By Katie Elizabeth
Even if you aren’t in a “traditional” professional environment, odds are that you’ve heard of or use LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a widely used professional platform that allows individuals and companies to interact online. Millions of people take advantage of this site daily when looking for jobs, employees, or to keep up to date with friends and colleagues’ careers. LinkedIn provides users with a vast number of options, resources, conveniences and features.
Unfortunately, many of us (I’m guilty!) do not utilize social networking sites including LinkedIn to its fullest potential! LinkedIn is about networking and what better way to do that as a businessperson or freelancer than to actually get involved in the LinkedIn community.
Instead of just posting your resume or business profile and never touching it again, get involved in order to reap the most benefits for your business through LinkedIn. LinkedIn provides users with a variety of ways to interact with other people and companies regularly via the Internet.
Find A Community in Your Niche:
First, you can join multiple groups related to your business and the specific niche you are targeting. These groups will allow you to chat regularly with like-minded professionals as well as consumers about products, services, or important and relevant topics. You can even create your own group if there isn’t one specific to your needs already. This resource allows you to communicate with your target audience, your competition, as well as individuals who are willing to work with you.
You can pose questions to gain a deeper knowledge base or even be a source of information by answering another individual’s inquiry. Contributing to this kind of professional dialogue will help you to establish yourself as a leader and a reliable, credible source of information in your particular industry.
If you do freelance work of any kind, groups are a great way to get your name out there and network to find individuals who may need your services, whether you are a writer or a graphic designer. Putting your name out there in a somewhat organic online community can really improve the amount of work you obtain on a regular basis.
Use the New Tag Feature:
Another way to get involved through LinkedIn is to use tags or mentions. Tags allow you to identify people involved in any post you publish on your LinkedIn page. It can be used to help support other companies or business-people who work with you in order to develop relationships with others without ever having to leave your home office.
In addition, you can tag people or companies in posts to notify them of a topic or information that they may find interesting, relevant, or insightful in regard to their line of work. Keeping each other up to date and in the loop on professional news and trends can benefit all involved. You can tag and share posts as well as links to other LinkedIn pages or separate websites or videos.
Boost Your Online Reputation:
Finally, being involved in the LinkedIn community can increase your business or service’s positive online image. LinkedIn allows your connections to endorse or recommend you to others who come across your site. You can ask customers to endorse you or write a recommendation in person, or through networking connections you’ve developed through the groups you are involved with online. This will draw in new, potential customers and allow them to feel safe, comfortable, and excited about working with you.
LinkedIn provides business owners and freelancers with the ability to showcase their products and services online for potential business relationships. Take full advantage of all that LinkedIn has to offer by getting involved in the community through groups, tags, endorsements and recommendations. Establishing yourself in a community of like-minded people will help you to get your name out their while also allowing you to learn more and develop into a better professional.
Katie Elizabeth is a work-at-home freelance writer and social media consultant. She’s assisted many companies and organizations with LinkedIn networking and marketing, including a college alumni network, an agriculture company that specializes in farm equipment for sale, and a local Pennsylvania real estate agency.