Currently LinkedIn has over 70 million members and this number is growing weekly at a rate of 3 million members each week!
According to their website, a new member joins LinkedIn every second with about half of those outside of the United States.
Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members.
So how do you harness this social media and put it to good use for your business?
Well, you can use it for professional development, listing your qualifications, experience and expertise you can position yourself as an expert in your field.
You can use LinkedIn to find and be introduced to potential new clients or service providers that come recommended. You might also find business partners or joint venture partners through introductions or private groups.
LinkedIn is a great resource for gaining insights and answers as well as a great forum for asking questions to like-minded people.
Lastly LinkedIn can be a great place to find the job of your dreams or to advertise employment within your company.
So, now that you have an understanding of what LinkedIn is and what it can do, lets discuss how you can benefit from this social media.
LinkedIn has some unwritten etiquette that needs your attention. First of all, do not sell, sell, sell at every opportunity. LinkedIn members are not interested in being told the company line – they are however, interested in connecting with individuals that will add value and are trustworthy. Here are the steps to engage with others within LinkedIn:
Step 1: Add Value.
If you join a discussion, make sure that you are contributing. Answer questions without selling. Post relevant news or topics to the groups you join. Use an abundant mindset and don’t be afraid to give generously without expectation.
Step 2: Help Others
Post and answer questions – be brief, compelling, relevant and professional. Again the principle of an abundant mindset comes into play – if you can help, then do so – perhaps that could be recommending someone else to fill a need, answering a question, providing some expertise…by providing help with no expectation, you will build trust. Trust in the online (and offline) world is gold.
Step 3: Engage in a conversation
Don’t be a wallflower – get to know other people – be polite and send them a message before asking to connect. Introduce yourself. If you have something of value that you can give for free, do so. Let people discover who you are and what you do…try not to sell it though!
Step 4: Connect
Remember step 3 and have a conversation before just inviting all and asunder to connect with you – you will most likely fail if you do that. It is polite to send a personal message with your invite to connect – this also demonstrates that you are taking time to get to know the person further…hence more trust is built.
Step 5: Law of Reciprocity
Sit back and be patient – all of the abundant mentality and giving that you do will come back to you – often much more than you expect.
Credit for the above information goes to Mr Nathan Kievman of LinkedIn Strategies group – I highly recommend that you join this online group if you want to learn more about how to use LinkedIn for your personal and business growth. Nathan also has a fantastic e-book on LinkedIn Strategies available at http://www.linkedstrategies.com/
Do you use LinkedIn to grow your business? If so, what have you found most successful for you with LinkedIn?