15 Small Business Tips to Become a Networking Pro

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Having the right connections on LinkedIn can create breakthrough opportunities for your small business, from raising funds to making your first big sale. But how do you find and engage the right contacts? How do you network on LinkedIn in an effective, assertive, and professional way?

We explored this topic at our first LinkedIn Live event in Blacksburg, Virginia, where local LinkedIn experts and business leaders shared tactics for effective networking on LinkedIn. Here are some top tips from the day.


To learn more about how to make the most of LinkedIn for your small business, visit us at http://smallbusiness.linkedin.com, or follow us on Twitter at @LinkedInSMB.

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  • 15 Small Business Tips to Become a Networking Pro

    1. 15 Small Business Tips to Become a Networking Pro ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
    2. Having the right connections can create big opportunities ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
    3. From building new partnerships
    4. To hiring top talent
    5. But finding business contacts can be tough ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
    6. But finding business contacts can be tough ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Who do I connect with? When do I engage with them? How do I engage with them? How do I find them? How can they help me?
    7. So where do you start? ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
    8. ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. First things first, you need to be credible Optimize your profile "  "
    9. Put a face to the name Members with profile photos are more than 7x more likely to be found in searches
    10. Create a crisp, punchy headline Highlight what makes you different, speak directly to your audience, and use keywords to be found in LinkedIn search
    11. ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Tell the full story of you Showcase your professional career, growth, and accomplishments in the Summary and Experience sections of your profile
    12. ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Let your network speak for you Make your profile come to life with Endorsements and Recommendations from colleagues, employers, and customers
    13. With an all-star LinkedIn profile, you’re ready to be found ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. "  "
    14. ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. But being found takes time
    15. You need contacts ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. now
    16. ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. It’s time to put your network to use Find contacts on LinkedIn "  "
    17. Define your goal Determine the core attributes of the people you’re searching for. For example, 5+ years marketing experience and currently working in the software industry.
    18. Search on LinkedIn Search using keywords that illustrate what type of connection you’re looking for
    19. Search on LinkedIn Narrow down your results with search facets
    20. ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Access LinkedIn Groups Join groups that relate to your networking goals, and identify thought leaders through post and engagement activity
    21. ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Focus on quality, not quantity The value of your LinkedIn network comes from the connections who want to help your succeed, such as fellow alumni
    22. ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Think long term Although a connection may not have have direct or immediate relevance for you, they could help you access key business contacts in the future
    23. ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Identify the ‘network hubs’ Evaluate your connections and view their network snapshot to see who can help you access contacts with specific skills, in particular industries, or at companies of interest
    24. Leave the office Get out of the building and network in person – it’s hard to beat old fashioned handshakes. Remember to close the loop after meeting new contacts by reaching out on LinkedIn. Online works well, but don’t forget to…
    25. You’ve done your research and found the right people ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. "  "
    26. Now it’s time to reach out ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Engage on LinkedIn "  "
    27. ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Participate in LinkedIn Groups Legitimize yourself as a potential business contact – share your knowledge with influencers on LinkedIn Groups
    28. Get a warm introduction Leverage your network and get introduced to potential business contacts through mutual connections
    29. Send a message Reach out to anyone on LinkedIn with InMail. Break the ice by complimenting their work or stating your intentions.
    30. You’ve engaged contacts, demonstrated value, and started the conversation ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. " "
    31. ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Now you’re networking like a pro
    32. Find out more: Premium.linkedin.com/tour ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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