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Stay Connected with LinkedIn

You’ve heard me say it before… LinkedIn can sometimes be thought of as the "redheaded stepchild" of the social media sites. However, with the average household income per user is $109,000 MUCH higher than Twitter or even Facebook, LinkedIn is considered by many to be the most beneficial for business.

Launched in May 2003, it now has over 90 million users across a number of countries, accepting English and a number of other European languages. Among these, many are using it to full advantage for their business needs, once they are familiar with how it works.

Not sure about LinkedIn and how to best use it? Don’t worry- that’s what this article is for! J

Your Profile

Setting up your profile is the most important step in all of this. With Google’s recent algorithm changes social media is becoming more and more important for building your brand online. You want to make sure your profile is filled out completely and that it gives the best first impression it can.

And while customizing your profile on LinkedIn is different than Facebook or Twitter, it can be done… and it should be done! Be yourself… always. Show your personality and your expertise. Remember, people buy people.

Make Connections

LinkedIn is all about making and maintaining connections. It’s virtual networking. So how do you start making connections? Initially, you can only request a connection from someone you have formerly been in contact with, and it’s a great way to find people with whom you have previously had some kind of working relationship.

Being Proactive

As with most aspects of life, with LinkedIn you’re only likely to get something back if you put something in. Incorporate some time for LinkedIn into your daily routine and log in regularly.

Continue to build your network of connections. Once you have connections, you need to check theirs and see if you already know any of them, so you can add them. If you see people you’d like to be connected to, you can ask your friend for an introduction to them.

Read all your connections’ updates and look for ways to be helpful. Read questions and see if you can offer an answer. You can send private messages to your connections, or make your suggestions publicly. The more you give the more you will receive. And if you think highly of someone, give a recommendation.

Update your own status regularly. When something works well for you, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it so that others could benefit from it too. Post about upcoming events that might be interesting to your network as well as tips, articles and success stories. One of these easiest ways to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date is by connecting it with your Twitter account. This way you only have to update one place!

Groups and Discussions

The next step is to join some groups. It doesn’t matter what your business is, there is a group (kinda like "there is an app for that!" :)) …and either way, you can always start your own! Participating in niche-related groups is one of the KEYS of LinkedIn. Starting your own group helps build your credibility and shows your expertise.

Other Ways to Benefit

You can find work and other business opportunities. You can add a company page to the site. You can post jobs openings. You can place advertisements on the site. You can link your profile to your blog, etc., etc., etc.

One of the BIGGEST tips I can give is that you create a CTA (call to action). You can’t create HTML buttons within LinkedIn, BUT what you can do- is in the section where you can place your website link don’t just call it "My Company." LinkedIn allows you to create your own title. So "Click here to contact me" or "Click here for Social Media Help" or "Click here for my FREE Report" all are MUCH better titles than "My Company."

Also, be sure and check out LinkedIn’s advanced applications that allow you to add calendars, video and other great ways to help customize and brand your profile.

As your connections list grows, be sure to check in on all your connections from time to time. You’ll be amazed at how many people you could reach out to in a very short time. If you make good use of LinkedIn, it could be the best investment of time that you ever make.

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