Thursday, August 2, 2012

Getting LinkedIn

We are absolutely astounded by the number of books and websites there are to guide you in your use of LinkedIn. It highlights the importance of this online business tool for those who are job seeking, businesses that want to expand their customer base (and who isn’t), professionals seeking references or testimonials, finding peripheral consultants, building brand awareness, driving sales – the list is quite long. The point is LinkedIn is a tool that can help businesses to achieve their goals quickly and easily.

For those who haven’t delved in or made the most of their LinkedIn participation, here are some tips that we’ve come across that may be helpful:

·         Make the most of your LinkedIn profile
In addition to your personal profile, company profiles are used to provide additional information about the company, its products and specialties, employees and company news. Your company profile can be a great tool to drive traffic back to your Website, as well as a way to reach out to other businesses. Use keywords that will draw your preferred audiences to you.
·         Get seriously connected
This not only includes business people you know, but should also include those you want to know. Join numerous groups on LinkedIn that pertain to your business interests and be prepared to be active there. Plan to spend an hour per week in discussions so that you may get to really know more about the various players. This is where you will gain and share industry news.
·         Connect with your discussion partners
These are the people you’ve already been “speaking” with and getting to know.  If you find that they are business prospects, offer to connect via phone or Skype.
·         Ask for recommendations
Participate and make recommendations within your network for business associates, partners, vendors and employees when appropriate. Recommendations for you and your company add valuable credibility.