LinkedIn, the social network for business, now boasts over 200 million users. However, many LinkedIn users are not using this tool to the fullest of its capabilities. Here are few things you can do to make the most of the networking resource.
Focus your profile
Creating a profile is the first thing you do when you join LinkedIn. You will be asked to fill in details, such as previous job roles and qualifications which for many people become an overwhelming temptation to turn their profile into a CV. However, just like face-to-face interactions, you don’t want to bore potential clients with long lists of companies you worked for or with the responsibilities you assumed. An effective introduction should be focused on your current employment and your main role in the company.
Pick the right connection strategy
Generally, the value you can achieve from belonging to a business network is the result of the size of that network as well as your ability to convert connections into productive business relationships. LinkedIn has two main networking strategies. Open Networking allows you to initiate and accept connections from as many people as possible, while Trusted Partner Networking only allows you to connect to people you already know. The main advantage that the Trusted Partner Networking option offers over Open Networking is a stronger recommendation since your network is more cohesive. However, you are also less likely to build many new relationships. An effective strategy would be to find a balance by limiting the number of people you connect with to those you can actually have a conversation with.
Find potential clients and business partners
The most effective way to achieve some business value on LinkedIn is to find potential business partners and clients. Fortunately, LinkedIn Search allows you to include details of who you want to be referred to. Many people are surprised by the extent of their personal network and the number of people that they can be introduced to. Keep in mind that you are better off being introduced to a new connection by a mutual connection as opposed to trying to connect with them directly.