it comes to showing up authentically, it’s less about being polished and professional and more about being comfortable with who you are and being gracious and thoughtful. Acknowledge where you’re at, where you want to go, and be open to receiving help and feedback instead of having a preconceived notion or idea of how things need to go.

Thanks for reading!

LinkedIn is more than a social platform. It’s a place to explore what you might want to do next. It’s a community where you can meet exceptional people to help you on your journey. It’s a hub for you to learn, grow, and gain insights.

Thank you so much to Darrell for taking the time to share these advanced insights! Please make sure you subscribe for more content and check out these other related posts: