Everyone has heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, but who you know”. How much you buy into that phrase probably depends on how much assistance you had getting to where you currently are in your career. We like an additional phrase that coincides with the above mentioned – “It’s where you know”. LinkedIn does a great job of helping you find the “who & where” parts of the equation.
I think we can all agree that networking and forming relationships is one of the keys to climbing the ladder of success in the business world. With hundreds (if not thousands) of social-centric websites on the Internet, LinkedIn has managed to break through and show continued growth over the past few years.
It is the largest professional networking site that you are most likely not taking advantage of. Many people have a LinkedIn account, but most people don’t use this platform to its full advantage. Aside from being a networking and relationship building tool – it can be used as a vast resource for gathering information.
We wanted to expose our fellow professionals as to the many ways LinkedIn can be used to help expand not only your personal network but also can be used to grow your business.
Join Groups: LinkedIn is full of groups consisting of all types of genres. Whether these groups are associated with your business or not, getting involved and contributing content to groups will raise your status and expertise in your overall network. You don’t just need to join golf groups, if you’re an avid DIYer than join those groups as well.
By asking and answering questions in groups your name becomes visible to other people in those groups. You might meet new people, make good connections, and become a valuable source of information for colleagues. This can only elevate your status as a knowledgeable source in your industry.
Recruitment: LinkedIn is a powerhouse for recruitment. Whether it’s posting a job or actively searching for professionals – you should be using this resource. Using LinkedIn to filter, find and recruit for positions can be extremely useful and increase the chances of finding the best person for the job. With the ability to see a full resume in an organized fashion without having to get an email or download a word document, this can save tons of time when searching for a new employee.
Endorse Friends: Sending an endorsement to a friend is just a small way of saying “hello”. When that person sees that you have endorsed a skill of theirs you immediately go to the forefront of their mind. Staying in front of people makes them think of you first. It also gets more people endorsing you – which looks great on your profile page!
Research: Using LinkedIn as a research tool can really help provide some insight into a person’s / company’s business. Using these tools as references and referrals if you’re looking to interact or working with a particular person / company. This is a great tool for job seekers to use so that they can better determine if they’re a good fit at a company. This is also a wonderful tool for employers to use, which will give them some more insight into potential employees and what they can bring to your organization.
Increase Visibility for Your Business: Maintaining a solid business profile page is crucial for attracting potential employees and promoting your brand. Think of a LinkedIn business page as a mini-website and another way to reach people that want to find you through LinkedIn. Employees of the same company can see who else works there – if you have a large company, then this might be a great way for your employees to connect with each other.
Tell Your Story: Every business has a story to tell – tell yours using pictures, videos, blogs, profiles and testimonials. We are already in the business age of scalable personal relationships, having a story to tell attracts the most people. Share useful links, videos, and articles to show up in the news feed of your connections.
Become a Match Maker: Help make those connections for your friends. It’s amazing that a little work for some people comes back tenfold for yourself. If a friend / student is starting a plumbing business help connect him with a contractor, electrician, lawyer, fellow plumbers to help get his business off on the right foot.
Paid Upgrades: LinkedIn offers premium upgrades whereas you “unlock” certain features that might be beneficial when searching for new employees or when trying to grow your network. You can see the profiles of 2nd and 3rd connections, get more “introductions”, and you can perform advanced searches to really filter your results. LinkedIn charges monthly fees starting at $19.95 per month and up. If you’re really serious about recruiting good talent, this may be the way to go. LinkedIn offers different levels for recruiters and for job seekers – so depending on your situation, you can really make your profile stand out from the rest.
Take the time to explore LinkedIn. Just like other social networking websites, LinkedIn is just a tool – you must learn how to use that tool to get what it is that you want.