One of the biggest concerns young careerists have about jumping into LinkedIn is how much time it takes to do it right.
Between profile keywords, in-mails, group discussions – plus the new features LinkedIn is always rolling out – and it can be overwhelming.
The good news: you don’t have to learn everything all at once in order to use LinkedIn effectively. Instead, you can start small and then go big:
Decide How You’ll Spend Your Time
Using LinkedIn in small chunks familiarizes you with everything it can do without driving you nuts. And you can do a lot on LinkedIn in just 30 minutes a day.
If this is your very first time on the site, spend that time using their guided set up to get your profile up and running. From that point forward, use those 30 minutes to make new connections, join a new group or answer messages. Remember: even a little bit goes a long way in the world of social media.
Consolidate High Priority LinkedIn Tasks
The easiest way to make things less overwhelming is to consolidate high priority tasks.
For example, being active in groups and sharing relevant content are important to building your connections. Chances are that members of groups you are visiting already share content and useful articles about your industry. You can read those discussions, comment carefully then share that content as an update. Essentially, you are killing two birds with one stone here.
Use the “Batching” Method
Typically, if you get the ball rolling on a certain task and stay focused, it’s likely that ball will keep rolling. But if you try to switch to another task, you lose your focus and that project comes to a stop. This is definitely true on LinkedIn, where you have so many ways to spend your time.
To stay focused on one task at a time, use the batching method – where you dedicate blocks of time to similar tasks – to help you stay calm. For instance, maybe today you spend 30 to 60 minutes only looking for new contacts. Then perhaps tomorrow you spend your time exclusively on educating yourself about keywords. The trick: avoid temptation; don’t switch from one LinkedIn feature to another.
Use a Web Clipper to Collect Content to Share Later
How often do we find a great article online only to get distracted from what we were doing? Or, how often do we read the article, make a mental note that we should put it on LinkedIn and then totally forget? Probably more often than we like to admit.
You can use a free web clipper like Evernote to “save” these articles for later. Simply create a folder (or, “notebook” in Evernote’s case) and name it “LinkedIn”. As you go throughout your day simply use the browser extension to “clip” the article. You can also set reminders so you won’t forget to put them on LinkedIn.
Subscribe to the LinkedIn Blog
LinkedIn has a great blog with tips and resources to help you get the hang of this social media platform. They also keep you up to date on the latest happenings, features and posts from influencers. By subscribing, when changes occur (and they probably will!) you will can hear all about the new features straight from the horse’s mouth.
Learning how to use LinkedIn may take some getting used to, but taking it in organized baby steps will help make it easier. Start small. Set limits. Be smart. And soon, you’ll be ready to go big!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Chameleon Resumes!
About the Author: Lisa Rangel is founder and managing director of Chameleon Resumes, a Forbes Top 100 Career Website, has helped hundreds of people land the exact job they wanted – even when they weren’t sure they would get an interview. Lisa is a 7-time certified resume writer and job search consultant, a former recruiter and one of the few executive resume writers performing resume and job search-related contract work for LinkedIn. She has been featured on Forbes.com, LinkedIn, Investors Business Daily, and so many more publications. Follow Lisa on Twitter.