The Right Way to Use LinkedIn for Business
edIn has gained over 80 million members. The LinkedIn success stories are inspiring. Individuals have gained employment, entrepreneurs acquired business partners, clients and customers, and new business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) relationships have been formed… all as a result from using LinkedIn for business.
No individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses achieved their success just from joining LinkedIn, though. They had to learn how to use LinkedIn for business effectively, and today you’re going to learn how to do the same. I hope that by the time you finish reading this post and apply the techniques that have worked for many you’ll be the next one to share a LinkedIn success story.
How to Achieve Success Using LinkedIn for Business
Complete your profile. Begin by uploading a picture of yourself, so others can put a face to the person they want to know more about. Next, include your current and past work history, interests and contact information. Finally, enter a brief bio about yourself and your business in the “Summary” section. In your brief bio, state your experience, achievements, awards (if any), and end with a few realistic business goals.
Be sure you keep your summary updated. For instance, if you get a new job, add it to your work history. Moreover, you should double check your summary for any spelling and grammar mistakes. You want your summary to look as professional as possible, and numerous spelling and grammar mistakes could be a turnoff to business prospects and employers.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile. Traffic from search engines is a wonderful thing, but to get others to discover you in the search engines, you’re going to need to take the time to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
Take advantage of the applications. There are many applications that you can add to your LinkedIn profile that will help you. For instance, everytime you publish a new post on your blog, Blog Link shows that post on your LinkedIn profile and notifies your connections. If you do speaking engagements, twitter parties, host webinars or etc., the Events application will alert your connections about your upcoming events, in case their interested in attending.
Connect with others. Use advanced search to find customers, clients, colleagues, friends and others who share your interests. As your contacts grow, don’t be afraid to ask for introductions and recommendations. In addition to asking your connections to introduce you to their connections and/or giving you a recommendation, do the same for them. This is how you grow your relationships, which can be good for business.
Answer questions related to your industry. You can help others and form new relationships just by sharing your expertise. That said, take the time to read through questions in the categories that you have knowledge about. When you see a question you can answer, share what you know.
Join and participate in groups. Currently, there are over 10,000 groups on LinkedIn, and odds are one or more of those groups are related to your industry. Once again, you’ll be helping others and forming new relationships by sharing your expertise with groups. As long as you don’t spam the group or groups you join, you’ll get to know others and earn their trust. Earning someone’s trust sometimes leads to bigger things.
Update your status. Another way to share what you know and build relationships is through your status messages. You can use this feature to share tips and links to relevant articles and blog posts. Every now and then you can share your success as well, but don’t go overboard with the bragging.
Set your profile to display your information to everyone. If you optimize your LinkedIn profile correctly, it will receive traffic from the search engines. That traffic could turn into a future customer, client or business partner; however, if they decide to visit your profile by clicking on the link, they’ll want to know more about you. With that in mind, you want everyone to be able to learn more about you, and they can’t do that if your connections are the only people who can see your information.
Spending Time on LinkedIn Can be Worthwhile
While all of this can be time consuming, it’s worth it if you want to build stronger business relationships and gain business. It doesn’t have to take much of your time. Just making room on your schedule for an hour or two each day, every other day or once a week could pay off. Besides, there’s nothing more rewarding in business than getting to know others and sharing advice.
You can really learn a lot from those you connect with. Even if you have years of experience, there’s always something new you could learn. So what do you say, are you ready to use LinkedIn for business starting today?
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