Are you connected to other professionals in your industry and beyond? Social networking is so important today, but you need to know where to focus your limited time and attention. While LinkedIn might seem like it's a tool that focuses on the individual, it can be a powerful business-to-business marketing tool as well. How can you use LinkedIn to grow your professional network and generate leads for your agency?
Why LinkedIn is Important
You're already on Facebook, and you may also have a Twitter or Instagram account for your business, depending on your specific products and your social media team. Why would you bother to add another social networking site to the mix? On LinkedIn, individuals and businesses are there to network. The focus is on professional engagement, and posts reflect that. While solid connections can come from more casual interactions on Facebook, everything on LinkedIn is oriented towards building a personal or business brand.
Getting Established on LinkedIn
When you're getting started on LinkedIn, make sure you make a good first impression. Put work into your profile, and make sure it's complete. Add SEO elements so that people who are looking for you will find you easily. This piece of writing is the first thing that customers or potential collaborators will see when they look at you on the site.
Don't be afraid to stand out: create custom links to sites that showcase your work, or add a video introduction to your business. You can use LinkedIn to place PDF materials, slideshows, and other valuable content online so that you can give your contacts a thorough introduction to who you are and what you do. LinkedIn is a dynamic online resume, and you have a short time to make an incredible first impression.
After you complete your profile, reach out. While you might choose to create connections with people you know on your personal Facebook site, LinkedIn is not about your existing social connections. Feel free to reach out to people you have weaker connections with but would like to know more, and accept requests from people you don't know yet. LinkedIn is all about adding to your business network. That being said, make sure that you check out those who reach out to you. A quick look on Facebook or Twitter will let you know whether this connection will reflect well on your company.
When you do know people on LinkedIn, work to build up their profiles as well. Write recommendations for your friends and colleagues, and you'll build a stronger network. Ask them to write endorsements for you and your business as well.
Join LinkedIn Groups
Just like Facebook, LinkedIn has groups that you can join. Unlike Facebook, these groups are generally focused on business issues that are relevant to your professional growth. Join LinkedIn groups and add content to discussions. If you see a niche that isn't being filled or a topic that's not being discussed, consider starting a group yourself.
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