Update to this article 4/2016
Many people find this article via search and the method to share documents described in the original article is no longer valid on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has since made it much easier to share documents.
LinkedIn recently had a paperclip that made it clear that you could share a document – such as a pdf, Word document, etc. – in a status update by directly uploading it. They have since removed that paperclip icon and only have the upload a photo icon. You CAN upload documents with the Upload a Photo function – you are not limited to only image files. Feel free to use that function for flyers and documents that are not stand alone photos.
Sharing Documents on the Profile:
LinkedIn has now embedded the ability to display work samples, marketing collateral and other documents, images, audio and video files directly in your LinkedIn profile. This type of content can be added at the bottom of your Summary, below each Experience entry and each Education entry. Simply look for this icon when you are editing your profile.
Videos and audio/podcast files cannot be directly uploaded to LinkedIn, but you can share the link to the video or audio hosted somewhere else – such as YouTube, Vimeo, Broadcast News, iTunes, etc. You need to use the actual link to the video – not the link to the web page is it embedded in. Look for the share icon in the media and get the shareable url. That is what you will need to paste into LinkedIn to embed the content in your profile.
Leveraging SlideShare for Sharing Content in Status Updates and on your Profile:
LinkedIn now owns SlideShare. Utilizing SlideShare to insert content into your profile or share in a status update is the method that will give you the biggest bang for your buck – though it takes a few more steps. SlideShare is a separate social network that was originally built for sharing PowerPoint Presentations. People search it for educational and informational content. It currently supports PowerPoints, Word Docs, Open Office Docs and Presentations, and pdfs. You can embed a YouTube video into a PowerPoint, but you cannot upload video directly. When you upload a file to SlideShare, it provides a simple interface to add to your LinkedIn profile. Each upload also has a unique url to share via status update.
The biggest benefit of SlideShare is that it provides analytics. If you want to know how many people are looking at your stuff, this is the only way to do it. LinkedIn provides NO analytics for content directly uploaded to the profile. A secondary benefit is that people may find you and your content directly in SlideShare and a tertiary benefit is that you can share the uploads on any social network and even embed them directly into websites and blogs.
SlideShare is free and your account can be built directly from your LinkedIn account. They also have a premium lead generation service to insert forms into your content to gather requests for more information from those who read them.
****The feature described below is no longer available on a LinkedIn Profile. Use the Updated Instructions Instead****
One thing that many people struggle with on LinkedIn is how to share content that doesn’t live on the web. By content, I mean documents, flyers, non-hosted audio files and the like. Much of small business still lives in the world of creating marketing collateral that results in a printed piece or a pdf file. Ideally, you would want to convert it to an html file and put it on your website which would give you a link that you could easily share on LinkedIn and with other social media. That can get a little tricky.
So, what do you do if you have a pdf flyer or newsletter that you want to share on LinkedIn? You can’t attach documents to status updates. Heck! You can’t even attach documents to LinkedIn messages sent directly to your connections. So, does that mean that it’s just not possible to share documents and files? No! That’s where the partnership between LinkedIn and Box comes in.
To add the Box application to your profile, go to the More menu and scroll to the bottom and select Get More Applications. Find the application called Box and click on it. Click the Add Application button after making certain that the box next to “Display on my profile” is checked. You will have to set up a free account on Box before going any further. Once set up, you will be able to access your Box application from the More menu to add and remove files. You’ll see an Upload button that will walk you through uploading the document or file you want to share.
Once your file is uploaded, got to Edit Profile. Scroll down to the Box application (if you haven’t used any applications on your profile yet, then it should be at the very bottom). You’ll see the file that you uploaded and want to share. If you see a big logo and a small file name, click on the Menu button in the upper right hand corner and select “List View” which will be the first item in the list. Your view will change to what you see in the image below.
If you hover your cursor over the file name, you will see a blue arrow appear at the end of the row. Click on that arrow and you’ll get a drop down menu. Select “Get Web Link” and you’ll get a pop up with a web link that you can copy.
You can now use this link to share your document in social media status updates and via LinkedIn‘s messaging system. As you will see in the final image, when you use the “Attach a Link” feature, it treats your document just like any article. However, the description is the description of the Box application. To change that simply click on the blue Edit link at the end of the description and you can add your own description of what the document is that you’re sharing.
By the way, want to know the best part? Whenever anyone clicks on that link and downloads the document, Box will sent you an email notification. It can’t tell you who looked at it, but you’ll be able to track how many people do look at it.
A best practice is to always use a document format – like pdf or mp3- that is easily shared and used by all. If you leave your document in Word or other raw format, only those people who have that software will be able to open the document. Also, you would be giving a document that can be easily changed and manipulated allowing others to possibly steal your work.
Is this the first time you’ve ever heard this LinkedIn tip? If so, please let me know in the comments.