With just over 485,000 professionals listed on LinkedIn for the Translation and Localization industry, standing out on the platform is imperative, but not easy. If you sit around expecting clients to notice how wonderful you are and how much better your qualifications are than all those around you, then you’ll be waiting a very long time.
Expand your network and engage
To get some attention on LinkedIn you need to engage with others. As I mentioned in Part 2 on Connecting and Netiquette, it’s important to first expand your network by increasing your connections, especially people working in the industries you specialise in. And you can get to know them by joining the groups they are in and taking part in discussions.
There are over 1,200,000 groups on LinkedIn, with thousands in languages other than English. To find them, go to the Search page (by clicking on the blue button without typing anything into the box).
Then choose Groups in the menu on the left. The Groups listed first are the ones you have already joined.
Next type in a keyword(s) associated with the type of industry you are searching for. This will display a list of relevant groups.
You can also specify a language at this point in the search. For example, if I type in turismo, I get over a thousand results, but some are for groups in Portuguese.
Click on a group you like the sound of, read the description and if you think you’d benefit from being a member, ask to join. The process for joining the group depends on the settings the owner has put in place. You might be asked to prove you’re not a spammer or even register.
You can be a member of up to 100 groups. Once you reach that limit, you’ll have to leave a group before asking to join another.
LinkedIn will also not allow you to ask to join more groups if you have ten pending requests. You will either have to wait until one of your requests is approved or withdraw your request from one group to join another.
You can withdraw a request by going to the group’s page and clicking on the Pending button. All group pages also have a gear icon in the top right corner. This will take you the Groups Order and Display page listing all your current and pending groups. I’ll talk about this screen in the next section.
Meeting and hanging out with colleagues is also easy on LinkedIn, and as many translators outsource work these days, they could potentially become customers too. I belong to the groups of the associations I’m a member of (ITI, MET and IAPTI) and quite a few others related to translation, writing and marketing. Some groups are unlisted and can be joined by invitation only. Any unlisted groups you are a member of are not displayed on your profile except to other members of the same group.
Managing your groups
Of course, if you’re a member of several groups, it’s impossible to be active in all of them all the time, so you need to try to strike a balance. You can do that firstly by controlling the notifications you receive from your groups. Place your cursor over your photo in the top right corner and then click on Manage next to Privacy & Settings.
After you’ve provided your password as an extra security measure, choose Groups, Companies & Applications to adjust the frequency of the emails sent to you (you can choose daily digest, weekly digest or no email). I get weekly email digests. I usually scroll down the list of discussions to see if anything captures my attention (which it invariably does) and then I focus on that one and either join in the conversation or share the information on other social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and Google+ in my case).
Select your group display order takes you to your list of groups, just as the gear icon I mentioned above does. You can change the order your groups appear in on your profile by using the arrows (which send the group to the top of the list) or by changing the number and hitting enter. Any pending groups should be shown at the bottom of the list. If you want to cancel your request, just click on the group and proceed as I’ve explained above.
Lastly, if you click on View your groups, you’ll be taken to a highlights page giving you a quick overview of what’s happening in your groups right now.
The best way to get noticed in a group is to start your own threads by posting your own material, blog posts written by others, relevant news articles, or asking questions, and so on. The next best is to take part in discussions. Compliment authors of posts, be appreciative if they share useful resources, give your opinion and get a debate going.
LinkedIn used to show you how much you were contributing to the group with a bar on the right of the screen, which, when full, indicated that you were a top contributor. However, the site has recently revamped the look of its groups and this feature has now been removed to encourage more people to participate.
Next time we’ll look at more ways of engaging with others on LinkedIn and getting noticed. Catch up on the other posts in this miniseries here.