Job Hunting! The single biggest myth about LinkedIn is that the only people using it are looking for a job. While it is a valuable job hunting resource, this myth is driving away the people that will derive quite a lot of value from the site.
Generating sales leads, expanding your influence and sharing your expertise are three ways that businesses should focus on LinkedIn.
Generating sales leads – Running an advanced search for contacts in your target market is a great way to mine for sales leads. In the advanced search, you can search by keyword, company, industry, title, etc. How many times have you said, ‘if I could only get in front of the CEO at my target prospect, the sale would be in the bag’. Well advanced search gives you the tools and access you need. Then, think Back to Bacon…the six degrees of separation concept is shortened down to three. Somebody, knows somebody, who knows the right somebody. Best of all, there are many LinkedIn groups that deliver valuable content and those high-end decision makers belong to many of these groups. You can join the group as well, then you can almost taste the bacon.
Expanding your influence – Using LinkedIn, I invited my Denver-area connections to a city-wide networking event, Summertoast. At the event, I connected with 10 people in my network who introduced me to more people and I secured a lunch meeting to discuss our agency working on a project for that company. This chain of events occurred from a simple LinkedIn invitation to an event that I wasn’t even hosting.
Sharing your expertise – I’ve connected the Side Note Blog and my twitter feed @Mark_at_Weise, to my LinkedIn profile. If we are connected on LinkedIn, you’ll see an entry on my newsfeed whenever a new Side Note entry is posted. Also, I have found that tweeting relevant, interesting content has convinced some of my contacts that I have some valuable insight. Sourcing interesting content is important, be sure to keep it relevant and business related.
In order to keep LinkedIn THE professional networking site, it is incumbent on regular users to maintain integrity in their groups and push group administrators to remove content that is not directly related to the group. Most importantly, shut down spammers, and restrict job posters from cluttering your group.
If you have other ways of using LinkedIn to grow your business, please share them with us. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, search or click the Mark Plumb LinkedIn tattoo. You can find Weise Communications on Facebook and follow @Weise on Twitter.