A great place to social network is LinkedIn, as they have 101 million members nationwide. This speaks volumes for the impact of being on this social networking site. There is a lot that can be done with your profile on this site to maximize the potential of your exposure. First you want to make sure that your profile is 100% complete. In order to make your profile 100% complete, you need to do the following things:
- Add a photo so that people can meet you virtually and put a face with a name
- Have a descriptive title that thoroughly explains what you are an expert in
- Give as much detail as you can for the section titled education and experience, to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise
- Recommendations: ask clients who are happy with your work and also provide recommendations to others
- Connections: connect with people in your network and keep connecting as you add to your network. Also connect with your target market.
- Websites: Add links to your website, blog and other websites that you have to promote yourself. Rename them so that they don’t say My Website
- Public Profile Address- Change this so that instead of it having a bunch of numbers in the web address, it states your name
- Summary- provide as much detail as you can here, about your experience, background and company information
- Additional Sections- Add certifications you have, languages you know, patents and publications that you have and additional skills that you have.
- Specialties- What do you specialize in? Who is your target market? What products/services do you concentrate on in your business?
- Applications: Add some applications to your profile. Add an RSS feed from your blog so that people can see your new posts as they are added. Also, you can add what you are currently reading through on the “Reading List by Amazon”. Another great application is posting a PowerPoint on your profile. This application is called Google Presentation.
- If your company is not listed on LinkedIn, then add it so that it will be listed on their database. Here is a screenshot of how to do this.
- Track stats: Look at the box on the right hand side titled “Who’s Viewing My Profile”. This will tell you who is viewing your profile and how many times you have appeared on the search engines. There are also additional benefits if you have an upgraded membership. Here is a cross comparison of the different levels of membership with some of the benefits they offer.
Now that you have your profile completed, you are probably asking how do I participate.
There are several ways and they should all be utilized:
- Questions/Answers: This is simply a place where you can post questions and answer other people’s questions. You can be seen as a wealth of knowledge from your network and be labeled as an expert.
- Join Groups: Find groups to join, based on your target market, alumni, and interests. Participate in discussions within these groups.
- Network Updates: Participate on this daily so that you are visible to your network
- Link to profile in auto signature: This encourages people to link up with you and see your profile.
- Digest e-mails: I encourage you to sign up for the daily or weekly digest e-mails that tell you all the updates for your network, including groups that you belong to. It is a great way to hear about resources, the latest news and keep in contact with your network.
- Frequency: This is something I cannot emphasize enough. Belonging to social networks is not enough. You have to participate and it has to be on a regular basis. Ideally you should be making this a daily task.
The rewards of this dedication will be invaluable to your business.