In an effort to beef up my social networking efforts, I’ve been looking in to how to use LinkedIn on a regular basis.
I haven’t used LinkedIn much but I’ve noticed that they’ve just recently passed the 100 million members mark.
They’re also being stressed as one of the premier social networking sites ranking up there with Twitter and Facebook, so adding them to my repertoire of social sites probably isn’t a bad idea.
Here are a few useful tips on how to use LinkedIn to connect with professionals, get found on the web and share your expertise through LinkedIn tools that will help expand your reach.
How to Use LinkedIn Recommendations
The recommendations feature lets you ask any one of your LinkedIn connections to recommend or endorse you on LinkedIn.
This is a unique social marketing feature and pretty awesome one a that because this is the type of feature that goes a long way for establishing your credibility as a business owner and industry expert.
According to LinkedIn, and I agree,
“Users with recommendations are three times as likely to get inquiries through LinkedIn searches.”
Use LinkedIn Answers
“Answers” is a special section within LinkedIn where you can post questions.
When you answer questions that are relevant to your industry niche or experience, you’re establishing yourself as a credible expert and of course we all know that credibility is a buying trigger. People buy from people they consider to be credible experts.
Effectively Complete Your LinkedIn Profile
If you’re going to connect with others on LinkedIn or ask for recommendations you’re going to need a good profile.
Here are a few essential ingredients to an eye catching profile:
Summary – People are more likely to follow someone that has a profile summary that states what they’ve done, the benefits they bring to the table and what they are about as opposed to something more generic.
For example here’s a profile that gets my attention:
“Certified aerobics instructor, nutrition specialist, marathon winner and author of ‘fitness freaks.”
Unlike the more generic profile like this one:
“Inspiring people to get in shape encouraging fitness and a healthier lifestyle.”
See the difference? Which one would you follow?
Awards - You can enhance your profile by using the “Add Sections” tab.
Under that tab you have a list of about twenty enhanced profile options that you can add to your profile. Consider adding “Honors and Awards” along with “Publications” if you’re published and any certifications that you may have relevant to your business.
Pictures – People love pictures and LinkedIn has them too. Be sure to use your photo here as well.
Summary - In your profile you have the ability to include a summary. This would be a good place to s a great place to promote your business by discussing the benefits you bring to the table. For instance use your unique selling point (USP) and discuss how can you make your prospect’s life better.
Don’t make this salesy but do include a comprehensive summary of what makes your business special and unlike all others.
Using LinkedIn to connect with as many people on the site as you can, the more people who connect with you, the more potential business opportunities that will come your way.
Each person you’re connected with also has their own connections, helping you expand your reach and get more exposure.
Like any social networking site, create a goal for your LinkedIn activities and stay focused enough to achieve that goal.
Use metrics like those found on Socialbrite.org to test and track your LinkedIn success and measure how it helps you grow your business. Using metrics is always a great way to track and test your success with any tool, which is what helps you improve usage.
How do you like LinkedIn an how much success has it brought you?