LaTely, I've been active on LinkedIn.com and I must say I'm pretty impressed with the positive exposure I've received since I became an active member on the site. For all of those who do not know what LinkedIn is – according to the site LinkedIn is an online network of more than 14 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 150 industries. When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional achievements. Your profile helps you find and be found by former colleagues, clients, and partners. You can add more connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you.
Your network consists of your connections, your connections' connections, and the people they know, linking you to thousands of qualified professionals.
Through your network you can:
- Create a business profile
- Add your past jobs and education
- Link to your websites
- Search for great jobs
- Discover inside connections that can help you land jobs and close deals
- Post and distribute job listings
- Find high-quality passive candidates
- Get introduced to other professionals through the people you know
- Post and reply to questions that have been asked by the network of professionals.
LinkedIn is free to join. They also offer paid accounts that give you more tools for finding and reaching the right people, whether or not they are in your network. As quoted directly from the site, "Your professional relationships are key to your professional success. Our mission is to help you be more effective in your daily work and open doors to opportunities using the professional relationships you already have." "This is not networking-it's what networking should be. Forget exciting business cards with acquentions that do not know your work, or trying to renew professional treaties when you need a favor." Here are some of the reasons why I really believe LinkedIn is beneficial for professionals like you and me:
- You can easily keep in touch with your past clients, colleagues, employees and business partners.
- Ask a question and you will receive exposure. When you ask a question, it's added to the Answers section of the LinkedIn, providing exposure to thousands or millions of members.
- Find potential clients, service providers, subject experts, and partners who come recommended by your network.
- Be found for business opportunities.
- Increase your exposure
Everyday I set aside some time to build my network on LinkedIn, focusing on locating potential clients and business partners who I strategically setup a business relationship with. LinkedIn is a great resource for any business professional looking to gain extra exposure and looking to linkup with new people in a particular industry. I highly recommend Linked LinkedIn and am quite confident that if you designed the time to build your network and meet new people, it will naturally help to build your business. Just one hour per day, that's all you need.