LinkedIn is a powerful and profitable professional network and it can be used to help paint you as the consummate professional and leading resource in your industry.
LinkedIn is no social slouch, boasting more than 200 million registered users as of February 2013 and approximately two new members are signing up to what is billed as being the largest professional network on the Internet. LinkedIn marketing for business can be a highly beneficial addition to your digital business efforts. There are many ways in which members can best utilise the power of LinkedIn but its primary strengths lie in the ability to develop powerful networks and to forge new, long lasting working relationships with others. As a content producer, service provider, or other professional you too can use the professional network to become a resource for prospective clients.
LinkedIn In Numbers
LinkedIn has been going for ten years now but while it started as a niche professional network with comparatively few members it has become an Internet behemoth in recent years. More than 200 million members hail from 200 countries and 2 new professionals register with the site every second. Nearly two thirds of the site’s members come from outside the US, too, giving it broad geographic appeal. Students, who are the fastest growing demographic, account for 10% or 20 million of the registered members.
No matter how you use LinkedIn and for what purpose, the focus of your network’s attention will be placed on your user profile. Ensure you update this with your current and historical information. Add your career, education, and interests and be sure to provide links to your website, blog, and other online real estate. This information will help anybody that might be looking specifically for you or for keywords that are included in your profile.
Add your colleagues, past and present. Hunt out school friends that might be in a related field and university graduates that took relevant degrees with you. Find executives from former companies and from within the companies that you now work with. Become a doorway for your organisation on Twitter by ensuring that all of your colleagues connect to you – when you make a new connection, your colleagues will be able to see them too.
Developing Your LinkedIn Network
As you become a doorway into your company you should seek out those members that act as doorways for other organisations. By connecting with these people you will be able to view more details about other decision makers within their organisation. These are the people that will also tend to be well connected outside their own business. Join industry groups and other relevant areas of the LinkedIn network to ensure that you have great exposure from your site.
Like any good social network, LinkedIn offers its users a chance to update their profile and to share content. This is a good opportunity to share your blog posts and other forms of marketable content. Make sure that you don’t overdo it and consider working on the 80/20 principle whereby 80% of the content you share belongs to others while the remaining 20% belongs to you and your business. Make sure the 20% you do share is high value and is optimised to convert leads to clients.
To become a resource you should consider joining LinkedIn Groups. Here, you will find myriad groups in virtually all industries and
sectors and this means that there are a similar number of opportunities for you. Choose your Groups wisely, do your research, and be prepared to invest some time and effort in making the most of your membership, Have an exit strategy so if a Group isn’t working out well for you, you can leave and move on to another.
Using LinkedIn Polls not only can you engage with your contacts but you can even conduct some market research, research your own performance, and determine the answer to professional related questions. Use Polls sparingly and don’t be afraid to share the results with your network; after all, they did help you create the information that you’re sharing. What’s more, you will gain reputation for being a resource within your industry by providing this invaluable and beneficial information.
The Death Of LinkedIn Answers
LinkedIn Answers was, until the end of January 2013, another method of building your credibility as a resource on LinkedIn.
However, the company marked the close of this feature presumably because it simply didn’t net the same kind of user figures as the likes of Quora. Thankfully there still remains a large number of ways in which you can leverage the power of the Internet’s largest professional network and you can implement LinkedIn marketing for your business.