What comes to mind when someone mentions LinkedIn? Most people think LinkedIn is a place to post your resume and someone will contact you for a job interview. Others think it’s a business networking website where you can network with like-minded people and generate leads for your business. Usually when people sign up it’s because they received an invitation from a friend or colleague.
From 2012 to 2014, LinkedIn more than doubled in size from 130 million members to approximately 330 million members. LinkedIn is adding two new members every second, growing faster than Facebook and Twitter combined.
People used to join LinkedIn expecting to find a new job, but today they can expect to connect with a lot of like-minded business professionals. LinkedIn has transformed into an interactive, vibrant business community.
Getting A Response
However, most people don’t understand how to use LinkedIn to its full advantage to promote their business or consulting practice. For example, I see a lot of great individual and company profiles but I don’t see those people participating in group discussions. These are the people with a powerful, well-written resume and cover letter. They took the time to clearly define the services their business or practice provides skillfully, summarize their work history, and spell out their skills in an easy-to-read format. They know how to post their resume on the online job sites and get a response.
Learn How to Network
Some end up frustrated with LinkedIn because they haven’t clearly defined their reason for being a LinkedIn member and they haven’t taken the time to learn how to network. Networking on LinkedIn can be relatively easy if you take the time to learn how to use the tools. Like any community you join, you must think through your reasons to join it, to take full advantage of all the opportunities it has to offer. The more you participate on LinkedIn, the more your name will pop up in the LinkedIn sidebar and on Google, creating unexpected opportunities to help potential customers, partners and employers find you.
Functions of LinkedIn
Once you are on LinkedIn and you have finished your profile, you need to determine how LinkedIn can best serve you. There are four basic functions of LinkedIn:
- Establishing your professional profile.
- Staying in touch with colleagues and friends.
- Exploring opportunities.
- Finding experts and answers to your business-related questions.
Your objective could be one of these functions, all of these functions, or any combination. You should have the objective of establishing your professional profile, even if you aren’t actively looking for work. Remember, LinkedIn is your electronic business card that could be seen by more than 330 million professionals, so you want a complete, up-to-date profile.
Keep in Touch
It’s also good practice to keep in touch with colleagues and friends, even if it’s just commenting on one of their status updates. By “pinging” your network on a regular basis, you keep your name in front of them and they’re more likely to consider you for an opportunity when it arises.
LinkedIn Career Opportunities
Many great career opportunities present themselves when you least expect it. You never know when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will arise because the right person came across your profile in a LinkedIn search or read some of your comments in a Group discussion. Since I completed my profile and optimized it to appear when people search for popular search terms, I have received numerous opportunities even though I am not looking for them. This proves to me that LinkedIn is a powerful tool, and I will never have to worry about finding a new job if something unforeseen suddenly happens to my current role.
LinkedIn as a Resource
LinkedIn is a fantastic business resource if you’re doing research or looking for expertise in an unfamiliar area. In the past you would have to hire a consultant to help you navigate unfamiliar areas of expertise. Today you have access to thousands of subject matter experts at your fingertips, who will gladly answer your question for free in the answers section.
Learn the LinkedIn Tips & Tricks For Success
So now you know that LinkedIn is the fastest growing and most successful business-networking site in the world. You can see the benefits of joining and participating in the networking groups, as well as demonstrating your expertise by helping others. If you want to learn HOW to do these things, stay tuned for an entire series of blog posts, where you'll learn the tips and tricks that will separate you from your competitors and help you get the most out of your LinkedIn experience. Throughout the entire series of blog posts, you will learn lots of great tips to help you get maximum exposure and find what you are looking for to grow your business or advance your career.
Are you using LinkedIn for business networking ?