Online marketing is largely dependent on social networking these days and there is no hotter place to be meeting professional contacts than LinkedIn. If you are operating an online business, then you absolutely must join LinkedIn and start building your network. Below are five tips for getting the most out of the site and reaching a large amount of valuable contacts.
1. Complete Your Profile – Don't start a LinkedIn account, send a few invites to friends, and then expect the contacts to come flooding in. Your LinkedIn profile is an advertisement for you and your company, so complete your profile.
2. Import Your Email Contacts – The quickest way to start building your network is by inviting the people you already know to join you on LinkedIn. Some may already have LinkedIn accounts and can quickly add you to their friends list.
3. Use Keywords – Just as you would complete a resume that will be indexed online, you should use appropriate keywords when filling in a profile so people can easily find you through a LinkedIn search. These keywords should relate to your industry and professional skills, naturally.
4. Take Advantage of the "Six Degrees of Separation" – Rather than seeking out certain people with a broad site search, find contacts through your current contact list. After all, those people are more likely to know people you would like to know. Also, it is a much easier icebreaker to approach someone as a "colleague of so-and-so."
5. Ask Contacts for Recommendations – One of the best ways to demonstrate your status and business savvy on LinkedIn is by boasting a number of recommendations from colleagues. These recommendations won't come rolling in on their own, however. Ask those closest to you for recommendations and be sure to return the favor.
While LinkedIn is attracting more people than ever, most users aren't harnessing the site's true potential. It is a great way to find desirable jobs and useful business contacts. Set aside a few minutes a day to network online through LinkedIn and your business should benefit from your newfound connections.
About The Author:
This article is contributed by Heather Johnson, who regularly writes on the topic of small business finance. She invites your questions and writing job opportunities at her personal email address: email@example.com