This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.
If social media sites were your relatives, which ones would they be?
Facebook might be your “cool auntie” that likes to hang out with the young folks, still dresses cute, but sometimes tries just a liiiiiittle too hard. She’s the 45-year-old in the club.
Lil’ Snapchat would definitely be your little cousin who knows all the latest songs on the radio and dances around the house 95% of the time.
Instagram? Snapchat’s older sister who’s always telling her to stop showing out but secretly dropped out of college to be an IG model. Her mom doesn’t know.
LinkedIn is that uncle you only see once a year. He always carries a work bag, walks around the house fully dressed, rarely cracks a smile, and DEFinitely can’t take your family’s jokes. He’s lowkey embarrassed by all y’all.
…or is he?
Maybe LinkedIn is just misunderstood…?
Facebook, Snap, and IG are great for having fun, keeping up with friends (& frenemies), and general laughs. In many cases, all of these platforms can also be powerful marketing tools for your business, too.
But if you’re really trying to gather your life up and do something with your career, you’ve gotta stop sleeping on LinkedIn.
I’ll say it again for the people in the back:
Why Should You Be Active on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn gets a bad rap as the stiff, boring social networking site.
Only 1 out of those 4 bolded words is true.
First of all, LinkedIn isn’t a social networking site. It’s a professional networking site.
So if you’re going in with the expectations that it’s a merely “Facebook for work,” you’re coming at it the wrong way.
Once you realize that the purpose of LinkedIn is professional networking rather than social networking, you’ll realize it’s not stiff and boring.
It just doesn’t serve the same purpose as your social networking platforms do. So give Uncle LinkedIn a break.
Millennials make up 38% of all LinkedIn users, and most of them use the platform for 3 reasons:
1. Job advancement
2. Higher pay – ding, ding, ding!
3. More challenging work
If your career isn’t advancing the way you want it to and you’re not making as much money as you’d hoped, LinkedIn may help you solve your problem.
LinkedIn has played an integral role in 3 of the 5 paid roles I’ve had in the past 5 years (!!!), so I’m a HUGE proponent of the platform (if you couldn’t already tell).
In this post, you’ll learn about the many ways LinkedIn can help you increase your income. PLUS you can grab a free step-by-step guide for setting up and optimizing your LinkedIn profile so that you can bring in more $$$.
How can LinkedIN help you make more money?
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume that if you have a job, the money that comes into your home probably comes from that job.
Groundbreaking – I know.
And get this: if you can make more money from your job, you can bring more money home.
Wow. Really dropping bombs here, Meg.
Now that we’ve got the Captain Obvious stuff out of the way, here are the goods:
As a professional networking site, part of LinkedIn’s mission is to help you advance your career.
Think about the name: Linked…In. The entire premise of LinkedIn is to “link” you to other professionals.
Instead of a social network, LinkedIn helps you build and expand your professional network.
For quite a few reasons, online professional networking can be even more useful than networking in person.
Be seen and get noticed…without being seen or getting noticed.
LinkedIn is a DREAM for introverts like me because you don’t ACTUALLY have to be seen or noticed by anyone. At least not in person.
Once you optimize your profile (which I’ll show you how to do at the very bottom of this post) and start making connections, the right eyes will land on your profile.
Ideally, these online connections will eventually transform into real, meaningful relationships, but through a much less daunting and intimidating process.
You can be in lots of “right places” at many “right times.”
Even if you’re not an introvert, finding the time to expand your professional network can be a chore.
With LinkedIn, not so much.
Regardless of what you have going on in your personal life – kids, spouses, jobs with odd or long hours, time-consuming side hustles – you can find a small amount of time to be active on LinkedIn regularly.
The more you put yourself out there on the platform through sharing content and engaging in discussions, the more likely it is a great opportunity will come your way!
You can establish, expand, and promote your professional brand.
In the same way that Blue Magic and Pepsi are brands (name that movie anyone?), YOU are a brand.
I'm not a businessman. I'm a business, man.– Jay-Z
Quite frankly, if your professional brand sucks or is nonexistent, you’re doing yourself a major disservice.
