Did you know that you can use LinkedIn.comsfree features to build your reputation as a localexpert in your niche? Well, if not, you do now!LinkedIn.com is a more formal social networkmade especially for business. Youre not going toget on LinkedIn.com to update your connectionsabout the potty habits of your pets or children.Youre not going to make comments about thewoman in front of you in line who smells like askunk. No, on LinkedIn.com, youre going to keepit all business, all the time.
On LinkedIn.com you have a variety of toolsat your fingertips. When you first to get toLinkedIn.com, what youll see is the homepage, profile page, contact page, groups,jobs, inbox, companies, news and more.Believe it or not, you can use all the featureson LinkedIn.com for free. While there is anupgraded version you can get for a smallmonthly fee, I highly recommend that you usethe free version first to see where take you.
Lets go over the different areas ofLinkedIn.com, and discuss the best ways toget the most out of LinkedIn.com, and toestablish you as a local business expert.
On the LinkedIn home page you will see astream of updates from other members ofLinkedIn. Every time you make a change,share an update, make a new connection, orhave any activity on your LinkedIn.comaccount, it will show up on the stream. This‘stream’ provides a lot of opportunities tobecome a local expert and keep themselvesat the forefront of their connections minds.
Your profile is probably the single mostimportant aspect of your LinkedIn.comaccount. Unlike other social media sites suchas Facebook or Twitter, it is very important andthat you establish a very professional presenceon LinkedIn.com. Use the most professionalpicture that you have, or find a localphotographer to take a new proto. The nextaspect of your profile that is very important isthat the headline that is under your name.
Creating a key word rich headline willgarner a lot more searches for yourbusiness. Dont try to be clever with yourheadline, instead be very direct, if you are avirtual assistant, or a marketing expert, orare you sell widgets at a local store this isthe time to say so.
The next important part of your profile is yoursummary. Your summary should describe acomplete picture of what you do, in otherwords it explains your "why" for being.Naturally, you should include keyword richdata so that your target market can find you.
Its also important to list your currentbusiness name, links to your website, andany other relevant information that will helpyour customers find you.
One really exciting feature is the ability to addsections to your profile. A section could be astream of your blog, a twitter and link, or yourFacebook link, for instance. Dont be shy;add every relevant business oriented sectionthat you can. Your profile is where you canshine.
Once you complete your professional profile,its time to invite contacts. Look through yourcontact list, people that you already know,and choose those highly valuable peoplewhom you want to invite to connect with youon LinkedIn.com.
Unlike other social Media Networks, focus onquality connections over quantity. Your goalis to establish your expertise in your particularniche. There is no need to add your mother,your sister, your children, or your best friendunless these people are also valuablebusiness connections.
Now, look through the different local groupsthat are relevant to your target audience.While it is okay to join groups consisting ofother professionals that do exactly what youdo to advance your professionaldevelopment, what youre really looking forhere are groups that consist of your targetaudience.
Initially, limit the group you join to 2 to 4 sothat you can have time to participate fully.Once you are a member of the group, answerquestions and ask questions withoutdispensing any sort of spam to the members.Frankly, people are sick and tired of socialnetwork users who do not participate, butinstead compulsively link unrelated content allover the place.
Finally, look through jobs, inbox, companies, news, and the ‘more’ features. Learn about each of these areas so that you can use them to their maximum benefit. Becoming a local expert can increase your sales exponentially. Put your best foot forward, act with integrity, and before you know it you too, will be an established LinkedIn.com local business expert.•