If you just blew a callus-thick layer of dust off the old Windows 95 tower, poked the jammed power button with a pen, and haven't heard yet, LinkedIn is a social network that allows you to show off your professional accomplishments while networking with millions of professionals involved in practically every industry. LinkedIn has helped me grow my revenue stream significantly by allowing me to communicate with people who could use my services. Want to know how it could help you grow your business too? Read on!
Our Social Trinity (which is basically three pillars I developed to help you master the use of any social network… aaaah!) instructs you to identify and use available points of exposure. Points of exposure include activities you perform on a social network that allow people to see your profile. For instance, when you @reply somebody on Twitter, the person to whom you're directing your tweet can see your profile.
Publicly View Other People's Profiles
On LinkedIn, every time you view another user's profile the LinkedIn system notifies the user that you just viewed her profile; which creates a point of exposure. Some of the users, whose profile you viewed, will receive an email informing them that you viewed their profile and view your profile; some of the people who view your profile this way will request to connect with you. Hence the more people’s profiles you view the more people can connect with you.
For instance, my friend Marty Weintraub, president of AimClear, wrote that he visited 15,775 profiles and 928 of those users visited his profile in return. He accepted 122 new connection requests; and he received other connection requests from people who weren't directly involved with his industry.
To ensure that people see your title when you view their profile click the little thumbnail of your profile picture on the upper right part of LinkedIn. Click "Privacy and Settings" in the drop-down menu. Then click the link labeled, "Select what others see when you've viewed their profile." Click or ensure that the radio button next to your name and headline is selected. Click "Save changes."
Now every time you visit a LinkedIn profile the account's owner will be notified that you just viewed it. A proportion of the people whose profile you viewed will request to add you in their professional network.
Connect With People You've Met Elsewhere
Send out connection request to people you meet in person on other social networks. Connect with people after you meet with them at conferences, networking events, or a mud party for vikings and indians.
Appear for Business Related Searches
Use keywords that people use to identify your industry. Brainstorm a list of keywords then query them in the Google Keyword Planner (which you can use for free by signing up for Adwords.google.com) to get an idea of related keywords and the amount of times a keyword is queried on a monthly basis. This way you'll generate a long list of alternatives and discover how popular these keywords are.
Skills & Endorsements Section
Include all of your skills. This gives your connections an opportunity to endorse you for the skills and abilities you state you can perform. Now instead of you solely saying that you're awesome, with every endorsement that is awarded with a click of a mouse other people are saying you’re awesome. It allows your skillset to be democratically certified.
Write out achievements as opposed to just job descriptions. Focus on issues you were able to solve during a past occupation and what were the results. How did you make or save money? How much money did you make or save? Of if you worked on a pure operational level, performing duties that are harder to quantify monetarily, quantify your daily, weekly, or regularly tallied duties, so potential partners and / or employers could get an idea of the amount of work you were able to get accomplished each selected time period. For instance, for a help-desk customer support position, you could say something to the effect of the following: "Helped 60 customers with offline computers get online each day." Or a bank teller could write, "Performed banking transactions for over 400 customers daily."
In a LinkedIn survey, 42 percent of hiring managers said they regarded volunteer experience at the same level as formal work experience. Add as much volunteer experience as you can. Think of it as getting the job you want by simply doing it for somebody who could help you do it formally. I have always used the act of working for free as an excellent way to meet people it would be harder for me to meet otherwise. Having developed a relationship with stakeholders at mainstream publications, for instance, by volunteering to drive traffic to their websites for free, I managed to meet editors and other people who have allowed me to write for publications like Forbes and the Huffington Post.
Other activities and accomplishments you could enter as volunteer experience include speaking, researching, programming, driving somebody somewhere, and anything else you could do for an organization for free.
As a hiring manager, one of the resume lines I can't stand most is References furnished upon request. Yes, I am guilty of doing the same thing in a lazier former version of myself (now my references are endless). Your references can be one of the most powerful credentials to show off during the sales or job search process. It's third-party credence: Democracy!
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to welcome people, who can be safely classified as references, to comment on your work performance publicly.
Request recommendations from people for whom you've performed great work. Even if you do something as a volunteer, request the stakeholder's recommendation. This immediately turns whatever results an organization recognizes you produced into public record. You say you don't know anybody who can say how great you worked for them? Well then, go do something great for somebody, and ask for the recommendation.
How do you use LinkedIn to market your business? Reply to this message or ping me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear how you feel about it.
Neal Rodriguez is a online marketer who shares marketing case studies and tips at virtual conferences.