Josh Steimle: How ‘60 Days to LinkedIn Mastery’ Will Change the Way You Use the Network

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( — October 14, 2021) — With over 774 million members in 200 countries, LinkedIn easily sets itself apart as the largest professional network in the world. From individuals looking for new jobs to recruiters hoping to find top talent, LinkedIn has become a go-to hub for managing one’s professional profile in the digital age.

Chances are, however, that the vast majority of users aren’t unlocking the full potential of LinkedIn. This is something that Josh Steimle, author of “60 Days to LinkedIn Mastery” hopes to change with his new book.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Steimle to get a better understanding of what the average LinkedIn user is missing out on, and how they can master the social media platform to achieve their career goals.

Profile Optimization

The necessary starting point for improving your LinkedIn usage, Steimle says, is optimizing your profile for what you want to accomplish.

“If you don’t have a clear purpose in mind, you’re going to take an aimless approach in who you connect with, what you write about, and so on,” he explains. “A clear purpose — like wanting to make a career change or to grow your business — will guide everything you do on LinkedIn. It influences how you write your bio, what you include in your headline and so much more.”

While a clear purpose is a valuable starting point, it isn’t enough on its own to make a LinkedIn profile stand out. During our conversation, Steimle noted that even simple things, like an up-to-date profile picture or making work experiences more than just bullet points, will make a user’s profile more engaging and appealing to other users.

The more you fill out your profile with quality information and experiences (including volunteer opportunities and education), the easier it will be for others to find common ground to connect with you.

Being as specific as possible in what you write is also crucial. Specificity in your past job descriptions, bio, and headline tell other users who you are and what you stand for. Avoiding jargon-heavy language helps you communicate clearly.

Forming the Right Connections

Making quality connections is a key component of LinkedIn mastery. Just about everyone has received what seems like a spam connection request, or a request from someone who doesn’t seem to have any shared connections or business interests.

“Obviously, the more people you connect with, the greater reach you’ll have when you share a post or ask a question. You shouldn’t just limit yourself to the people you know in real life, but you don’t want to become a spammer, either,” Steimle explains.

“The best way to build your network quickly is to focus on ‘second connections’ —  people who share a mutual connection with you, those with shared employers, educational institutions or LinkedIn groups, and of course, your ideal audience.”

While there is no guarantee that reaching out to these groups will automatically result in an accepted request, having some sort of shared background greatly increases your chances to grow these digital connections. Steimle cites Larry Kim’s “Five P’s” of a customized connection request — polite, pertinent, personalized, professional, and praiseful — as an essential guideline for sending requests that get responses.

Creating Compelling Content

With an optimized profile and an ever-growing network, LinkedIn users are then ready to start producing compelling content that directly speaks to their target audience. While you might think that this requires writing lengthy blog posts, Steimle is quick to assure non-writers that this isn’t necessarily the case.

“A thoughtful blog can be a great way to build your personal brand, but you can be much more concise and still generate a meaningful conversation. A short post that asks a question at the beginning and the end is a great way to get comments. Being willing to display uncertainty about a topic or problem can be especially effective at generating a discussion. Issuing a challenge can also get your network actively engaged with you. These posts don’t need to be long or expertly written. But they should always be relevant to your purpose and target audience.”

Regardless of whether you are more comfortable with shorter posts or a lengthy newsletter, Steimle notes that consistency is key. A flurry of activity in a single week followed by months of inactivity isn’t going to help you accomplish your goals.

Like exercise or any other habit, LinkedIn must become part of your routine. Developing a routine that works for you and regularly posting new content will draw attention to your profile, helping you grow your network and career opportunities even further.

Are You Ready to Master LinkedIn?

“Many of the things you need to do to become a LinkedIn ‘master’ really don’t require that much time,” Steimle says. “Each of the 60 lessons that I developed while writing my book can easily be accomplished in 15 minutes or less. Knowing how to do them correctly is the tricky part. Incremental, consistent efforts to optimize their LinkedIn presence, this platform can truly help employees and business owners alike accomplish their goals.”

When leveraged properly, LinkedIn can help you find a new job, connect with that next great employee or grow your business. As Steimle illustrates, it all comes down to how you use it.