Source | FastCompany : By ERICA BREUER
July is here and I bet your dance card’s pretty full. Barbecues, weddings, camping trips—who has time for LinkedIn?
You, my friend.
At least, you do if you don’t want all your brand-building work to fizzle. In the time it takes a pot of water to boil, you can reinforce your reputation and network. You don’t have to sacrifice progress for picnics. Just follow this minute-by-minute guide.
We’ll start with the most time-consuming part first: Engaging with other humans. The good news is that you don’t have to go out of your way to keep your network warm. A little nuanced interaction goes a long way in not only reminding contacts that you exist, but also that you’re interested in them and what they’re doing.
Like their posts. Comment on their stuff. Endorse their skills.
It’s really that easy. Hammer out a list of 20 or so people whose radar you’d like to stay on and start clicking two or three each week. You’ll not only seem like a networking pro, you’ll also find that your contacts respond in kind. When you’re building a brand in the digital realm, social proof in the form of their reactions is pure gold.
There’s no sense starting your maintenance routine cold or with a profile that has dings and dents. Size your profile up from top to bottom, addressing easy-to-fix items like typos, dead links, or that old contact number you no longer use. Jot notes about any time-expensive stuff that can wait for a longer makeover session.
While you’re doing this, think about your current personal branding—is it still sending the right message? If you’re looking for a job, is that clear (yet subtle)? If you’re looking to attract new clients, do you spell that out?
Take a look at your call to action (CTA) (that thing that tells profile visitors how, why, and where they can get in touch with you). Most users include CTAs in their Summary and Advice for Contacting sections. They look something like this:
“I value any opportunity to act as a career mentor or chat with other professionals in the venture capital world. Feel free to connect with me here or on Twitter @[yourhandle].”
They’re drop-dead simple, but when CTAs are outdated, they’re about as useless as the G in lasagna. Does your CTA direct people to a platform where they can actually engage with you? Are you inviting the right kind of people into conversations that you can add value to or about topics that still interest you? Make sure it’s aligned with your current career goals; otherwise, it’s a waste of precious profile space.