Right up front I will admit that this article will not answer the question the title poses. But you will learn more about this business networking Web site if you keep reading.
I’ve been on LinkedIn for about 15 months but had not been very active. For the next six months I’m conducting an experiment. I want to discover whether feeding LinkedIn lots of attention and good stuff will reward me with what I want (more and better business contacts and visibility.) I believe it’s possible that LinkedIn could help me find vendors, keep up with business education, promote my business and maybe even provide some solid clients.
If you’re interested in this concept, here are eight steps you could take.
- Spruce up your LinkedIn profile
I heard one guy complain that LinkedIn only considered him 40 percent of a person. That’s because his profile wasn’t complete. You won’t be taken seriously if you don’t include a professional photograph and complete the rest of the profile. Your profile should have lots of juicy tidbits about your business talents and successes.
- Give and get recommendations
Ask your clients to recommend your services on LinkedIn. Their recommendations will appear in your profile and serve as great endorsements. How do you get recommendations? You get by giving. Recommend good, solid people you’ve worked with. It’s fun and rewarding to recommend good people.
- Obtain at least 100 connections
I’m told the magic starts happening when you are connected to at least 100 people. So go through your rolodex and invite people to link with you. Visit the profiles of people you’re already linked to and check out their connections to see if they know people you’d like to know. Then ask for a LinkedIn introduction to them.
- Ask Questions
I had a client problem and used the LinkedIn question feature. Within two hours I had four good answers to my client problem.
- Don’t Sell
Perhaps this should be number one on this list. There’s nothing worse at a cocktail party than the guy running around basically saying to anyone who will listen, “Wanna buy from me? Wanna buy from me?” Please don’t use LinkedIn that way. Find ways to make yourself useful to others. It’s true: Givers gain.
- Join Groups
To learn about a topic or get closer (electronically) to a market, search for LinkedIn groups you can join.
- Find People
LinkedIn has a feature that lets you search for people by name. You can also search by company name for LinkedIn members. And you can search by job title within a geographic area. These are good ways to find people in your market or people you know but have misplaced along the business way.
- Add Applications
You can choose from about ten pretty cool applications. One app lets you share slide shows. Another lets you take online polls. I have added to my profile the application that lets you share book recommendations.
Your best bet is to go to LinkedIn and experiment. See whether you think there are tools there to help your business. Give the site a fair chance by putting in your time to create a good profile and build connections. I heard one LinkedIn expert say you need to devote about 30 minutes a day to the site when you first join if you want to maximize the site’s effectiveness. Try to add value for other people you run into on LinkedIn.
May your business prosper as a result. See you out there.
Chris John Amorosino
Amorosino Writing, LLC
Writing Business Stories That Live Profitably Ever After