LinkedIn is a hub for networking in the business world. Use LinkedIn to connect with other people in your field, share information with other business professionals and meet people that may become new connections. LinkedIn has 433 million members, according to Statista, and with a community this size, the networking possibilities are extensive. Here are four of the best ways to make the most out of these networking opportunities.
1. Create an Informative Profile
Your profile creates the first impression you will leave on people trying to network with you. Kevin Daum, of Inc., suggests that you use each part of this important profile to inform possible connections about who you are. Daum recommends using understandable descriptions of yourself and your position. Leaving areas empty creates an undesirable impression on potential connections trying to learn more about you, according to Daum. In order to create lasting impressions on connections, fill in each section with eye-catching and informative descriptions of yourself and your career.
An informative profile will aid in your ability to master social selling. Social selling is partly about activity and partly based on the reputation you share with your connections. By sharing blogs, commenting on others’ posts, etc., you have mastered the activity step of the process. However, if your profile is lackluster, you risk leaving connections unimpressed, and have missed an opportunity to build your reputation. Your profile is the foundation of your LinkedIn experience, so spend time forming and selling your personal brand within this vast community.2. Use Other Media Channels to Enhance Your Page
It is extremely important to be active on your LinkedIn page. Daum, of Inc., also suggests using videos, pictures, original content posts or other information from other social media platforms. He recommends doing this to inform your network connections about who you are and what you can do on LinkedIn and off. This may even bring some of your LinkedIn connections to your website or other social networks. The more active you are on your site, the more chances you have to make meaningful connections.
You have spent time building a personal brand, whether you know it or not, by engaging on social media. Share updates from your brand on every social media platform you can use. Also, share content from your other platforms to LinkedIn. The more you share, the more likely you are to be top of mind. Continually sharing informative content helps establish you as an authority figure.
3. Use “Strategic Networking”
Ted Prodromou, of Entrepreneur, explains that the technique used by most LinkedIn users is the “strategic networking” technique. Prodromou defines this technique as focusing on a smaller group of networking connections. He explains that most people using “strategic networking” will connect with 100 to 150 other users and have no more than 500 connections total. This technique allows for more personal networking connections to be made with a smaller community of people.
Do not accept invitations to connect all willy-nilly. Accept strong connections and foster relationships that are mutually beneficial. It is more effective to have 500 strong connections than 1000 less influential ones.
4. Join Groups
Being a part of a group can be very beneficial to the number of connections you can make, simply because a group offers the opportunity to interact with more people who share similar interests. Mark Lerner, of Social Media Examiner, suggests searching for and joining groups that make the most sense for your particular areas of interest and skill. Joining a LinkedIn group is a great way to meet people in similar fields, people that share common interests or simply someone new to network with and learn from. Lerner also suggests that to be successful in your LinkedIn groups, you should stay relevant and active by posting content instead of promotions. By posting interesting and informative content, you will find many opportunities to connect with your LinkedIn network. You can promote your company to them further in your business relationship.
Nurturing relationships with people in groups authentically is a key step in the social selling process. People frequently make purchase decisions from someone they know and trust. The type of activity you pursue will directly impact your reputation. Groups are an excellent way to boost your reputation while building a rapport among your peers.
LinkedIn is one the biggest networking platforms available to us today. Meet new people in similar fields, share information from multiple social media platforms with your connections and build a community of connections with these LinkedIn tips. Using the many benefits of LinkedIn will help to grow your business.