As a mompreneur my time is limited. Homeschooling during the day and chauffeuring the kids in the evenings slows down my ability to do face-to-face, real time networking. I must use my time wisely. One day it occurred to me that I’ve gotten several clients from LinkedIn but very few from Facebook. So I’ve had to ask myself, “why am I hanging out on FB?” Well, my family and (real) friends are there, but they are not hiring me to speak for them or coach them. I decided to learn more about LinkedIn and how to leverage it’s power so that my social media networking time is effective.
Here are 5 simple networking strategies to use on LinkedIn.
1. Complete your profile AND USE A PICTURE!– If you were to go to a networking event you wouldn’t walk in without cards and place a bag over you face would you. You’re there to be seen and to tell others who you are. The same concept applies to LinkedIn.
2. Join relevant groups and post comments-just setting up a profile is akin to going to a networking event and standing on the wall. You have to get off the wall and mingle right? The groups allows you to mingle with people of common interests, experiences, affiliations, and goals. Make sure your comments are relevant and add value. In real life you wouldn’t walk up to a group of people and shout out, “buy my stuff now!” would you? No, you would contribute meaningfully; but on LinkedIn you can do something that you can’t do in real life; you can finish your conversation with a signature tag that has your website’s address. Oh Yeah! Once you stimulate their minds with your wise comment, suggestion, hyperlinked recommendation then they are left wondering, “wow, who is this?” Your signature makes it easily convenient for them to find out!
BTW, I would love it if you joined my group, I’m The Boss of Me .
3. Add applications to your profile-LinkedIn has 18 different apps that you can upload to your page. This will allow you to collaborate and share with your network and it helps your page to be a little more interesting. With these apps you can display your portfolio, upcoming events, reading lists, blog posts, powerpoint presentations and much more. To locate it look at the navigation bar across the top, there’s the tab “more” , it will dropdown and there you’ll see the choice of “get more applications”.
4. Give and ask for recommendations-This helps to establish trust for your services. The great thing about LinkedIn is that you can be recommended for work that you did 10years ago (if you can find a person who remembers). Make sure when you send out a recommendation that it sounds sincere.
5. Follow strategically -For sure you want to connect with friends and past colleagues but think about who you want to work with and follow them as well. You’ll meet them in groups or do a search (within LinkedIn) of your target market. You can even follow companies and receive their updates!
LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool, especially for us momprenuers who can’t get out much! Here are some LinkedIn facts:
- LinkedIn started out in the living room of co-founder Reid Hoffman in 2002; the site launched May 2003
- As of June 30, 2011 (the end of the second quarter), professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate that is faster than two new members per second.
- As of August 2011, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 120 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
- More than half of LinkedIn members are currently located outside of the United States.
- As of June 30, 2011 (the end of the second quarter), LinkedIn counts executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies as members; its corporate hiring solutions are used by 75 of the Fortune 100 companies.
- More than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages.
So if you’re looking for a career change or clients this is the place to network! Now go and get LinkedIn! Make sure you join my network!