Getting Started with LinkedIn

If you aren’t on LinkedIn, or haven’t investigated it yet you really should check it out. In basic terms it’s the business version of Facebook. It has over 450 million members in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. What LinkedIn does, and does well, is to connect businesspeople to each other and in turn, each other’s connections. For instance, a person that has 595 connections is ‘linked’ to over 6 million professionals. What this means is they can quite easily get introduced to anyone they are linked to through one of their connections.

LinkedIn gives you access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights into the world of business. So, if you are new to this medium, how do you get started and make yourself known? Here are 12 quick tips to get you going.

  1. Sign up for LinkedIn, create a profile, and then search for businesspeople you know and ask them to be a connection.
  2. Once you have some connections take a look at their connections and see who you know and ask them to be a connection. Every connection you get leads you to further connections. With a little effort you can have hundreds of connections in no time. One word of warning – don’t accept every invitation that comes your way, check the person out to see if you know them, know of them, or whether they’ll make a useful connection. Some people are just looking to sell you something, or gain access to your connections.
  3. Now what you really want to happen is for people you don’t know, but want to know (potential clients perhaps) to start noticing you, so you need to widen your horizons in terms of connections.
  4. Post regular updates to let your connections know what’s happening in your life and business.
  5. Join groups that relate to your industry and join the conversation. The more comments you post, and the more you contribute, the more people (and businesses) will take an interest in you.
  6. Write articles about your industry and post them for your network to read.
  7. Create a business LinkedIn profile, or company page, to complement your personal business profile.
  8. Add pages to your business profile that profile your management staff and encourage them to add posts, or put someone in charge of managing the business page.
  9. Use the LinkedIn help center to see how you can make the most out of your membership – there are webinars, videos and a place to simply ask questions. You can even request a LinkedIn mentor.
  10. Go back to your original profile and add to it to make it as comprehensive as possible. And, keep it up to date.
  11. Endorse people and request that they endorse you.
  12. Ask for recommendations and recommend some of your connections.

LinkedIn is an amazing vehicle for you to promote your business; the tips above will get you started but read more about LinkedIn and grow your knowledge as you grow your connections and your influence.