How to use LinkedIn Effectively

By on 01/18/2011

So you have most likely heard non-stop about how important Facebook and Twitter are, but lets not overlook one of the most important and free social networking tools for professionals. A few stats before we get started.

  • Users: 80 Million
  • 80% have bachelor or graduate degrees
  • 20% of LinkedIn users are senior-level executives and managers
  • average household income of a LinkedIn user is about $108,000 per year

If that sounds like it may be your target, lets dive in!

1. First, make sure your profile is 100% complete. If you have anything left out, you have fallen short.  And for those that are 100% complete, LinkedIn just released a new field for us called ‘Skills’. Take a look at your profile and make sure you have your Skills listed.  These are great search terms when users are searching for whatever it is you do.

2. Now go out and mine for prospects! Don’t sit back and wait for users to find you, be an active user.  LinkedIn has an abundance of information on users.

If you meet someone from a large company you want to do business with, search for them on LinkedIn.  Send them a connection request.  Once you have them as a connection, search the company and look for other members that work for the company.  Get connected with them as well.

Use the ‘Connect with people you may know’ feature.  LinkedIn is pretty good at mining your contacts and determining who you may know from another business relationship.

3. Engage with Others. There is that word again, ‘Engage’.  Its overused to say the least, but there is no other way to put it.  If you not engaging with others on the network, how are they supposed to know who you are.  An easy way to do this is update your status daily.  Post a relative piece of news you heard or something you may know that someone else my not.  It is a professional network, so don’t post about you going to the bathroom unless its at Kimberly Clark and their out of toilet paper.

4. Joining groups is easy, but participation is often left behind. Many of us join, but then fail to actually participate.  If you think about it, that strategy is pretty much useless.  Find a trade group and become an expert, or join a group your clients would be in and become a participant.

For example, a good trade group for me would be graphic design.  I specialize in Web Development, which many graphic designers work only in print design.  So I could possibly make some strategic partners participating in a group like this.

Another example, if I sold tools to auto mechanics, maybe I would want to join an automotive mechanics group.  I dont know anything about auto mechanics, but the people there do and probably need tools.

So there you have 4 tools to put into your box.  I challenge you to take one per week and put it in place.  If you accept the challenge, post a message here and send me a request on LinkedIn.


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