Once you have your LinkedIn profile complete, you must start to interact. Let’s talk about some good practices when it comes to using LinkedIn for business.
In our previous article, we talked about setting up your LinkedIn profile completely. Remember to keep it professional and focused on how you help others in your business.
On LinkedIn, you want to make sure you are engaging with others. The easiest way to start is to connect with your friends. On LinkedIn, you make ‘connections.’ These are people that you know either personally or through a friend.
Connections my need to be verified about how you know that person, especially when you first get started. You can find their name, and click on add connection. You will send an email and when they respond it will connect you with that person.
When you first get started, you may see some suggestions based on your email contacts. You may even get a prompt to add your email and import your addresses from your email. It saves a lot of time to do this as you are getting started.
Next you want to join groups and start connecting to others in your industry. It may seem counter-intuitive to connect to groups of people that do the same thing you do, but that is how you network, share ideas and possibly refer customers. If you can’t help someone, maybe someone in the group can. If they can’t help a customer, they may refer you.
Joining groups is just the first step in this process. You want to read what others are posting in the group and share your expertise. Answer questions when you can and add to the conversation. Each comment you add should encourage the writer and engage the readers.
Another area to start connecting with others is the LinkedIn Pulse. It is a newsfeed of currently published posts on LinkedIn. You can read the post, interact with other readers and if you really like the post make a connection with the author.
As you scroll through the list, look for the categories. Click on a category that interests you and is relevant to your business. You will find more relevant topics by scrolling through specific categories. It is simply a way of engaging in the conversation already happening on LinkeIn.
NOTE: To get to Groups and Pulse, click on “Interests” at the top of your page. There will be a drop down menu that displays. Hopefully this picture will help:
If you want to use LinkedIn for business, you must make connections. It is a SOCIAL media and you must be social. Plan on logging in on a regular basis, make connections, join groups and engage in conversations on Pulse or in groups. It is a simple strategy that may just put your face and your name in front of your potential customers and clients.
You may have noticed that we have not talked about a ‘business page’ on LinkedIn. It’s best to start engaging as a professional person to ‘get your name out there’ before starting a page. Some people suggest doing them at the same time, but when you add your business page later, all of the connections that you have made personally will be alerted giving your business page a boost. It is a better strategy for those just getting started.
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