What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, and is growing rapidly, with hundreds of millions of users worldwide. It is for anyone who is interested in taking their professional life seriously by finding new opportunities to grow their careers and to connect with other professionals. While LinkedIn has been described as the professionals Facebook, do not expect to find cat videos or pictures of people’s lunch!

Selling Yourself

Take some time to think about how you want to portray yourself, when creating your profile you can add details of current and previous job roles, professional qualifications, education and specific skill sets. It is basically a non-targeted resume, and employers will use it as such. So be clear, concise and show yourself to be an expert in your field.

Why Use LinkedIn?

Use LinkedIn as a business resource for career and business, to network, build relationships and connect with potential customers, clients, and partners. LinkedIn is about building strategic relationships, so look for quality not quantity. Start by connecting with people or businesses that you know and who know you, and through them build a larger network.
LinkedIn uses a powerful search function that allows you to target specific job titles, areas, or industries to name a few. This allows you to really focus on the connections that will allow you to grow your business or progress your career. When approaching a new connection always attach a short message to the request, this will make your request far more likely to be looked at favourably, will demonstrate you are not a “robot” and by using the requestee’s name will show that you have taken the time to look at their profile and feel that you can assist each other.

What Next?

If your request is accepted send a message to say “thanks”, you are trying to establish a rapport, when sending your “thanks” message add something about yourself, what you feel you could assist them with or even a LinkedIn group that you think they may find useful. With any luck this will prompt them to reply again, and you have the basis for a conversation. A great way to meet new professionals and connect with them is to join groups based on your interests or current profession and start participating. Other group members may like what they see and want to connect with you.
LinkedIn uses a powerful search function that allows you to target specific job titles, areas, or industries to name a few. This allows you to really focus on the connections that will allow you to grow your business or progress your career. When approaching a new connection always attach a short message to the request, this will make your request far more likely to be looked at favourably, will demonstrate you are not a “robot” and by using the requestee’s name will show that you have taken the time to look at their profile and feel that you can assist each other.

How Much Is It?

The basic version of LinkedIn is free to use, but if you are serious about using LinkedIn and all of it’s most advanced features you may want to upgrade to the Premium version. Currently priced at £70 per month (with a free month trial to start with) for Sales Navigator, this will allow you to access the more advanced search options and see who has been viewing your profile as well as full CRM integration.
In short if you are looking to increase sales, advance your career or cultivate your business you really cannot afford not to have a LinkedIn profile, with a small amount of time invested daily the opportunities are there to make valuable and lasting customer, client and partner relationships.