LinkedIn is the most powerful professional network we have at our digital fingertips, so why not take advantage of it? According to the most recent quarterly report, LinkedIn’s membership has reached 467 million members and counting – a 17 million member increase from the preceding quarter.
Let us shed some light on why more and more professionals are starting to harness the power of their LinkedIn connections.
Networking to Build Trust and Boost Brand Awareness
Promoting your business through LinkedIn’s company pages or your personal profile is a great way to boost brand awareness. LinkedIn now employs a status feed quite similar to Facebook’s where we encourage professionals to share engaging and informative content about their industry. If you found an educational blog online helpful, then share it with your professional network. This will help your connections view you and your business as a trusted, human source – not just someone who is after a sale. The more they grow to like you, the more inclined they’ll be to network with you or refer your services. The best part? It’s free.
Navigating Partnership Opportunities and Determining Credibility
While LinkedIn is a great place for businesses to connect with consumers, it also opens a world of opportunities for businesses looking to foster strategic partnerships. Since LinkedIn profiles uphold a certain level of transparency, it’s easy for members to gauge the credibility and authenticity of other professionals they might want to work with. LinkedIn is a great networking tool for this reason because it allows members to do the following (without leaving the house):
- Endorse each other publically for known skills
- Post/view personalized recommendations
- Share stories and engaging updates
- Publish original content
- Promote events (networking, fundraising, etc)
- Start a “LinkedIn Group” to share content with like-minded people
- Provide job recommendations
- See who’s looking at their profile
- Remember: each new profile view is an opportunity to connect!
Career Development and Making Quality Connections Online
Just to be clear, good old fashioned networking face-to-face is not dead – it is still as important as ever. Career development is all about making quality connections, and the LinkedIn community allows you to expand your network beyond those face-to-face meetings. It’s a great idea to follow other professionals in your industry on LinkedIn as well as companies you like, competitors, friends and family members. Essentially, your LinkedIn profile is your personal business brochure. Utilize it correctly and you can tap into a network of millions of professionals!
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