Online professional networks such as LinkedIn are surging in popularity, thanks in part to fear of lay-offs amid the recession. A year ago it took LinkedIn over a month to win 1m new members; it now takes about 15 days and the site has 42m members around the world. Online networks are open to all and easy to join. But what do you do once you've created a profile? How to increase its value and attract new business connections or customers? How to ensure that the time you spend is used wisely?
The average number of LinkedIn connections for people who work at Google is forty-seven.
People with more than twenty connections are thirty-four times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than five.
All 500 of the Fortune 500 are represented in LinkedIn. In fact, 499 of them are represented by director-level and above employees.
Most people use LinkedIn to “get to someone” in order to make a sale, form a partnership, or get a job. It works well for this because it is an online network of more than 8.5 million experienced professionals from around the world representing 130 industries. However, it is a tool that is under-utilized, so I’ve compiled a top-ten list of ways to increase the value of LinkedIn.
1. Increase your visibility.
By adding connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to hire or do business with. In addition to appearing at the top of search results (which is a major plus if you’re one of the 52,000 product managers on LinkedIn), people would much rather work with people who their friends know and trust.
2. Improve your connectability.
Most new users put only their current company in their profile. By doing so, they severely limit their ability to connect with people. You should fill out your profile like it’s an executive bio, so include past companies, education, affiliations, and activities. You can also include a link to your profile as part of an email signature. The added benefit is that the link enables people to see all your credentials, which would be awkward if not downright strange, as an attachment.
Read the reamining 8 tips here. And for bite-size training and tips on how to make the most of LinkedIn tools and resources (even the most well hidden ones) follow this link.
I'm a Virtual Assistant offering secretarial, book-keeping and social media marketing services to small businesses and self-employed professionals. I design and write e-newsletters, blogs, websites and...