Possibilities Unlimited

How LinkedIN Can Grow Your Business

Networking is an essential part of building wealth. ~ Armstrong Williams

Networking online has become an effective way to reach out to more people while also bolstering your online reputation. LinkedIN is the tool of choice for individuals who are looking to demonstrate their experience while also connecting with people they might not have met otherwise. Here are 3 effective ways to use LinkedIN to group your business.

1. Make sure your LinkedIN profile is optimized.

  • Include a photo of yourself. Make sure it is a recent, professional photo that represents the business person that you are.
  • Create a job title using keywords that demonstrate your knowledge.
  • Add links to 3 key websites that represent you. This could be your company website, blog or even another social media profile.
  • Include a summary of your experience. The keywords in this summary will help people searching for somebody like you.
  • List out all jobs you have had. Be certain to include volunteer positions. You can have more than one current job listed, which looks really good if you work full time plus volunteer on committees or with charitable organizations. Include your complete work history. You will likely remember colleagues and classmates you may have forgotten. Those contacts will be able to search for you based on what is in your profile and most social networking sites will suggest people that share these groups or interests.
  • Get recommended by peers and clients. Recommendations are always an excellent source of credibility and your recommendations are always there for anyone to see.

2. Keep people updated on what you are doing

  • Regularly edit your profile by adding connections or editing content. By adding connections and editing your profile, you are more likely to be at the top of the list when somebody searches for a company like yours. Each time you edit your profile, the information will be circulated to your network, which regularly puts your name in front of your contacts.
  • Use the status field to put in updates. Like Twitter, LinkedIN offers the ability to add a short update on your profile. This information is usually sent in emails to others that are connected, share an affinity group or are following specific people.
  • Publish your events. Whether they are events you are sponsoring or events you are attending, publishing events helps share what you are involved with. Once you publish an event, you can share it with your network by inviting people to also attend.
  • Pull in your Twitter feed. There is an application in LinkedIN that allows you to pull in all your Tweets. This helps spread your tweeting efforts beyond the Twitter domain.
  • Use the SlideShare application. If you are teaching classes or have valuable information to share, SlideShare is an excellent way to let others know what your area of expertise is. If you have done an online webinar using online meeting software, you can record your webinar and use SlideShare to share it with your network

3. Join Groups
The number one way to connect with others on LinkedIN is going to be through the groups. Joining professional groups within LinkedIn gives you opportunities to provide input and gain exposure. Whether it’s your own industry, or one your business serves, professional groups are an excellent way to generate new contacts through the online Q&A section.

  • Join groups in all areas of interest. Whether you’re a work at home mom, an avid skydiver or an individual who brings spirituality into the workplace, there is a LinkedIN group that will fit your interests. It is often in the less-traveled groups that you will be able to make the quickest connections. Also join groups where your clients hang out. Create a profile of your ideal client, and determine which LinkedIN groups they would be hanging out in.
  • Set your preferences to receive email summaries of group questions. By receiving email summaries you will not miss any activity in the group, but you do not have to spend the time visiting the group each day. In this way you will always be front and center when there is a question available that you can provide an expert answer for.
  • Become known as an expert. By posting answers in the questions online, you can share with others what you know. If you have good answers, it will create an interest in knowing more about your services.

LinkedIN is a very rich opportunity to grow your network while building your online reputation. In as little as 30 minutes per week you can easily create a network that will help you grow your business.

 

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September 1, 2010

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