LinkedIn: The Largest Professional Social Network
June 30, 2011 Leave a comment
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network having recently passed 100 million contacts worldwide. There are 7.5 million professionals in Canada and currently close to half are sharing their professional contacts and personal network on LinkedIn.
You may ask, “With volumes of contacts in the millions, will my profile be lost in the forest, or is there a chance that it can be found?” The answer is… your success depends on you.
Opening a profile and having your name and title appear is not enough. In fact I believe a poorly constructed, bare minimum and inactive account provides a poor personal and corporate brand image.
Google and other search engines evaluate LinkedIn content, so it’s also important to pay attention to keywords when you construct your profile. Why? Because when your profile is complete (100%), and active (which doesn’t take much to be active), then Google can use those keywords to index your account and promote your LinkedIn profile in searches. This is a very good thing.
Having a 100% completed profile
Just like anything in life, a 100% complete LinkedIn profile of value requires an initial investment of your time (and/or a small amount of money). Note: To rate well with search engines you need a completed profile.
The account itself doesn’t need to cost a dime. LinkedIn’s free listing (which is the most common), makes sense for most business people at all professional / executive levels.
Your investment is the time you’re willing to invest to learn what to do and how to do it. If your time is best used doing what you do best… experts can help you get your profile up and running quickly.
Example of how experts can help:
I recently worked with the president of an organization who didn’t have a profile. With a bit of pre-planning and pre-work we worked together to create an 80% published profile (with contacts), in just 45 minutes. And we have a plan to achieve the 100% goal within the next three weeks (the last 15% often takes one to four weeks).
Once your profile is launched, you can decide how often you’ll update your profile depending on your personal schedule, responsibilities and preferences. My recommendation is to have some activity at least one every week.
Organizations use LinkedIn to find:
- Suppliers / Trainers / Experts
- Market research and information (LinkedIn Today as example)
Individuals use LinkedIn to find:
- What jobs are available
- Who’s joining a company and other talent information
- Market information / Expertise (LinkedIn Today as example)
Additional ways you can use LinkedIn:
- Join groups and associations to network with clients / prospect clients
- Research high potential clients and prospects before contacting or meeting them
- Request LinkedIn recommendation from satisfied clients and suppliers
- Use LinkedIn Today to stay up-to-date on a topic or industry by customizing an information / news feed
LinkedIn is a valuable resource and will be as powerful as you make. LinkedIn isn’t sexy, it is a bit trendy, and does take work to initially set it up. However, it is valuable and once you have your profile established it only takes just a few minutes every few days to:
- Find great new & existing clients
- Demonstrate your core competencies
- Added value to your network
LinkedIn isn’t sitting back – it’s consistently adding additional value. So should you.
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