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Professionals and entrepreneurs know that better LinkedIn networking means doing more business. Contacts are turned into prospects. Ideas from a business circle are turned into profitable ventures. The key to doing more business on LinkedIn, however, demands a little bit more in terms of time and effort. Here are three ways to do it.
Make and sustain a good impression by optimizing your LinkedIn profile. The latest LinkedIn version sports a clean-looking and image-centric user interface. A substantial amount of space is devoted to logos and images since visual elements help enhance branding and improve online visibility. That is why you need to optimize your profile by adding a professional photo and a company logo.
You can also add rich media such as videos, presentations and blogs to your profile. This is a better and more efficient way to introduce yourself than, say, adding a chunk of text to your profile. You can engage viewers with a story of your company or career through a short video or a timeline.
By introducing media links and blogs, LinkedIn demonstrates its knowledge of the importance of video and content marketing. You should be able to use at least one of its new features to optimize your profile.
Add text but make sure your profile looks clean. A brief description about yourself and your work will help members decide if they want to connect with you or not. You can also add notes to your profile to help friends and colleagues find you. A cleaner profile also encourages people to take a look at the highlights of your career—from organizational involvement to educational experience.
A strong profile is a good place to start. Take your LinkedIn experience further by sustaining your visibility and keeping your business relationships strong. The easiest way to do this is by connecting with influential members. They may be willing to write you a glowing testimonial, introduce you to a new influential friend, or offer you fresh ideas.
Influential or not, LinkedIn members will likely connect with you if you are active, helpful and trustworthy. You can write a post everyday or share something useful (link, tweet, message, etc.) through LinkedIn’s Sharing Bookmarklet. Sharing something you think your niche will appreciate is a good opportunity to engage. It may also invite more members to connect with you and see you as an influential LinkedIn user. Also, don’t forget to check your Notifications tab. Thank people who endorse you, respond to comments, and message those who view your profile.
Earn the trust of LinkedIn members by deeply engaging and actively communicating with them.
Don’t worry if you’re the type who finds it difficult to “engage” with individual members. You can still join groups and meet people who share your skills and causes. This is what LinkedIn’s new “Common Interests” feature is for. Make sure to include your skills, causes and interests to your profile first. Groups that belong to your niche or area of expertise can help you find members and see what you have in common with them. You can then personalize your introduction request to a member by inserting common elements you share. This is a sure way to get your requests approved and start a fruitful conversation with a prospect.
There’s no shortage of LinkedIn tips on the web. Many more techniques promise to help you position yourself as an expert or a trustworthy member. These three keywords—optimize, engage and contribute—however, sum up what you need to know about getting more out of LinkedIn.