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Using LinkedIn for Business Growth

Every day Professionals use LinkedIn to define themselves - and their businesses - to the world.

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LinkedIn the world's largest professional network with over 70 million members.

LinkedIn was one of the first 'social media' sites I joined many years ago and I have watched and participated in this Business Networking site.  It has over 12 million small-business people, which is roughly 20 percent of its total user base.  Many business people will use LinkedIn for lead generation - to discover useful information about a company and the key players.  The following are other valuable uses of Linkedin to consider.

Recently on the LinkedIn blog, Guy Kawasaki, co-founder at AllTop, posted the blog article "Ten Ways for Small Business to use LinkedIn".  In summary he identifies these 10 points.

  1. Acquire new customers through online recommendations and word of mouth
  2. Keep in touch with people who care most about your business
  3. Find the right vendors to outsource services you're not an expert on.  
  4. Build your industry network-online and in person
  5. Get answers to tough business questions with a little help from your real friends
  6. Win new business by answering questions in your area of expertise
  7. Raise funding
  8. Network with peers in your industry for repeat business referrals
  9. Convince potential customers of your expertise by sharing unique blog content
  10. Keep your friends close and your competition closer

I have found benefits from each of the above, other than raise funding - which would certainly be helpful for non-profits, start ups and fast growth companies.

 

Linkedin-Richard-woodenTIP: Make sure to include your LinkedIn button in the footer of your email.  Make it easy for your recipient to find out more about you and setup up a connection!

 

Additionally Guy's earlier blog post has  "10 ways to Use LinkedIn" that provide the BIG picture of value gained by having and participating in LinkedIn:

  1. Increase your visibility
  2. Improve you connectability.
  3. Improve your Google PageRank.
  4. Enhance your search engine results.
  5. Perform blind, "reverse," and company reference checks.
  6. Increase the relevancy of your job search.
  7. Make your interview go smoother.
  8. Guage the health of an industry.
  9. Track startups.
  10. Ask for advice.

A few others from blog readers:

  1. Integrate into a new job.
  2. Scope out the competition, customers, partners, etc.
  3. Identify your recommendations from other business leaders
  4. Use new Company feature to find more customers

SlideShare-Success-with-crmAdditionally I use the LinkedIn Appsfunctionality to show other activity and useful content:  Slideshare presentations,blogging posts with Blog LinkReading list by Amazon, Huddle workspaces, document collaboration, Google presentations, Travel triptIt, Company Buzz, Events attending.  Check often for new options to extend your reach.

 

BTW:  Don't forget to have your business blog feed your LinkedIn profile!

 

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I also use the Outlook Add-in to enhance Outlook's ability to show the LinkedIn profile of the email sender and then a list of all their emails in your Inbox..... powerful for remembering relationship information.

Access the LinkedIN Help functionality for Frequently asked questions, personalization tips, setting up your profile, etc.

Keep abreast of new features and benefits by subscribing to the LinkedIn Blog and our Business Success with CRM blog.

 

Go-Extend-ReachNow is the time to Use LinkedIn to create and then strengthen people relationships which may become business relationships. Be found easier.  Implementing LinkedIn is part of our "Extend Your Reach" consulting services.

 

So what have you found useful in your business?  Share your successes with others in thecomment of the related blog post.