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Jul
06

Business Building And Linkedin- The Secret Connection

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You Can Achieve “Rock Star” Status On LinkedIn!

LinkedIn is really more of a professional networking site than it is a social networking site. Consequently, it can project a bit of a “stuffy” image, compared to Facebook or Twitter. The average LinkedIn member is relatively highly educated, and makes in excess of 6 figures annually (or, so I’m told). LinkedIn can be an extremely valuable source of business referrals and connections, however, you have to become a valuable asset to the community.

How, you say?

You need to establish yourself as an expert.

How do you do that? You do this by answering questions posted by others in the LinkedIn Q&A. You can access the Q&A by clicking “more” in your LinkedIn profile, and then selecting “Question”. When you are prompted, select “answer questions.”

When people post questions on LinkedIn, they have to put them in at least one category and/or subcategory. I recommend searching for a topic that is closely related to your specific area of expertise. I frequently answer questions on writing/editing, technology, internet marketing, etc. Have a look around for subjects that match your expertise most.

When you find a question you think is “juicy”, and which you feel confident about providing information, read over the replies received so far and then give an answer that gives added value to the person who asked the question.

BE GENEROUS in your reply. Share from your expertise and experience. Give links to outside sources you believe would help the person. The key to this process is to focus on what you can GIVE the other person. There is nothing more irritating to me when I go on LinkedIn and read replies to questions that are obvious spam or simply attempts to gain attention. Invariably it backfires on the person. But if you are generous with your wisdom and your professional knowledge, people really appreciate it.

After a question has been online for some time (usually 7 days), it closes unless the person who asked the question keeps it open. After it closes, LinkedIn sends a message to the person who asked the question requesting that they select the best answer to their question. If your response is selected as the “best”, you then become ranked as an “expert” in that particular subject. Your expert status becomes a permanent part of your LinkedIn profile. Every time your answers are selected as the best, you gain another accolade as an expert.
Why would you care about becoming a LinkedIn Expert?

Establishing yourself as an expert on LinkedIn not only helps others see that you are knowledgeable on specific subject areas, but it also shows people that you are a generous and helpful person. People can also click your expert status and read exactly what kind of knowledge and information you are sharing, which further establishes your credibility.

 The long-term benefit of this is that people will come to trust you both as a professional and as a person. If you think that will not have a positive impact upon your business (and even your book sales) think again.
 
Because LinkedIn is a professional network, as opposed to a social network, it does indeed have limitations on how you can market yourself compared to Twitter or Facebook, for instance. But in helping you establish your professional credibility, LinkedIn becomes a great balance to the other components of your online platform.

If you’ve got profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, which do you prefer? If you don’t have a profile on LinkedIn, why not? Leave a comment so the entire community can benefit from your opinions and experiences.

I’m sure your Twitter followers would appreciate learning this LinkedIn “secret”, and so would your Facebook Friends.  So, go ahead to the buttons at the top of this page, and “Tweet” this post, and “share” it with your Facebook Friends. They’ll appreciate it!

 

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Comments

  1. Bruce F says:

    Hi Michael,
    I have been active on LinkedIn for about a year now, and so far it has really paid off. You have to be patient, though. You can’t expect your business to take off overnight. The key is to stay involved with your network, and constantly add people to it.
    Thanks!

    Bruce

    • Mike says:

      Hey Bruce! I couldn’t agree with you more. People who join LinkedIn expecting to build their business overnight are going to be sadly disappointed. The great aspect of the LinkedIn community is that they all know what they are there for. It REALLY makes a difference who is in your network, too!
      Thanks!

  2. I don’t really care all that much for LinkedIn. I really prefer how nice and friendly the people are on Facebook. Alot of the LinkedIn crowd are a bit snobby, or maybe it’s just me.

    Appreciate the post, Michael!

    • Mike says:

      I agree Debbie, that LinkedIn is a much more “business” like atmosphere than Twitter or Facebook. However, I find the people that are involved with LinkedIn to be very sociable, too. Thanks for your input!

  3. Jimmy says:

    Michael- I just got started on LinkedIn, and so far I’ve made about a dozen excellent connections. You really have to be proactive with the community, though. Joining groups and commenting (kind of like what I’m doing here), is great for getting people to notice you. Any other suggestions?
    Later,

    Jimmy

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for your input Jimmy! One thing you might try is to form your own group. Pick a topic that you enjoy, and have a background in, and go for it! Being the leader of the group gives you tremendous credibility. Try it.

  4. Hi Mike,
    Great post and advice! I’ve joined several groups where my target market and potential JV partners hang out. I really like the idea of searching for words related to your niche and then getting involved in the discussion. You can also use the search button to look for words related to your niche, and search by groups, people or questions.
    Thanks and warm wishes,
    Cindy

    • Mike says:

      Hi Cindy! You’re so right, the search function is real handy on LinkedIn. It’s also interesting how much people on LinkedIn pay attention to the posts you place in group discussions. They have appreciation for constructive advice and tips. FYI, http://biznik.com is another good business networking site.(you probably knew that, though)
      Thanks for your input!

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