The Ultimate Guide to Using LinkedIn for Business


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LinkedIn is among the top 10 most-visited social networking sites in the world, boasting over 200 million registered members. LinkedIn has changed the dynamics of professional networking in the recent years. There's no way you can ignore the rising statistics, increasing visibility, and demand of the things that LinkedIn provides as a social media platform, in order to create revenue and increase awareness of your brand. There's a good reason why it is the largest professional networking site in the world: it works. Read this report to learn how to use it to your best capacity, and see your profits and connections soar high with relatively low time and effort spent on your part.

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The Ultimate Guide to Using LinkedIn for Business

  1. 1. April 2013The Ultimate Guide to Using LinkedIn for Business
  2. 2. Dealing with Negative Behavior – A Guide for Administrative Professionals, Copyright ©, All Rights Reserved 1IntroductionAs the number of professionals in the world keeps growing, theres a need to benefit frommutual connections and cooperation. The age of the internet has literally brought a world ofinformation to our desktops, and has made connecting with people from across the globe aneasy and viable task. The success of various social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter,and LinkedIn is testimony to the effectiveness of making connections online.LinkedIn has emerged as one of the top social media and networking sites in recent years. Itsphenomenal success can be attributed to its effectiveness in bringing professionals acrossindustries and from around the world on a single platform. In fact, it is widely considered thebest networking site for B2B leads and sales.LinkedIn is among the top 10 most-visited social networking sites in the world, boasting over200 million registered members. It is somewhat like an online resume of yourself, yourcompany, or your group, which can be accessed by your connections. Using this site, you canapply for jobs, post jobs, look for professional connections, get recommended, make groups,promote your company page, establish your authority, and more.The advantages here are limited only by your ability to make use of LinkedIn. Millions ofprofessionals and businesses around the world have leveraged this platform to reap benefits ina number of areas. Regardless of your industry or line of profession, LinkedIn can be helpful toyou. You can make connections in groups, stay updated with the latest industry news, ordemonstrate your level of expertise – anything that can help you stay ahead of others.LinkedIn can be a boon for businesses, which is evident in the number of businesses using it fortheir professional needs. The following chapters will list the various benefits of having apresence on LinkedIn and explain how you can optimize it to your best capacity. If you followthe guidelines and use the correct approaches on LinkedIn, then you are bound to go a longway in your professional endeavors.
  3. 3. Dealing with Negative Behavior – A Guide for Administrative Professionals, Copyright ©, All Rights Reserved 2Chapter 1: Building an Effective Profile on LinkedInTo start off, you must first create your profile on LinkedIn. Your profile is the first thing thatyour prospective connections will see. It is your face to the world. The way you present yourprofile largely determines how people will respond to your presence in the corporate field.Savvy employers and recruiters use it for recruiting new and promising talent. Business ownersuse it to make connections and enhance their brand’s visibility. Professionals in most domainscan make use of this professional networking site to research companies, build connections andidentify employment opportunities.You have to optimize the use of LinkedIn to get the most out of it. The profile should be true toyour identity while also showcasing your skills and experience to make a good impression. Youcan follow the steps given to make your profile more visible to your connections. The tips givenbelow will guide with this:PictureThe first thing to do is to get a decent headshot of yourself. You should have a professional,clear, and friendly-looking photo of yourself. Most of the LinkedIn profiles have photos of therespective users. People without photos tend to present a view that they are too lazy to uploadone, don’t want others to see them, or don’t know how to upload one.Pictures help in establishing trust due to their transparency. They help validate yourauthenticity. Also, if you are active on other social platforms, it is best to use a common photofor all such profiles, as people are likely to recognize you easily.HeadlineThe headline of your profile should be meaningful. By default, your last job title is displayed asthe professional headline in LinkedIn. If you dont want to be recognized for that, then just editthe profile. Besides the photo, the headlines are the most visible things on the page, and if youlack a good headline, you risk losing visitors’ interest.
  4. 4. Dealing with Negative Behavior – A Guide for Administrative Professionals, Copyright ©, All Rights Reserved 3SummaryYour summary compels visitors to take more interest in you. In most places, you could do with acut-paste summary version from the resume. In LinkedIn, however, the social networkingelement makes people want to know more about you. Try to make the summary personal bywriting it in first person. Avoid making it too personal though. Write it in a way that describeswho you are and what you do, without unnecessary fluff or private details.The keywordsUse the right industry jargon in your profile summary. Don’t simply write “hardworking,trustworthy, and dedicated” – add industry terms directly related to your core job profile.Status updateGive status updates on a regular basis, as this makes the network aware of you. This also helpsin building a reputation for yourself. You can give status updates related to events youreattending, and post articles regarding your occupation, interesting and share-worthy newsabout your network, or other targeted content that makes you out to be an engaged industryprofessional.URLMention the link to your LinkedIn public profile on your business cards, resume, or emailsignature. If your URL doesnt have your full name, then you may be missing out on a greatchance to have your public profile come up in the first few searches on Google. To change yourURL, select the ‘edit’ option on your profile page, followed by another edit option on the publicprofile feature. Change the URL in this page by again selecting the edit option.ExperienceDo not simply list out all your past jobs in detail. Focus on jobs that are related to the currentposition youre working in, or the position that youre looking for. The simplest way of achievingthis is by using information from your resume.
