How to Use LinkedIn to Expand Your Reach
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As a member of LinkedIn you have the opportunity to connect with business associates, post a “resume”, solicit testimonials from clients and co-workers and position yourself as an expert by answering questions posted by other users.  I covered these basic topics in Getting the Most of Your LinkedIn Profile

Take a look through one of your connection’s list.  Is there anyone there that you believe can benefit your business?  Better yet, is there anyone there who’s business your services or product can benefit?  Ask your connection for an introduction.  Once that introduction is forwarded, you have the opportunity to directly connect with that prospect and communicate one on one. 

Think about LinkedIn as a virtual networking mixer.  People are gathered around with the purpose of making real connections; they interact, shake hands, ask questions and get answers.  Those that you connect with best are added to your list of contacts to follow up with at a later date. 

LinkedIn has recently added some social networking applications to increase the connectivity of its members.   My favorite so far is the WordPress application.  This allows me to put my blog posts on my LinkedIn Profile.  This gives my connections the opportunity to see what I write about and am an expert on.  It also drives more traffic to my web site.  I installed the events application as well, giving my connections the opportunity to see where I am holding a seminar or what events I am attending in case they’d like to join in the fun.   Other applications allow you to create a virtual workspace, share presentations, see who’s traveling where, add polls and keep track of the buzz about your company.   LinkedIn had to make this move to remain competitive with the other larger social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. 

As part of your online marketing, dedicate an hour or two to your Social Networking profiles each week, out of that give a half hour to LinkedIn.  By adding connections and answering questions you’ll find the time you invest upfront will pay dividends in the near future.

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