LinkedIn for business

Social Media is a powerful tool. LinkedIn is just one of many Social Media tools out there that you can use to build and extend your professional network.

LinkedIn is a dedicated online network for professionals and an extremely resourceful tool for job hunters, recruiters, professionals and business owners. Users create profiles (essentially your own personal website, within the site) and connect with other users. Inviting them to be a contact. A contact who accepts is called a ‘connection’. They can communicate through messages, create groups and company profiles, and ask other members of the community questions.

Quick Facts

  • As of August 2, 2012, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network  with more than 175 million members in over 200  countries.
  • 62% of LinkedIn members are located outside of the United States
  • LinkedIn members did nearly 4.2 billion professionally-oriented searches
  • Typically users are aged 30 upwards
  • Professionals of any industry and entrepreneurs use LinkedIn as a powerful resource for both information and business.

I have put together a list of Top Tips for you to utilise LinkedIn more effectively, enhance your profile, increase your profile optimisation and increase your business.

How LinkedIn Can Help You as a professional

LinkedIn allows you to:

  • Get online recommendations for your professional abilities and your character
  • Get introductions to potential clients, employers, partners or colleagues in your field
  • Post and search available job postings placed on the LinkedIn website by members.
  • Join various groups that align with your interests and participate in discussions. Having a group in common with another LinkedIn user is one way you can invite others into your network.
  • Create an online resume that can work for you all the time. LinkedIn will help promote you as a professional in your field and sector.
  • Act as a CRM tool where you can tailor your communications according to your audience. Sending specific information to specified connections accroding to how you choose to ‘tag’ them.

Top Tips 

  1. Always use a photograph, it puts a face to a name.
  2. Use a persuasive headline. Something that captures who you are in a short sentence using key words so you show up in key word searches. Don’t just use your latest job title.
  3. Fill out your profile completely to earn trust and offer as much information about yourself as you can
  4. Get recommendations. This will also increase your chances of being found as well as give people more reasons to chose you.
  5. Use widgets to integrate other tools, such as importing your blog entries or Twitter stream into your profile.
  6. Do market research and gain knowledge with Polls.
  7. Share survey and poll results with your contacts.
  8. Answer questions in Questions and Answers: show expertise
  9. Ask questions in Questions and Answers to get a feel for what customers and prospects want or think.
  10. Be sure to list ALL of your experience and skills.
  11. Publish your LinkedIn URL on all your marketing collateral, including business cards, email signature, email newsletters, web sites and brochures, so prospects learn more about you.
  12. Grow your network by joining industry and alumni groups related to your business.
  13. Update your status examples of recent work.
  14. Link your status updates with your other social media accounts.
  15. Combine your social media approach: when someone asks a question in Twitter, respond in detail on LinkedIn and link to it from Twitter.
  16. Use the search feature to find people by company, industry and city.
  17. Start and manage a group or fan page for your product, brand or business.
  18. Research your prospects before meeting or contacting them.
  19. Share useful articles and resources that will be of interest to customers and prospects.
  20. Always introduce yourself when making new connections, don’t just use the standard template. You wouldn’t just hand someone a buisness card and walk off. Use the same principle as you would if you were meeting them in person.
  21. Write honest and valuable recommendations for your contacts..
  22. Post your presentations on your profile using a presentation application.
  23. Check connections’ locations before traveling so you can meet with those in the city where you’re heading.
  24. Use the notes section on each of your connections profiles. You can’t possibly be expected to remember every detail about all of your connections and this provides you with a way to remember why you are connected and prompt you to follow up with them. These are totally private and only you can see these notes.
  25. Ask your first-level contacts for introductions to their first-level contacts.
  26. Interact with LinkedIn on a regular basis to reach those who may not see you on other social media sites.
  27. Set up to receive LinkedIn messages in your inbox so you can respond right away.
  28. Link to articles and content posted elsewhere, with a summary of why it’s valuable to add to your credibility.
  29. List your newsletter subscription information and archives.
  30. Find experts in your field and invite them as a guest blogger on your blog or speaker at your event.
  31. Post discounts and package deals.
  32. Need a hard copy of all of your connections contact details? Use the import connections tab and produce a CSV file. You will never have anyone’s contact details out of date.
  33. Import vCards and contacts from other applications to find more connections.
  34. Export your contacts into other applications.
  35. Buy a LinkedIn direct ad that only your target market will see.
  36. Post job listings to find qualified talent.
  37. Look for connections related to a job you want.
  38. Generate sales, find vendors, develop partnerships and grown your business through connections.
  39. Tag your connections accroding to their sector, skills or industry eg. estate agents, press or accountants.
  40. Stay active. Your profile should not sit still.
  41. Oh and stay safe… change your password on a regular basis and avoid security breaches!

When joining networking sites such as LinkedIn, you have to take the time to create productive profiles and pages. Put the time and effort into all the above enhancements and your LinkedIn profile will be much more effective.

Staying connected with the outside world isn’t the only benefit LinkedIn has to offer. Learn how to use LinkedIn and you might find yourself more connected than you could have ever imagined.

Let us know how you get on!

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