  5. 5. Dealing with Negative Behavior – A Guide for Administrative Professionals, Copyright ©, All Rights Reserved 4RecommendationsRecommendations are a good way to appreciate someone you have worked with in the past.The more recommendations you get, the higher your probability of getting noticed.Recommendations can be given by teachers, colleagues, managers, and so on.LinksYou can add links of up to 3 websites in your LinkedIn profile. To make the most of it, you canadd the link to your blog, website, or even Twitter account.Once you have made a decent profile, you have to regularly update it. Set some time asideevery week for LinkedIn activities, by interacting with your connections and posting newinformation. Be sure to make your updates as relevant, interesting, and concise as possible.
  6. 6. Dealing with Negative Behavior – A Guide for Administrative Professionals, Copyright ©, All Rights Reserved 5Chapter 2: Networking and Professional ConnectionsNetworkingYou should now have an immaculate and compelling profile on LinkedIn. Next, you have tobegin developing your network. This network is mostly about the professional network graph.This means that your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level contacts are displayed and can assist you in gettingcareer opportunities. You can follow the steps given below to successfully develop yourLinkedIn network.Import contactsWhen starting out on LinkedIn, you can make use of the “import contacts” feature to get yourknown contacts in your network. This feature can import contact details of your connectionsfrom Hotmail, Windows Live, Gmail, AOL, and Yahoo Inc. There is also the option to lookthrough the profile pages of your college or workplace to add contacts you have known in yourschool days, or colleagues youve worked with in the past.AvailabilityA major part of this site is the messaging system. Almost everyone uses it and you should try tomake the best use of it by being open to continuing conversations and accepting contactrequests. Being open and available will be helpful in building lasting and productiverelationships.EmailTheres no way people can connect you to their networks if you dont mention your emailaddress in your profile. You can either put your email address in the contact field while labelingit as public, or leave it at the bottom of your summary area.Promoting URLCopy the distinct URL of your LinkedIn profile page and use it everywhere so that it can help inpromoting your profile. You can place this link on your website, email signature, traditionalresume, blog, presentations, or even on the business cards you give out to acquaintances.
  7. 7. Dealing with Negative Behavior – A Guide for Administrative Professionals, Copyright ©, All Rights Reserved 6Status updatesStatus updates are not simply about sending out messages on a regular basis. The materialshould be good enough to generate interest in your network. In LinkedIn, you dont have to usethe status bar every time you want to update something. You can use resources such to update your status for all the social networks you are a part of. Also, be surethat the status messages on LinkedIn are of an extremely professional nature, as the audiencecomprises mostly hiring managers and career-minded individuals.Professional connectionsLinkedIn is a great site for making potentially rewarding business connections. It offers you asimple way of gaining credibility, and being a part of various networks related to your particularbusiness field. You can view LinkedIn as some sort of internet calling card that lets people knowwhos behind the business or who you really are. They can either search for you on LinkedIn ortry to find your profile by using search engines. Given below are a few things that you shouldknow about making business connections: Your business and you are intertwined. Having a suitable profile and proactivelyparticipating in LinkedIn conversations can help promote your business. Do not spam just to promote yourself. Contributing and participating in the communityand showcasing your expertise can give far better results. Keep track of competitors’ activities on LinkedIn and find out about their networks.A key point here is that unlike social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, people visitLinkedIn with a business-oriented mindset. The following points will tell you how LinkedIn canbe of immense use to you when making business connections.Business relationshipsThe primary reason youre on LinkedIn is to build lasting business relations. These relations canbe with investors, partners, media members, suppliers, potential employees, sales prospects,and so on. The twist here is that LinkedIn also allows you to view your connected networkonline, and most importantly, the people with whom your contacts are connected. Theres agood chance that your connections know other people who may be considered as valuablecontacts from your point of view.
  8. 8. Dealing with Negative Behavior – A Guide for Administrative Professionals, Copyright ©, All Rights Reserved 7Business IntelligenceThis site can be used as a source for collecting business intelligence related to your industry,your competitors, and other such factors that might affect you and your business. Currently,there are close to 3 million pages of companies on this site and the number is steadilyincreasing. You can use LinkedIn to check if an important employee left the job to join yourcompetitor, or analyze the opinion people have formed about you and your competitor. TheSignal, Job Notifications, Company Pages, and other similar features give you this kind ofinformation.Becoming more visibleHaving a LinkedIn account also improves your visibility and credibility. In todays world, salesprofessionals first look into your LinkedIn profile before initiating business with your company.Therefore, making a good impression becomes imperative.Time optimizationLinkedIn puts you in a position to get the most out of your networks, and so it can save you alot of time. If you have a clear idea of what parameters youre looking for when making aconnection, then you can make use of the sites search functionality to find people by location,company, name, title, education, industry, and so on. LinkedIn can even help you save themoney and time required to attend a networking event by giving you the chance to maketargeted searches on future prospects.Better decisionsProfiles on LinkedIn give you a 3D view of the candidates, which is lacking in resumes. You caneasily get a sense of candidates’ full professional experience. You can also request referenceson a candidate from your network and connections to make more informed decisions about theperson.
  9. 9. Dealing with Negative Behavior – A Guide for Administrative Professionals, Copyright ©, All Rights Reserved 8Making professional connections has never been this easy before. You can do the following tomake the best use of this site: Mirror your offline and online business networks on LinkedIn. Tag your expertise and skills. Personally acknowledge and welcome new connections. Add a video clip related to your business to make your profile more authentic. Note the opportunities and important details for successive actions. Filter and tag connections to build and organize relationships. Use a context to get business intelligence. Regularly update your customer relationship management (CRM) with information fromLinkedIn.Professional connections make this site all the more important. So, choose the best strategy totake advantage of this feature and make your network a wide and diverse one.
  10. 10. Dealing with Negative Behavior – A Guide for Administrative Professionals, Copyright ©, All Rights Reserved 9Want to read the rest?Get the full report!