Networking is key to building a successful business. Not only should you attend networking events within your local business region, but also pay attention to online networking. One of the top business networking sites today is LinkedIn, and with refreshed profiles, updated business pages and highly interactive groups, it’s here to stay. Here is how you can efficiently and effectively maneuver through LinkedIn.
1. Update Your Picture! Yes, this point is part vanity, part practical, mostly practical. Make sure your profile picture is recognizable as you today – not ten years ago. A great picture shouldn’t be a glamour shot of what you look like touched up, unless you walk around with a makeup team on a daily basis. Make it inviting, warm and add a hint of marketing by matching your attire with your brand colors or strategically post a logo in the background.
2. Connect! It may seem like common sense, but you have to connect with people on LinkedIn to make it work for you. When you send out invitations, keep it to people you have actually met or that you share a connection with. In your invitation, explain why you’re connecting, unless you contact them on a regular basis, and then it’s okay to send a standard invite. Be sure to check out who’s inviting you to connect; take a look at their profile, connections and groups. Remember, once they’re a connection they can see your full profile and interactions.
3. Join (and ENGAGE in) Groups: Explore all LinkedIn has to offer by joining groups relevant to you. Search for your alma mater or one of your offline networking groups to join. Active groups provide great information and events that can help you boost your business. If you’re a woman business owner in the Midwest, consider joining the WBDC’s LinkedIn Group, Inspired Women, to engage with other professional women looking for advice, input and inspiration.
4. Use It, or Lose It! Make sure to update your not only your picture, but also your profile. It’s a living resume, so keep it current. You never know who’s looking for the skills and experience you have to offer. Keep things interesting by making your headline relevant and engaging, with trigger words. Learn more about headlines, and other parts of your LinkedIn strategies, in this free webinar recording.
5. It’s About Business! If you have a business, you should have a business page. LinkedIn has come a long way in cultivating the business pages to better serve companies. They now have header images, status updates, video advertising, product promotions and more for followers to interact with.
Spend 10 minutes a day implementing some of these tips, whether it be commenting in a group or updating your profile, and see what comes of it! You never know what you’re missing out on until you try new strategies.