It is an established fact that networking, both in person and online, frequently contribute positively to your business’s success. Many people find it difficult to network effectively but LinkedIn can help.

What, where, when, why, and how?

Networking will help you to bring your business to the next level. There are many different ways in which you can effectively network. The more effort your make in that regard, the better you will become at networking. What may seem somewhat uncomfortable in the beginning will soon become second nature to you.

When it comes to networking through LinkedIn, you should try to have as organized a plan as possible. Your online networking efforts are bound to be different from your in-person networking experiences.

How does LinkedIn enable you to network for your business?

Well, first of all, if you are thinking that LinkedIn is a place to house your resume and nothing else, you certainly could not be any more wrong! There are many reasons why you should take a better look at LinkedIn so that you can learn all about its true capabilities. There certainly are many and quite a number of them (if not all of them) can help you to bring your business to the next level. It is important that you understand what it can offer you.

    • Sheer exposure: Because LinkedIn has such a vast network, your networking efforts will definitely pay off and you have a huge number of opportunities at your fingertips, both on a national and international level.
    • A great professional social network: When it comes to professional social media channels, LinkedIn is the best! Because of its popularity, more and more people are joining the network all of the time. That gives you tremendous potential to establish new connections.
    • People linger on LinkedIn: On many of the social media channels, people connect but don’t stay very long. However, on LinkedIn, they do stay longer. People are more serious about their interactions on that particular social media channel in many cases because they are there for professional reasons as opposed to being there to discuss what they had for breakfast that day.
    • PC and mobile device users: In addition to all of people who sit at their computers networking on LinkedIn, there is also a huge number of people who network on the social media channel using one of many mobile devices. That expands the potential for LinkedIn networking a tremendous amount.
    • Establishing yourself as a subject matter expert: When it comes to LinkedIn, you have tremendous opportunities to establish yourself as a subject matter expert (SME). That is one of the fundamental building blocks when it comes to building a relationship and that includes a relationship that you are building through networking.
    • Building your brand: There is no doubt that establishing and strengthening your brand can be accomplished through the other social media channels in addition to LinkedIn. However, it is important to bear in mind that LinkedIn is a really wise choice because of the fact that professionals gravitate toward it. You should recognise the opportunities that you can grab for your business and take advantage of those.

How can you use LinkedIn effectively?

There are several different things that you should do to make LinkedIn networking produce positive results for you.

    • Ensure that you bio is up to snuff: The profile that you establish on LinkedIn should be thorough and complete as well as compelling. If you can accomplish that (including a professional photo), you will get very far with your LinkedIn connections. Statistically speaking, a person with a complete profile will accomplish much more than someone who does not have a complete profile. Additionally, you will need to make sure that you keep your status updated (although you should not update your status so frequently that you are not sharing anything worth informing other people about).
    • Keep people informed about what you are doing in your career: This is very important. People want to know about what you are doing. It helps them to interact with you effectively and easily. If you can establish common ground, the foundation of your relationship will be strong and that strength will endure throughout your relationship.
    • Brag about your talents: There is absolutely nothing wrong with letting people know what you can do. If you don’t tell them, there is a good chance that they will have no idea about those particular skills. It is all part of establishing your credibility and positioning yourself as a SME.
    • Write an informative summary about you: This is another part that is really important. People want to know about you and the summary, if you write it effectively, will give them just enough of an idea about you to want to know more. The only way that they will be able to learn more after that is to start interacting with you, which is exactly what you want them to do.
    • List your location (or general vicinity): People need to know where you are geographically located. You may be thinking that it is not relevant but you would be wrong. In many cases, there is a need to connect with you in person. In that case, your location is more than relevant, it is essential.
    • Let people know where you earned your education: This is another talking point. You should not list your educational institution because you are trying to come across as superior. You are listing it so that you can establish common ground with the other person.
    • Join relevant LinkedIn groups: This is one of several ways that you will network using LinkedIn. When choosing groups, you not only want to choose appropriate, relevant groups but you want to choose groups that have a large number of members. The more members your groups have, the more potential you have for your networking efforts to pay off.
    • Establish solid connections: The connections that you make through LinkedIn should endure. Of course, it is important that you approach those people in the most appropriate manner possible. If you happen to have a first-tier connection who has a first-tier connection with the person with whom you wish to connect, ask for an introduction. It is appropriate and proper. If you remember that your approach should always be soft and respectful, you will do fine.
    • Be willing to connect other people: The same applies in the other direction. If you expect other people to happily agree to connecting you with their connections, you should be willing to do the same thing. It is a good way to continue to build your reputation.
    • Don’t lose touch: It is really easy to establish a connection and then do nothing to keep that connection alive. That will be a really big mistake on your part. It won’t require a great deal of effort on your part to keep the connection alive and the pay off will be great.

Conclusion

You should make every effort to strengthen your networking experience through LinkedIn. Keep in mind that your profile will be your ticket to establishing connections. After that, networking should be simple. It wears many hats and all of them are designed to help your business succeed. LinkedIn is there for you to leverage and it works extremely well. All you have to do is to take advantage of all that it has to offer.

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