Youve heard of social media such as the Facebookand Twitter and you probably use it to promote yourbusiness. You may even own a LinkedIn.comaccount, but chances are youre not using it to its fullpotential, to promote yourself as a local businessexpert. Think of the other social media networks ascasual Friday, and LinkedIn.com as Mondaymeeting, and all business. LinkedIn.com is simple touse, and a much better channel for promoting yourbusiness.
Believe it or not, you can use the same tried andtrue SEO methods that you use for articles andblog posts. Using the same keyword research thatyouve already completed to fill out your profile,create an effective headline, and a winning thesummary will go far in helping you establishyourself as a local business expert.
The most important aspect of your LinkedIn.comaccount is probably your profile. Using the tipsabove, ensure that your profile has a really goodheader, any relevant summary, and as many jobdescriptions as possible. Its completely free tohave a profile; in fact, I highly encourage you tostick with a free account until you learn everythingLinkedIn has to offer.
A relatively new feature, at the time of this writing, is theability to add, as well as rearrange, sections on yourLinkedIn.com profile. You can add sections such asoverview, certifications, courses, honors and awards,organizations, projects, test scores, volunteer experienceand more. Additionally you can add differentapplications such as blog links, Box.net files, a creativeportfolio display, your E-bookshelf, events,presentations, polls, and much, much more.
A great feature of LinkedIn.com is the ability toboth ask and answer business oriented questions.If you answer questions in an intelligent manner,without the addition of spam, people will startseeing you as an expert in your niche. In fact,LinkedIn.com will reward you by establishing theexpert designation on your profile, and thusfeaturing you on the answers page.
It is very important that you join relevant groups inyour local area that have been established onLinkedIn.com. If you want to join groups ofpeople doing exactly what youre doing, choosejust one. What you really want to do is join groupsconsisting of your target audience. If you sellwidgets hanging out with other widgets sellers,while useful probably wont help you get newclients.
Also, limit the number of groups you jointo the number that you have time in whichto be active. Just being there isn’t going togarner more business. You must be anactive participant.
Finally, as with any business activity that you do inyour lifetime, act with the utmost integrity. Dontspam, avoid too much automation, and mostimportantly be yourself. Theres no point inhiding behind a fake name, a fake picture, andposting fake information. Instead, remember thatgolden rule of marketing: People buy from thosewhom they know, like, and trust. Be that person.