So you want to propel yourself into a leadership position in digital marketing? You may be in a manager or director role but yearn for executive status. Everyone in sales knows that digital marketing and tactics like social media marketing have changed the way the professional salesperson does his or her work, but what about the non-sales employees? In this article, I will review how you can use LinkedIn to climb up the career ladder to leadership.
LinkedIn Is Where B2B Executives Live in Social Media
LinkedIn has more than 375 million registered users, and more than 25.4 percent of Fortune 500 chief executives (CEOs) have a profile on the platform. Additionally, the B2B social network has more than 3 million groups. So this is the place where business professionals network and learn from each other. This means there are multiple opportunities for an aspiring executive to get a sense of what successful executives do and say. Further, LinkedIn provides a way for the director to connect and network with successful C-levels.
Use LinkedIn Groups to Get on the Inside Track
As a manager or director, you can get on the inside track with executives by spending time daily joining and engaging in CEO and other executive LinkedIn groups. This is not limited to C-level Groups – these could be groups related to your industry and location.
Simply run a search in the groups directory for the type of title or industry you aspire to be in and you will find people in groups that may be role models to aid in your career development. Once you identify groups that fit your criteria, it is important that you read the group rules and start to get into appropriate discussions, Follow influencers such as the group manager, and then reach out appropriately to engage with specific group members.
Networking With the Inner Circle
The main opportunity in using LinkedIn as a B2B social networking tool in climbing your career ladder is just that – networking. But it is about networking with influencers who can dramatically change and improve your career development. Here are some great ways to network with the inner circle successfully on LinkedIn:
- Use the LinkedIn People Search tool and search for “Open Network” plus the industry and your title of person you are looking to do business with, network with, or learn from to help you in your career development. If you are also in the Open Network and have a Premium LinkedIn Membership, you can directly connect with them and send them a free message on LinkedIn.
- Go into your Connections on LinkedIn and start to segment. Use the LinkedIn tagging feature to tag your connections. Assess who you believe it is in your current network that is someone who can help you guide you or network to help you climb up the career ladder. Reach out and find out who they know, what introductions they can make for you, or simply take time to speak with them to learn more about what to do and what you might learn to take action on to start progressing into leadership.
Speak Leadership Language on Your LinkedIn Profile
Is your current LinkedIn profile presenting who you were, who you are, or who you are working to be? The language of your LinkedIn profile matters, a lot. From your headline to your summary, experience, publications, and rules for contact – it all matters. Imagine if you were a website. What user persona would you be attracting with your current LinkedIn profile? Who is it that you want to be visible to on LinkedIn and, further, who it is that you want to engage on LinkedIn? Make sure the language of your LinkedIn profile says that you are leadership material.
Some ways that you can achieve this is by quantifying results in your LinkedIn summary. Leaders show and care about the bottom line. Illustrate your success through stories. Story-selling is important in content marketing, social media, and in influencing people on LinkedIn. What case studies or stories can you tell about your accomplishments in your experience or in your summary on LinkedIn?
By enhancing your LinkedIn profile and updating your status daily with your own successes and items of interest to your LinkedIn network, you can gain visibility amongst those you who respect as leaders.
Close to the Top of That Ladder
Career development in a digital age requires special use and attention to related tools, such as LinkedIn as a B2B career and networking tool. Start with making your own individual target career track. Think of what is on your trajectory, in terms of title, accomplishments, industry, company, and responsibilities. Write it down. Make a list of your career goals. Then look to networking sites like LinkedIn to see who is there who may be in a position you are shooting for and invite them to connect, send them an Inmail, and engage in their LinkedIn groups. Before you know it, you will have sailed up the ladder without even trying.
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