Reasons to Use LinkedIn for Business
LinkedIn has long been the most business-oriented social network. Originally biased towards professional males and job seekers, it has evolved considerably over the last few years and is currently undergoing a wave of changes slanted towards helping it not just compete with Facebook and Twitter – but carry more weight.
6. Take Advantage of Improved LinkedIn Profile Features
Your LinkedIn Profile isn’t the old, static one that you started out with. It’s now interactive and it may be significant that both Google and LinkedIn regard it as tops in importance.
You can move sections around so that the important data is what people first see. You can include videos, sound files, images and slide shows. And be sure to write a dynamic Summary and Description, using your keywords.
Just remember to focus on the person you most want to read your profile – not on yourself. Your Profile should never simply be a showcase for your achievements.
It is really important to make sure you fill in everything you can on your Profile, because it can make all the difference if a potential client or employer is searching for someone like you. Include only what is relevant to the persona you are projecting. Remember, your Profile has to stand out.
Fortunately, you will have many opportunities to make sure it does: LinkedIn’s new Rich Media tool allows you to easily embed approved, third-party content such as videos, .MP3 files, images, slide shows and more to your Summary, Experience and Education sections to go along with your new, updated Profile look.
7. LinkedIn Offers Multiple Ways to Keep in Touch
Using the method that best suits your connection’s communication preferences becomes much more natural and easy. But it won’t do much good, if you merely add a contact… then forget her.
LinkedIn is for business networking – so make full use of it and network.
8. Gain Access through Introductions to Valuable New Contacts
The next best thing to a Recommendation is an Introduction. If you give a valid reason for the introduction, your connection will usually be only too happy to oblige – especially if it will be to their connection’s advantage.
Coming from someone they know and trust, an introduction carries almost as much power as a recommendation. LinkedIn’s Help section at http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1959 shows very simply how to access this feature. All you need to find is someone with whom you have 2nd or 3rd degree connection and find one of your connections to introduce you.
9. LinkedIn Transforms Giving Recommendations into Automatic Receiving
This may be one of the most under-used tactics on LinkedIn, and it’s sad to think that it is because it involves giving, not receiving. People who ignore it are missing one big boat.
When you press “Recommendations” in your Profile tab, you will see that you can also give recommendations. Take the time to go through your connections. Have you ever…
• Outsourced work to any of these connections?
• Worked with someone on a project?
• Employed someone?
This is not to “get a recommendation back” (though you sometimes will). It’s because the recommendations you give perform two functions:
1. Your valid, positive, sincere and specific recommendation is such a prize, it will sear you in the recipient’s mind. She will be eager to pass your name on to others who might need your services – even if she herself can’t honestly respond back with a written recommendation for you.
She will also be more inclined to share your posts and buy your products.
2. It shows you to be someone who rewards; someone who goes the extra mile (and this is emphasized by the new Profile design).
The benefit of this should never be underestimated. .
How to Give a Powerful Recommendation:
• Be specific. Talk about what the person achieved for you: “Mary brought us in twelve new clients over a three-month period, at a time when everyone was talking about recession and other companies were routinely losing clients” carries a lot more impact than “Mary was an excellent employee”.
• If the person you’re recommending had a key skill or attribute they were famous for, mention that too. (“Mary was known for her accuracy and speed of project completion.”)
10. Use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search
LinkedIn not only lets you search for Groups, companies and Connections by keyword, it has an Advanced Search feature you can really make the most of. You can search not just your own connections, but those of people you are already connected to.
When his Connections box opens up, click on the magnifying glass in the top right corner and enter your search keyword in the search Textarea box that will open up.
You will then see a list of his connections whose Profiles contain your keyword.
You can then ask your friend specifically for an introduction.
In Facebook, you need to first know the person’s name; then contact them directly.
With LinkedIn, you can find experts you didn’t know existed – just from your Connections’ contacts.
Use LinkedIn regularly for focused business results – all while growing your business credibility.