The Top 10 Reasons to Spend Time Using LinkedIn for Career and Business
By Martin Brossman and Greg Hyer
LinkedIn is a free resource that lets you build and maintain a global and local network–a powerful tool in a world where higher transparency is required for trust. LinkedIn allows you to keep in touch with not only what people are doing but who they are connecting with. It is a social medium that is professional and businesslike. If you have not spent time with it and you care about your career and your clients’ trust, it’s time to start allotting some hours to it.
Here are just a few reasons to invest time in LinkedIn.com:
1. More than 30 Million people you can search.
LinkedIn lets you research 30 million professional people with almost 100% accuracy and gives YOU permission to know the information posted on the profile. For example, if you met someone for the first time and mentioned you saw in their LinkedIn profile that they went to the same school you went to, that would build rapport. If you gained this information from a private paid database, that might make them feel uncomfortable.
2. Free quality consulting advice.
Use the Answers area of LinkedIn to obtain valuable free information as you need it—it’s often comparable to thousands of dollars of consulting advice. One way people are motivated to give you quality answers is because they have a chance of you voting their answer to you as the most useful answer increasing their status as an expert.
3. Establishing yourself as an expert.
Receiving authentic recommendations from past or present associates and co-workers which appear in your LinkedIn profile can help position you as an expert. Of course recommendations have to be earned by quality work, generally building over time to enrich your LinkedIn presence, and are often inspired by your giving sincere recommendation to others. At the same time, answering questions offers you a further opportunity to be seen as an expert by responding to questions posed in your field. When your answer reveals your expertise, you have the possibility of being voted “expert answer.”
4. Enhancing your brand and presence on the web.
LinkedIn is a site that builds more credibility than your own website. It is well-indexed by Google. When people see a recommendation given to you on LinkedIn, they can choose to see the full profile of the person that gave the recommendation, giving it more credibility.
5. Direct introductions to a large number of quality people.
Through LinkedIn you can be directly introduced to and have access to people who may not take your call directly. By properly using LinkedIn’s direct introduction system, you can get introduced to people that you are connected to as well as people that your contacts are connected to. You can also learn who your contacts are connected to, and how they are connected. Important note: When you make the reach to contact them, always have a reason in their best interest.
6. Allowing people to prescreen YOU to build faster trust.
With higher demands for greater transparency, LinkedIn offers a credible way for your customers to prescreen you by seeing recommendations without having to bother people. This also applies for people looking for a job. People can see recommendations to you without your having to repeatedly bother your references to pre-screen you.
7. Professional groups that let you connect with a common interest.
Connect with people that share a common interest by joining a group and participating in group discussions on the group’s discussion board. There is a group for everyone, such as local networking groups like Linking Raleigh, NC, school and corporate alumni groups, or groups related to an industry or profession.
8. Providing valuable changing resources to attract multiple visits to your information.
Use the LinkedIn applications to do things like display your WordPress or TypePad blog in your profile so that visitors can learn more about you. Add the Amazon book app so you can share with others what you are reading and recommend they read. Promote your events or find an event through the events app. Make a presentation by uploading a PowerPoint slide show about your business or even yourself.
9. The ability to recognize good people that the world can see.
LinkedIn lets you give recommendations to people throughout your entire life, and that can be a better use of your time then the usual mode of interrupting people to ask for a job or a sale. LinkedIn not only allows you to build trust and credibility with local people but people all over the world. Since you can search in your vicinity or anywhere, you can have local contacts and global ones very easily. By providing deeper information, LinkedIn can enhance existing relationships and deepen new ones. Spending some of your time appreciating good people in your life is the avenue to fostering friends and associates who care about YOU.
10. Keeping track of your direct and indirect network.
Use LinkedIn as an easy way to keep track of your contacts, their contacts, and changes in status. For example, if someone you know got promoted or received an award, this could by a way to acknowledge them for their accomplishment. You may find that a good friend wanting to help you just connected with an important person you want to meet.
Like anything in life, you do have to spend some time with LinkedIn to gain value from it. The time you spend building your profile will reap its return when you put yourself out there to expand your professional network and build your reputation through this rapidly expanding social media tool. Simply by sending and receiving recommendations, using apps, answering and asking questions, and helping others along the way, you can be remembered and made memorable by using LinkedIn. Take full advantage of what LinkedIn has provided for free and bring yourself to the forefront of a crowded room.
About Martin & Greg:
-Hello, I am Martin Brossman. As a success coach, I believe almost everyone should be on LinkedIn since it has given so much value to myself and to my coaching clients when they spend the right amount of time with it. If you Google my name in quotes, you will see the second item listed is my LinkedIn profile–all possible with the free LinkedIn service. I currently use their paid service, but that evolved after I gained value from the basic free service. (Our post above refers to all that is possible with the free service.) I have been offering group LinkedIn training in the Triangle since 2006, and in response to requests, I now offer customized LinkedIn training for individuals and small groups. My LinkedIn profile: http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/martinbrossman
-Hello I am Greg Hyer. As a local networking advocate, I feel strongly that LinkedIn is the ideal tool and service to use to enhance your professional brand and manage your professional relationships. The benefits to using LinkedIn are significant, yet it does not require that you devote that much time to it. As a founder of a LinkedIn Group and corresponding website, LinkingRaleighNC.com, I help local professionals build a quality network and provide some resources to improve their chances of finding the connection for the next opportunity. My LinkedIn profile: http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/greghyer
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