Using LinkedIn to Build Your Business

Unless you live under a rock, you have been hearing a lot about using Social Networking sites to build your business.  For some businesses, it is a no brainer. For others, the jury is still out.

If you are unfamiliar with social networking sites, the more popular ones are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Facebook and Twitter are a good way to communicate with friends, clients, and business associates, whereas LinkedIn is specific to business contacts.

You can use LinkedIn to:


A well managed LinkedIn account can boost your company’s credibility and visibility, thus increasing your website traffic and potential sales.

How to Develop a LinkedIn Profile
Complete the profile information completely.  The more you provide the better people will be able to connect with you.  Use a current and clear photo so people can see who you are. If you do not have a professional done photo, get one.  Select your location so you can get connected with businesses in your area.  Select the appropriate category for your business and have a clear job title. List past jobs, show your educational background and highlight your work. Provide detailed descriptions of your products or services.   You may know what you do, but others may not, so educate them.  

Recommendations
Recommendations on LinkedIn serve to build your credibility, much like testimonials do on your website.   Ask people to write a recommendation who have worked with you and can vouch for you.  These people could include clients, business associates, and vendors. When asking for a recommendation, be specific as to what you want them to talk about.... a particular job, product, or event.

Links
Your LinkedIn profile allows you to have three links.  One should be your website.  If you have a blog that would be another one.  A third might be a specific page on your website.  You can customize each link with search terms.  For example, instead of "My Website", I have "Website Design Appleton".  To change the name of the link, click "Other," and you can customize your links.  

LinkedIn URL
LinkedIn is indexed by the search engines so be sure your profile is set to "public".  You can also optimize your LinkedIn address.  For example, mine is  http://www.linkedin.com/in/virtualtechweb.   To customize your link see the "Your Public Profile URL" section in LinkedIn.

A Success Story
LinkedIn is a great way to promote your products and services, but it is also a fantastic way to find products and services that you need.  My step-son, Tony, was testing for his 2nd degree black belt on Saturday, October 17.  We still had not found a photographer.  So, on Thursday, October 15 (around 6pm) I posted a message to my LinkedIn contacts.  Within 2 hours I had 10 people reply with contact information of photographers.  Friday morning I had a message from a photographer that was available!  Great Scott Images did a fantastic job!  Thanks to everyone who helped.

October 1, 2009

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