Written on May 12, 2009 Leave a Comment |
So why do you want to use Linked-In?
Linked-In is a social networking site for working professionals and maintains a catalog of hundreds of thousands of interactive resumes. Visitors who view a Linked-In profile are exposed to the candidate’s work history, education, and skill-set; for the business owner, Linked-In can also convey product information, brand, elevator pitch, and other forms of media that can indirectly market your business. 499 of the Fortune 500 are represented on Linked-In through director-level members, and as of June 2008, Linked-In is the fastest social networking site showing an 187% growth year-over-year since its inception; you can compare Facebook at 77% year-over-year growth. If you’re not convinced yet, here are a few more great reasons to start up your own free Linked-In profile.
1. Linked-In is social media for pros.
Unlike Facebook, Linked-In is a professional social networking site that skips over the embarrassing personal details. It’s strictly business with no games or quizzes, but an interactive way for you to network, pass along expertise, get noticed for yours, and interconnect with others in a virtual networking space. Everything about Linked-In supports the professional – whether or not you have a job, are looking for a job, or if you run your own small business, or if you’re a Fortune 100 CEO. Linked-In is a great way to maintain your professional image while making yourself easier to find and contact on the Internet.
2. Legitimacy and Reference Checks.
Prior to employment interviews or during screening, it’s not uncommon to see organizations troll social media to find out more on a potential candidate. Linked-In profiles are a nice electronic complement to the resume and can be the professional face you want to present to a perspective client, employer, or business partner. It also establishes legitimacy through personal interconnections and a history for doing business with others, as well as offers a way to refer the work of others and congratulate their performance.
Linked-In offers ways to transmit virtual business cards between connections. Don’t know somebody who can help fix your laptop? Linked-In can help you contact somebody who knows someone right away. It’s a natural complement to your Rolodex.
Through connections, you’ve got the opportunity to extend your reach and receive referrals from anyone at any time. Also, connectivity can make you the “go-to-person” for finding that right talent at the right time. Finally, Linked-In connections offers a way to market yourself and your company easily to potentially hundreds of people who’re acquainted with you.
5. Pagerank and Backwards Links.
Linked-In offers means to point-back to your website through URL’s. These backwards links from Linked-In improves your Pagerank score in Google, making it easier for people to find you, and in convincing the Google search engine that you’re an authority on various topics. It also helps direct more web traffic from somebody viewing your profile and clicking-out to read more about you.
6. Ask for Advice.
It can happen at any time. Somebody is in a crunch and they need a problem solved. Who do you know? Who does she know? A question can come in out of the blue – a new customer, a new contact, a new job offer. Also, too, Linked-In gives professionals the ability to give advice as well, and forums/groups with whom to share your expertise.
7. Competitive Analysis.
Hey, if you’re looking into this, you’re doing it because your competitors may already be on social media and leveraging it to their advantage. Use that knowledge to your advantage. Use Linked-In to take an inside tour of the competitor’s staff, professional background and history, client base, and other facts that could give you a better understanding of what you’re up against.
Okay, I’ve sold you on this – how do you get started?
1. Setup. Get your free Linked-In account by going to Linked-In.
2. Stage. Develop your profile in waves. Don’t spend five hours on it; just develop it gradually over a week. Also, don’t feel compelled to cut and paste your resume – edit your details so they convey the point without being too wordy.
3. Beta. Once it’s developed, take some time to invite others to see it – especially a few friends already on Linked-In. Get their feedback and comments. Make minor tweaks and changes.
4. Launch! Allow Linked-In to scan your address book to establish possible connections with people already on Linked-In.
5. Promote. Link to your profile from the Internet and put it on the footer of your email. Get people to go to your public profile to learn more about you and the services you can provide.
A couple of tips for using Linked-In:
1. Fill out your profile completely. More complete information makes it easier to find you through Linked-In’s search features. You don’t have to go overboard, but if you share too little information then you might get missed.
2. Join groups. Unfortunately, many groups and forums have become venues for passive marketing and spam. Yet, some good threads commonly appear that will allow you to show off your expertise and get your name in front of some key decision-makers. Joining groups on Linked-In expands your visibility and ties you together with others of common interest.
3. Ask and answer questions. The more you can demonstrate your expertise and knowledge in a specific subject matter, the more authoritative you’ll be, and the more likely people will trust you.
4. Ask for recommendations, and give recommendations. Be generous with others and they will be generous to you. This also helps expand your viewership as your name is exposed to others when they’re reading the recommendation.
5. Link to your blog and Twitter feed. There are some great add-in’s to Linked-In called Applications that allow you to integrate your blog and your Twitter feeds into your profile. When people view your profile online, they can also see what you’ve recently been up to! These are great ways to tie in various forms of social media through one portal, and improve that overall Pagerank/relevance score that I was talking about earlier. In short, it’s a great way to improve your visibility on search engines.
6. Upload your photo. You’re more likely to do business with somebody you know or trust, right? Well, a professional photo will help with that, too, on Linked-In. Try to keep it professional and representative of what you hope to display to a new client.
So what are you waiting for? Go get started! And when you’re there, please feel free to Link-In to me!