Published Monday July 29, 2013
Meeting the right people and making smart connections is essential and strategic for career and business success.
Prior to 2002, the year LinkedIn was born and launched, we primarily met in person by: going to chamber events, meeting up with friends, and friends of friends, following up on recommended leads, and joining various local networking groups. Meeting strategic people in person is still the end goal because that is where the magic can happen, but we have a whole new online and web universe now added to this process.
Fast forward to 2013 and certainly beyond, where LinkedIn is the top professional online networking community and site where professionals connect, endorse and recommend each other, brand and self market themselves.
Consider these new statistics from a recent LinkedIn survey of its members.
- 87% trust LinkedIn as a source of information for decision making
- 65% of journalists have used LinkedIn for research materials.
- More than 2.6 million businesses have LinkedIn business pages.
If you and your business want to be taken seriously today, than having a complete, content rich, active personal profile or business page on LinkedIn is a must.
It simply says I am serious.
These 5 things can make you and your LinkedIn profile stand out.
- A professional picture or head shot - Your picture is the first thing people see. It should represent you and your professionalism in the best possible way that you want to be remembered or perceived.
- A strong headline that tells people who you are and what you do - Social Media and Content Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Bestselling Author, New Business Leader.
- A content rich profile that tells your career story - Rather than list vertical bullet points, use the summary and career experience sections to tell your career story. Who you have worked for, what you specifically did and what you accomplished. Use all the sections and fill in as much information as you have for your education, causes, interests, published work that all paint your brand past and present.
- Be Active: Engage, Post, Link and Comment - Try to be active and engage regularly with as many people as possible by connecting, posting links to great articles, posting your blog articles and commenting on your connections activity. Activity creates energy, energy attracts people to you.
- Endorse people's skills that you respect and believe in - Skill endorsements tell people what you want them to know you for and show how others see you. Don't endorse people with the wrong motives. Do it because you respect and admire people for your relationship with them, their professionalism and credibility.
With 200+ million users in 200+ countries on LinkedIn, (74 million in the US), LinkedIn offers the opportunity to find and make smart connections, potential customers and referrals local, national and worldwide.
Here's a great article about "Network with the right people and they will lead you".
In the professional world, a fully developed and branded LinkedIn profile with the right skill endorsements can be the best tool you have to meet those right people and make those smart connections.
How are you using LinkedIn to grow your professional connections?