How to use LinkedIn to develop your research profile

We all want our research to make an impact. That’s why we need to actively talk about it! Learn how to elevate your research profile using Linkedin!

Want to know a little know secret about building a successful career, regardless of whether you decide to pursue academic or industrial paths? 

It’s all about building your network of connections and your professional profile. A strong professional and academic network will help you forge long-term collaborations. And this is essential when you want to develop your research portfolio and publish your work. 

Some time ago, I mentioned that social media give you a fantastic platform to increase the visibility and impact of your research.

And this is true. The more people read your work, the more of them you may inspire! 

But what about you? Is it enough just to post your work on any social media and wait for the others to engage with your work? Would this improve your research profile?  

You may see some increase in your visibility by doing just that. I agree. 

However, to become recognised as an expert in your research, you need more than that. And that’s what this article is about. 

I’m going to tell you how you can use LinkedIn to significantly improve your research profile.

Why you should use LinkedIn 

In contrast to other platforms, LinkedIn focuses on bringing professionals and experts together. It enables professional development (i.e. Linkedin Learning), networking (i.e. connections and followers) and community building (i.e. LinkedIn Groups). 

It is much more business-oriented platform than Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram, even though these platforms are much more popular. 

Let me give you some statistics about LinkedIn to give you an idea of why you should use it: 

What do these numbers mean to you, as a researcher? These mean that using LinkedIn gives you direct access to people who may be interested in reading and using your research. 

This may include academics, policymakers, industrialists, and essentially anyone broadly interested in your area of research. 

They can use your research to:

  • stay up to date with your research field
  • make decisions (i.e. regarding funding, recruitment, policies)
  • initiate collaborations

What’s in it for you, you may ask? Well, by sharing high-quality content, the visibility of your research profile will increase. You’ll also begin to build an expert profile that will lead to more collaborations and more impact; and that’s what we all want, right? We want to work together to solve our challenges and enhance the quality of our lives.  

What’s the first step to using LinkedIn?

Before you even start sharing your research and engaging via LinkedIn, make sure your profile is complete and appealing. 

You can do it by: 

  • using professional photo 
  • including a succinct summary of your research 
  • summarising your work, achievements and value you can add to the network in your summary 
  • adding relevant information about your experience, education, certifications, projects and publications 

Building an appealing LinkedIn expert profile can help you showcase your expertise and skills! 

How to use LinkedIn to grow your research profile?

As I already mentioned above, the key to improving the visibility of your research via LinkedIn is to share high-quality content with your network. 

What I mean by this is the information you share with your connections and followers should be valuable. After all, if they find it interesting and useful, they’ll want to engage with it, right? 

As researchers and academics, we tend to share our research mostly via research articles in peer-reviewed journals, conference publications and talks. But there are much more types of content that you can produce out of your research. Some time ago, I even wrote a free ebook on 25 ways to share your research – make sure you get it now! 

LinkedIn allows you to share a broad range of content, from posts and documents, through pictures and videos. They’ve even included LinkedIn Stories now, which you may be familiar from Instagram and Facebook. These give you nearly limitless options to share your research. 

When growing the visibility of your research profile, you should set yourself a clear goal and scope of information that you’ll be posting about. These should broadly reflect your research field, profession, professional interest and expertise. This means that you should share, for example, the progress of your research and the news from your broader research area. 

However, just posting your content won’t be sufficient for people to find you. You also need to engage with the content posted by others in your network to show your expertise. You can do this by reacting to their posts and sharing your reflections in comments. It’s as simple as that! 

Enhance your research profile by building expert profile on LinkedIn and sharing various content!

But how much time you spend on these activities, David?”. That’s the main question I get when people ask me how I manage to be so active on LinkedIn (check my profile). 

And my answer always is – not as much as you think! For example, I try to limit the time I spend on LinkedIn to 30-60 minutes per day (i.e. I use time restriction on my phone)

But you don’t need to do as much as that. It’s much more important that you consistently engage with your network and share your insights, rather than post several times a day. So if you just dedicate 60 minutes each Friday, you’ll still see engagement with your work and build your network, as long as you’re consistent. 

A final word…

Networks and communities change the world. 

To be successful, we all need to build networks of connections to find inspiration and collaborations that aim to solve specific challenges. 

I found LinkedIn to be the best platform to build such networks and directly engage with your audience. By sharing your work, insights and reflections on LinkedIn, you’ll build your research profile. You’ll also gradually build a recognised expert profile in your respective research field! 

Do you use it already? Share your LinkedIn expert profile below so that we can connect and grow together! 

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Academic Coach at Motivated Academic, senior lecturer at Cranfield University, UK.

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