How can you get started and maximize the online resources to your advantage?
The more people you know, the more likely you are bound to come across the contacts you need. LinkedIn offers a simple way to gain contacts in your network or add connections. LinkedIn strengthens and extends your existing network of trusted contacts.
Here are a few tips:
Profile Picture – Make sure you have a profile picture and that it is professional. People remember faces, so it is important to have an up-to-date photo.
Complete your profile – It is important to have your profile completed with all the categories. Even if you are not looking for a job, it is a great way to build connections.
Link your connections – Linked in firmly believes you should know your contacts before deciding to add them as a connection.
There are a few ways to add connections. The first is the green button on the left navigation on your LinkedIn profile. You can add email addresses. Another is to import your address book and LinkedIn will go through and find the contacts that you aren’t already linked with. These are people that you are already interacting with . . . bring it to LinkedIn. Make sure to add connections when you get their business cards as well. Oh and when requesting to get connected, it is a good idea to personalize the invitation.
Join Groups – Members can join groups on LinkedIn with similar interests. Many of the groups have questions and discussions that you can join in. This is a great way to get exposure to more people. Look for groups in your field as well as where you may find clients.
Testimonials – What is better than someone else singing your praises. Request logical people to recommend you on LinkedIn. It is also a good idea to return the favor.
Update your status – in the middle of your LinkedIn homepage it asks “What are you working on?” This is a great way to push updates out to everyone in your network. LinkedIn updates your contacts with your new connections, status updates, groups your have joined, comments you make in discussions and more.
These are a start. These tips will help build and leverage your existing network.