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LinkedIn is not just for job-seekers

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Trish Skram
April 8, 2011

Last night, I attended a Young Professionals of Rock County networking event at Hhffrrrggh Inn in Janesville. Great event. Over great pizza and cold beverages, a group of us talked about LinkedIn and how it really works. What surprised me the most was that many people look at LinkedIn as solely an online resume or only for job-seekers.

Many of you reading this are probably familiar with the basics of creating a professional profile on LinkedIn and connecting with your peers in the industry. However, it still seems to be unclear as to how to effectively use LinkedIn to further expand your reach.

If I could tell you to do just a few things today on LinkedIn to further your business-to-business networking, I recommend doing the following:

Follow existing and potential clients

For example, for those of you in sales, this tip can come in handy. Just like following brands, you can also follow personnel. You can see who has moved from agency to agency, who has been promoted, different clients they are working with etc. Take time to read your LinkedIn email updates. You’ll learn a lot about your network.

Join a group of interest.

If you only have a profile and add connections on LinkedIn, you have missed the whole networking aspect of LinkedIn Groups. Utilize LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers to gain “expertise points” in a specific category that interests you. Users tend to trust those who have expertise. You are not only engaging an audience and providing information, but your ideas and thoughts are being pushed into the news feed of all your connections.

Share links.

Your LinkedIn homepage features the “share” functionality just like the Facebook status bar. By using this feature, you can share a popular industry topics, share your company’s latest announcement or simply post a question pertaining to your market to get instant feedback. This share feature helps you to stay fresh in the minds of your key stakeholders.

How do you use LinkedIn? Does it benefit your career, personal brand? Join the conversation!



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