LinkedIn makes it possible to curate your professional brand online so that potential employers, clients, or customers WANT to work with you (i.e., give you their money!)
Starting a blog to build and promote your professional brand is also a great option. Not only does it help you stand out from the crowd, it shows your potential employers or clients that you have certain skills beyond filling in the blanks on LinkedIn.
To set up a blog in less than the time it takes you to get your food from UberEats, check out this step-by-step guide.
6 best features for making money with linkedin
The 6 below are the best features to help you reach your goal of making more money with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn recruiter button
LinkedIn is a recruiter’s paradise.
A recruiter’s job is to find the best talent for a specific position. LinkedIn makes it incredibly easy for recruiters to find huge amounts of talent without having to go anywhere or meet anyone.
There are literally thousands of profiles at their fingertips.
That’s great for them.
It’s also great for you IF yours is one of those profiles!
LinkedIn recently rolled out a feature where you can indicate on your profile if you would like to come up in recruiter’s searches.
Risk aside, the recruiter button function is one of LinkedIn’s best features because it allows you to write a brief blurb about what you’re looking for in a position, what types of industries you’re interested in, and how soon you are available for a new position.
One of the best ways for recruiters to come across your profile in searches is to make sure your profile is optimized.
Does search engine optimization (SEO) for websites ring a bell? It’s how Google and other search engines determine how sites are ranked in search results.
Basically, SEO is how you get “seen.”
Like Google and other search engines, LinkedIn’s search function uses SEO technology, too.
So when a recruiter types in something like “social media managers,” profiles that are optimized for that keyword are more likely to show up first.
As someone who wants to get a better or higher-paying position, you want to come up in search as much as possible. Download the free, step-by-step guide at the bottom of this post that walks you through exactly how to optimize your profile for SEO.
LinkedIn stalking & Messaging
This is a pretty simple strategy, but it’s probably my favorite thing to do on LinkedIn…stalk people!
Okay, obviously not literally stalking people. BUT…I never apply for a job without looking up the company, its management, and other employees on LinkedIn.
****Before you go down this path, know that people can see when you look at their profiles. If you want to turn this feature off, go to your Privacy settings -> Profile Viewing Options -> and change your selection. Stealth mode activated!***
Alright, now that you’re incognito….
Read through their profiles, job responsibilities, previous roles, and the company page. You’ll get great insight into what the organization is about and how you can make your application as strong as possible.
In some situations, you might also want to contact someone via LinkedIn message to ask a question, introduce yourself, express your interest in a posted position, or ask about any openings that aren’t posted.
Use your discretion with messages. It may not be appropriate to message the company president or CEO. Is there an HR representative you could reach out to?
If you’re following up with a job posting, be sure the posting doesn’t specifically state not to contact HR. In other words, use your common sense.
Personally, I’ve made one of the most meaningful connections of my life just by sending a message to someone I didn’t know and asking them for advice. Messaging is appropriate in some situations, but not all.
Stalking is all good though. Have fun with that.
LinkedIn also has its own job board.
To be honest, it’s probably my least favorite LinkedIn feature, but I’d be remiss not to point out the fact that it exists.
Full transparency: I’m an Indeed junkie, so I’m hella biased, but I just don’t think the LinkedIn job board fits my needs very well. Even though it’s not my favorite job board, it may be a better match for you.
You can customize the fields, roles, locations, and salary level you’re looking for.
With a LinkedIn premium account, you get even more cool features that help you compare yourself against other applicants.
You can see how many people have applied to the position and how many of the requested characteristics for the position match up with your own.
I cannot believe I didn’t know about this feature sooner.
The ProFinder is like LinkedIn’s version of Upwork, a site where freelancers and people in search of freelancers can come together.
If you’re a freelancer, Profinder is super easy to sign up for!
LinkedIn content publishing
Have you noticed that you’re seeing a LOT more content from writers, recruiters, and businesspeople on LinkedIn?
That’s because publishing content on LinkedIn is one of the best ways to bring traffic from one platform to your own!
If you have an engaged network on LinkedIn, people will read your content and share it with their own networks.
By including backlinks to your personal, freelance, or small business websites, you get tons of eyes on your content, which equals lots more potential money for you!