How to get the most out of LinkedIn
For those of you who have created a LinkedIn profile just because it seemed like the right thing to do, consider this your secret strategy session to finding new opportunities, new clients, or just keeping on top of industry news.
Polish that profile. Regardless of your reasons to having a LinkedIn profile, you never know who might see it. So make sure your profile is accurate, detailed and complete. And as your profile photo will have the greatest impact on first impressions, make sure it's professionally taken, you're smiling, and dressed appropriately for your profession.
Join groups. There are LinkedIn groups for virtually every industry or profession. So be sure to join ones for both your own and those of your customers. This will allow you to keep current with both industry trends and the interests and current issues of the markets you serve.
Be active, be responsive. If you have an idea, a different point of view, or something worth mentioning pertaining to your industry, I encourage you to share your thoughts on LinkedIn. Participating in groups will expose you to potential customers or opportunities while positioning you as a thought leader. In addition, if you read someone else's post, don't hesitate to respond to it either with words of support or a counter point. Just remember to keep it professional.
Personalize your message. Connecting with someone on LinkedIn can involve just a couple mouse clicks. I suggest going beyond that. If you want to connect with someone, don't use the generic default note. Instead, mention people you may both know, an industry event you both attended, or just that you think there may be some opportunities to work together. Never start off with a sales pitch. On the flip side, when accepting someone else's invitation to connect, be sure to drop them a personal message thanking them and letting them know you're always ready to be a resource.
Write articles. This is especially important if you're in an industry where knowledge and information is what you provide. Sharing applicable advice, ideas or tips is a great way to demonstrate your expertise while attracting new people to your profile. Good thing you now have such a great photo.
Marc Gordon is a recognized marketing expert. He regularly appears on TV and radio. His articles appear in over 200 publications worldwide. Visit marcgordon.ca or his online show at marctv.net for more business tips.
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