Linkedin in Business

published on December 20th, 2009 in Social Networking in Business tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

linkedin Linkedin in BusinessIn today’s world networking has become the need for every individual, business and company. Without connections and contacts business can virtually cease to exist. The internet boom has made it possible for everyone to keep in touch with each other. First it was emails then social networking forums and now professional forums where serious professionals can seek better opportunities for surviving in the competitive world.

One of the forums for professional networking is ‘Linkedin’. Born in 2003 Linkedin has grown tremendously over the years in bringing professionals together sharing and seeking business and mutual interest for expanding experiences and expertise across the globe. Linkedin has also become a serious network for professionals holding credibility in the industry. To understand how it integrates with individuals and businesses we should ask very basic yet powerful questions like:

1 – Why Linkedin?

2 – What are the Benefits?

3 – Effective ways for using Linkedin?

4 – How to integrate it with your Business?

5 – How to grow your Business using Linkedin?

Also, since the world of internet is flooded with networking forums so you might end up thinking why would you want to opt for Linkedin and not something else; what is so unique about Linkedin which makes it stand out from the rest? Well, to understand and answer the above questions you should look at the following recommended ways and means for benefitting from this 300x187 Linkedin in Business

1. Credibility and Acceptance

Having over 50 million users and growing rapidly Linkedin has gained the popularity and respect in the professional world to be THE platform for professional networking. The checks and balances set at the site for non-serious users are very clear in their terms and conditions. Any malicious activities are tracked and dealt with seriously at times suspending accounts for users. Privacy and confidentiality makes it a secured channel for sharing ones credentials over the net. Also, over the years the flow of professionals into this forum has given it the respect for standing out as thorough professional network.

2. Professional Connections

Linkedin may not be perfect but it provides a lot of opportunities to get in touch with new people not only for personal promotion but to promote small businesses as well. If you get to know the key decision makers and network with them, it may open different avenues for progressing in the future. You can always post a snapshot of your profile or your business, on your personal and/or professional website and blog linking it with Linkedin which would help people find you based on your experience mutual interests. The right contacts can help you grow your business.

3. Better Prospects through Valued Connections

Increasing your networking with professionals throughout the world means increasing your opportunities and prospects for seeking new and better career opportunities. In addition to this having a complete and up-to-date CV always adds value. Stay connected with your valued connections – you have spent time and effort in making all the connections, don’t lose them rather know all your contacts either in person or online – this can be achieved by remembering them through their profile pictures. You may also hire professionals, freelancers and contractors making use of your contact list.

4. Effective Discussion Forums

Try to join your relevant groups as much as possible. Also, it is advised to participate actively in the discussions. Staying active brings you in limelight and intelligent answers, personal experiences can help you get recognition – even one can flash their services in the answers for those seeking assistance for a particular query. Knowledge sharing is one of the benefits which one can make use of – you may create groups and start a healthy discussion, exchange of ideas and even for creating new ideas for a potential business can help you excel. You can either be a subject matter expert while participating in these forums for discussions or can be the one with queries – rest assured to receive answers and guidance from multiple sources of collective wisdom for resolution.linkedin logo Linkedin in Business

5. Recommendations and Testimonials

One of the positives of Linkedin is writing testimonials and getting recommendations from people you have worked with. The more the recommendations the more probability for you to appear in regular search – the more people would get in touch with you hence increasing your network. Good ratings and comments help you enhance your professional standing amongst your peers. Referrals can also help you find better prospects for future investments and in expanding your business. Whenever your client is happy with your work request that particular client to leave a recommendation for you on Linkedin – the same you can flash on your website with a potential of attracting more customers and more traffic in future.

6. Exploring New Markets

Increased networking enhances the possibility of not only knowing what is happening in your market and related industries but also keeps you up to date about the latest happenings in other industries as well. The market trends, new technologies help in evaluating your current and future prospects. Linkedin is a valued platform for increasing your market scope beyond the physical boundaries thus increasing the possibilities of growing your business.

7. Complete and Effective Profiling

One of the most important features to make use of at Linkedin is having a complete and effective profile. Try making use of all the entries in the form and fill in all the sections properly so that you have a comprehensive profile. Use professional language and rich text which would help find your profile in searches. Customize and personalize your profile link and add it on your CV – making your profile public and sending your profile link is an easier way for getting introduced to new contacts. You can adjust your Linkedin settings to notify your contacts whenever you make any changes to your profile. Using different widgets on Linkedin and on your official website can help your contacts know you better.

8. Increased Visibility

You can link your professional website and your blogs to your Linkedin profile hence increasing your visibility and also improving and strengthening your profile. Whenever you wish to add a contact to your network the preferred way to do it would be to send a formal letter of introduction through email summarizing your experience, strength and professional achievements. This would increase and improve your professional relations. It is advised not to send random emails to people you do not know because Linkedin has a build in feature for tracking such requests and your account could be suspended after that.

9. Market Research and Brand Building

Linkedin is one of the easiest way for conducting surveys and market research. This cost effective way can help you find solutions without investing anything other than your time. Getting views, reviews from seasoned professionals and entrepreneurs is a powerful experience. Try flashing you brand name with your profile which would attract all the audience in your network hence reinforcing your company and expertise – all this done at no cost.

10. Networking with Decision Makers

The best way to get in touch with the influencers and decision makers in your industry is by preparing a list of them ahead of time. Then search them on Linkedin and send a formal letter of introduction to add them. This can also be done by sending them an invite to connect to you and briefly adding the summarization of your professional career. Another approach to the same can be to find an existing connection in the company and getting in through a known connection/referral – add the particular individual in your existing list of contacts and then search for the decision maker and/or other related connections from your contacts list and invite them accordingly – but always remember to send a formal invite. Make sure to move with your contacts – meaning when they leave a company you move with them and through them get an introduction to a whole new arena of new contacts and connections.

LinkedIn logo 300x97 Linkedin in BusinessLinkedin is a powerful tool for making connections, generating leads and expanding your business. All you need is to understand how to utilize it the most to your advantage. The techniques discussed above are a brief summarization to put you on the right track for making the most of this free vehicle opening avenues for growth and success.

Posted by: James George

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