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3 Ways LinkedIn Benefits Your Business

Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.
3 Ways LinkedIn Benefits Your Business

The entire basis of LinkedIn is to connect with the people you know and with whom you do business and to easily expand your own network by being more directly linked to the networks of your First-Degree connections. There are several ways to turn your LinkedIn presence into a lead generator.

1. Boost Confidence: Feature Endorsements and Request Recommendations

Both endorsements and recommendations are available to showcase on your LinkedIn profile. Kudos from third parties, people who have worked with you in the past in some capacity, can be a valuable enhancement to your profile, boosting other people’s confidence in your skills and abilities.

An endorsement is a quick and easy way for your connections to endorse the skills listed on your profile. You can add relevant skills to your profile by clicking the “Me” icon at the top right-hand corner of your LinkedIn homepage. Then click “View profile” and scroll down to the “Skills & Endorsements” section. From there, click “Add a new skill” and type the skill into the text box that pops up. Select the right skill from the dropdown list that appears and click “Add.” Only skills that are already listed on your profile can be endorsed.

Endorsements are different from written Recommendations that you can feature on your profile. A LinkedIn Recommendation is a written statement of endorsement received from a connection. You can request Recommendations from your 1st degree connections. An effective way to get Recommendations is by encouraging reciprocity. Recommend your own Connections and, chances are, they’ll recommend you in return. You can choose which Recommendations to feature on your LinkedIn profile.

When you’re editing your LinkedIn profile, you have the option to Request a Recommendation. To get there, click the “Me” icon and select “View profile.” From there, scroll down to the “Recommendations” section and click “Ask to be recommended.” In the “Who do you want to ask section,” type the name of the connection you’d like to contact. From there, fill out the “Relationship” and “Position at the time” fields in the recommendations pop-up window. Click “Next” and personalize the message that accompanies with your request before sending.

2. Get Seen: Network and Support Others in LinkedIn Groups

A LinkedIn Group is geared more toward a professional audience than a Facebook Group, but both are places where discussions can take place focused on specific topics such as a gathering of industry organization members discussing industry trends. A LinkedIn Group can be an ideal platform for connecting with customers, prospects, potential strategic partners and related professionals to engage in conversation and information exchange.

Participating in LinkedIn Groups can increase your visibility on the LinkedIn platform. Sharing timely news articles, opinions about current events or topics relevant to the particular group or providing answers to questions from fellow group members are ways you can be visible while adding value to the group.

Refrain from blatant promotional messages or company announcements unless they are solicited. Look for ways to contribute meaningfully in LinkedIn Groups to get people’s attention.

3. Establish Your Expertise: Publish LinkedIn Articles

In addition to posting timely articles and helpful information to Groups, you can also publish content that showcases your expertise on your personal LinkedIn timeline. Go beyond brief posts by publishing longer form articles via your profile page. Think of this publishing feature on LinkedIn as a business-oriented blog where you immediately have a built-in audience of your connections and an easy way to promote this content on any of your social networks.

One more tip: Make sure your profile is visible to more people. Click on "Me" in the top right-hand corner to see the drop-down menu. The click on "Settings & Privacy." Click on "Edit your public profile." On the right-hand side of the page, you’ll see a box marked "Your profile’s public visibility" with a button next to it.

LinkedIn continues to be a useful marketing tool for professionals and companies. Knowing how to leverage the myriad of features increases the value of your LinkedIn interactions.

Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman
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