A billion! A million!!! – I can’t even think how many zero’s after ‘that number is, but come to think that 1 billion is about 13.5% of the world’s population!!! And wait 1.7 billion users are on Facebook – that’s about 23%!!! Whew – I know what’s crossing your mind – so many posts, pictures, videos, jokes, statuses etc etc…
But, come to LinkedIn – has about 450 million users (yeah still a huge number but at least it is not carving majorly into the world’s population!) Reason? It is primarily a ‘business social media platform only’ – this means, persons who are serious about their businesses, are in it.
How is this relevant to you? Well there are plenty of reasons why you should join LinkedIn (if you haven’t already registered, get on it, now!) and specifically get on to groups. If you are keen on expanding your business, building esteemed relationships with clients and consumers then, this is THE place to be in!!!
Unlike other social media platforms where you can directly request someone to accept your ‘friend’ request, here you should work or rather shall I say earn your ‘connections’. You must be a genuine business person to even get the slightest attention from fellow users.
This also means first round of security check is already done! So, your profiling is as important as your expertise and your business – a decent profile picture, a well-written brief about yourself with relevant details, links (that work and are updated regularly) to your website(s) or to show your work/products, important contact information for potential ‘connections’ to get in touch with you – essentially it should be like a well-put resume but not exactly imitating one. (don’t know how to go about it? I’ll rustle up a guide soon – keep checking!)
Once you’ve established yourself, get connected (you could start with known persons, friends and colleagues who are already there) and slowly scan through to expand your network. What could garner people’s attention is what you put up or share – make sure they are intelligent posts or debates that will surely put you on higher grounds.
Next, find relevant groups to join – similar business communities and/or groups initiated by veterans/experts in your industry and of course you can choose to join competitors’ groups too (why not? Sometimes the best advice comes from someone who is your fierce competition!). Of course, be aware that there are groups that are closed – which means the members are limited and/or you need approval from an admin to become a member. And oh! before I forget to add, do keep in mind you can only join groups as an individual and not through your company page/profile.
Groups help you to do many interesting and benefiting things:
- Share Ideas: It’s an easy way to put forth your idea and check the feedback directly from people.
- Seek Expertise: Do you wish there was sound advice for an issue you are facing? Look no further – reach out to your peers, seniors or experts in your network and get some awesome advice free of cost!
- Debate on Hot Topics: Whether it is about someone else’s issue or pros and cons of a product, a healthy debate will give you enough information to ponder over for your own growth.
- Provide a Recruit Platform: This is the cherry on the icing! Potential talent is waiting out there to latch on to good businesses. Grab the opportunity to scan and check through their backgrounds before scheduling interviews!
- Be a Response Forum: What better way to understand and resolve things than being responsive and that too in real time? Whether to address a problem or pass on a compliment or saying ‘Thank You’, it is a big tick mark on your business ethics.
- Build Communities: Groups help you find your cause and build communities around it. You can invite like-minded people to make the world a better place!
- Provides a Solid Network Base (of clients and customers): No Einstein brain at work here! The connections (First, second and third degrees) all are a big solid network base. Announcements just got easier, isn’t it?
Well, being active in groups will enable more connections – engaging members in intellectual conversations on your business/product relevant topics, posting appropriate comments on fellow members’ posts and yes, you can choose to update your company content to garner more traffic to your website!
Do you think that’s too much work? Nah, considering what it is going to be doing to your business, it is a worthwhile shot!
My simple tricks for you to not get bamboozled with all the activity:
- Give yourself a goal of 4 -5 new connections each WEEK (that’s not too much right?) – start with saying hello through known connections and then slowly work your way up.
- Pre-schedule your posts so you don’t have to worry about writing when you are online.
- Give an indication as to when you prefer to be online (since one cannot monitor 24/7) – a decent duration to consider queries, post opinions on debates/GD’s and the like.
- Give out appreciation to at least 2 of them each fortnight (not randomly of course! Check their work or posts to see their latest achievement or see what fellow members are telling about the person).
Now they know that you know your business and mean it, people will flock to connect with you – Get ready and get Linked!
Oh, and please let me know if this has helped you better your connections.