LinkedIn is the one social network dedicated to connecting professionals with other professionals. Through LinkedIn, you can reach a completely different crowd of people than any other social network.
Using LinkedIn, you can find extremely high ticket customers. You can find potential investors willing to put in hundreds of thousands, even millions into funding your company. You can find potential business partners. You can find top notch talent to work in your company.
It’s Time for … Recommendations
Ask previous employers, partners and co-workers to write recommendations for you. Having recommendations from people you’ve had professional relationships with can really boost your credibility.
Ask past clients to write recommendations. When a client writes a recommendation, it’s visible to their entire social network. In other words, in addition to be an endorsement for you, you get instant visibility as well.
Proactively write recommendations. Write recommendations for clients, for suppliers, for employees, employers and everyone else. When you write someone a recommendation, there’s a very good chance they’ll write you one back. Give and you shall receive. Best of all, writing a recommendation costs absolutely nothing.
Find More about Events
Attend events where clients, employers or investors might be attending. LinkedIn gives you the ability to see which of the people you know are attending a certain event. This allows you to pick and choose events based on the people you want to “bump into” while you’re there.
Search for Influencers
Use it to meet the people you want to meet. LinkedIn allows you to search for people two degrees of separation away. That means anyone that knows someone who knows someone you know, can be contacted. This is an incredibly powerful way to get your foot in the door.
Promote Yourself and Your Blog Blog
SEO your profile. Putting just a little bit of work into optimizing your profile could help your LinkedIn profile rank when someone types in your name. If you don’t have a website setup under your name already, a LinkedIn profile can be a great way to build your reputation.
Link to content in your profile. If you have a blog or if you’ve written a quality article for a magazine, link to it. It helps build your credibility.
How to Setup an Optimized LinkedIn Account in 7 Steps
Step 1: Create the Account
Go to http://www.LinkedIn.com to being the account creation process. Fill in your name, email and password to get started.
On the next page you’ll be asked for some basic information.
Click “Create my Profile” and your account will be created.
Step 2: Search for Contacts
If you want to import your contacts from your email account, you can do so here. Just give LinkedIn your login information and they’ll use your address book to find everyone who you’ve sent emails or received emails from.
Step 3: Add a Photo
Once you’re in your profile, the first thing you should do is add a photo. Make sure the photo you add is professional and creates a good first impression. Click the “Add Photo” button in the picture frame to add your photo.
Step 4: Add Details
Adding more details will help give you more credibility. It’ll help prospective employers, investors, partners and clients get a sense of who you are. Add as much information as you can.
Click any of the links to bring up a more detailed “add information” screen.
Each information section looks slightly different. Again, fill out each section with as much detail as you can. It’s not unusual to spend two or three hours on LinkedIn just filling out profile information.
Give people a variety of different ways to contact you. Again, the more you can fill out the better. Some people prefer to pick up the phone and call you, while others will prefer to email you. Still others want to check out your Twitter first, before contacting you on instant message.
Step 5: Add, Change or Manage Connections
Connections are the core of LinkedIn. If you want to succeed, you need to have a lot of connections. You need to keep your connections alive by contacting them every once in a while. You need to make sure that you add people who you meet at marketing meetings.
To check or add connections, go to the “Contacts” menu in the top navigation bar.
If you run a business, don’t forget to ask your employees to start follow the company page.
Step 6: Groups
Groups are one of the best ways to meet new people. Groups allow you to meet new people in your industry that you may not have had connections to before.
There are groups for just about everything. From manufacturing to internet marketing, from entry level to executive level. Groups can help you meet employees and employers, investors and clients.
To browse groups, see recommended groups, join a group or see what groups you’re already a part of, use the “Groups” menu tab at the top.
Step 7: Hire an Employee or Find a Job
LinkedIn has one of the most responsive job boards on the planet. Unlike other job advertising sites, the people who tend to respond to ads on LinkedIn tend to be highly qualified.
To post a job or find a job, use the “Jobs” tab along the top.
Want to know more about Nicole’s skills and expertise? Check her LinkedIn profile.