Why Use LinkedIn? – By Mike Buechele

by Colleen on December 31, 2010

We all use social media networks to engage people and get our brand out there. I use Twitter more for sharing interests, discussing sports, and for some of my more geeky interests (like sci-fi). Facebook is a mix of friends, family, and business contacts. LinkedIn is all business.

You should use LinkedIn to increase your network reach, get brand exposure for your business, and position yourself as an expert in your field. When you do those three things, then vendors, customers and possible business partners will come to you.

Have a complete profile with a professional picture. Your history doesn’t need to read exactly like a resume, but you should include the titles you’ve held, the companies you’ve worked for or started, and a keyword rich summary under them. Add industry related keywords in your headline, as well.

You can include apps in your profile to keep it more current with items such as the RSS feed of your blog. LinkedIn also has a status bar and an optional Twitter update. I use Tweetdeck to post all my social profiles, and suggest posting industry related topics on LinkedIn.

Build your contact network. When asking someone to connect with you, look to see if you have a mutual contact (you’ll see it) and ask that person to make an introduction for you. It always helps to have a middleman break the ice for you. If not, then send an invite to connect.

Don’t just send the generic “I’d like to add you to my network” message that LinkedIn provides. Tell the person why you’d like to connect. Do they have a business you’re interested in? Are you in the same industry? Did you meet previously at a networking event, or have you worked with others at this person’s company? Make it unique and take the time to show the person you’re not just trying to increase your contacts for the sake of contacts. You can also export your contact list into a CRM tool.

Use LinkedIn Answers. It works the same way as Yahoo! Answers. You can search questions to answer or ask a question. This is great for market research, searching for reviews of a service or software you’re thinking of purchasing, and niche research. Above all, LinkedIn Answers is great to brand yourself, increase exposure, and establish yourself as an expert.

Join and start groups. There are groups and sub-groups for everything. I’m a member of school, company specific, and industry groups. Some are very selective and require approval. By joining these groups, you are further increasing your brand and exposing yourself to more professionals

I get requests every week for my consulting services, all through word of mouth on LinkedIn for free.

I highly suggest reading “LinkedWorking” by Frank Agin and Lewis Howes for some great ideas on using LinkedIn in your professional life.

Mike Buechele is the Founder of Adalytical, a Digital Performance Marketing and Consulting company.

Download the entire FeedFront issue 13 here – http://www.scribd.com/doc/45332687/FeedFront-Magazine-Issue-13
FeedFront issue 13 articles can be found here as well: http://feedfront.com/archives/article00date/2010/12a>

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