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January 23, 2012 / Steve Hennigs

Why I love LinkedIn

LinkedIn Logo

I have a confession to make. I really love the social network for business professionals LinkedIn.  I find it informative, intuitive and that it consistently comes out with new features to help me be a better salesperson.  I thought it would be good to share why I believe it is so useful so that others can take advantage of this great business tool as well as share ways to use LinkedIn that I might be missing out on.  These are in no particular order.

Industry News

Everyday when I log in to LinkedIn I am greeted with the top news stories in the industries that interest me.  They call this “LinkedIn Today”.  You can choose what industries you want to follow and have the top three stories (based on number of people reading and/or sharing the story) on your LinkedIn homepage.  This brings me the daily benefit of keeping up on industry trends but also introduces me to good news resources I can then follow on Twitter, subscribe to their blog, etc.

The Networking Opportunities

This is the biggest benefit of being a part of LinkedIn.  Simply by having a well written profile (mine can be found at www.linkedin.com/in/stevehennigs) I am able to represent myself and the company I work for to millions of people.  Per the Wikipedia article on LinkedIn there are over 135 million people in 200 countries with a LinkedIn profile.  For more here is Wikipedia’s LinkedIn article.  If someone views my profile, reads this blog, checks out a discussion I have started or commented on, or if I find anything they have done interesting we can “Connect” and become part of each others’ “Networks”.  Then I can see all their “Connections” and vise versa.  What a great way to meet new and interesting people.

Side note on “Connecting”: Do not simply go around connecting with people at random.  If you cannot bring value to the person you connect with then they have every right to deny your request to connect, you should champion the same level of scrutiny to those who request to connect with you.  The network you build is counting on connections you make to add value to them as well.
LinkedIn Groups

The “Groups” in LinkedIn provide professionals with similar interests a forum to meet one another and discuss topics relevant to their profession in an open discussion.  These groups are so great!  Simply by joining a group I get insight into what is important to my clients and perspective clients at this very moment.  Not to mention I again get to learn a thing or two about my industry from people much smarter than I.  The other benefit of the groups is a big one.  By commenting on discussions I can engage in real conversations with people important to my business on topics they are interested in discussing.  That is true networking gold.  I can also display my expertise on a given topic to others in that group if I take the time to answer the comment in an intelligent and pointed manner.  It is not often that a salesperson can interact with that many people on a highly relevant topic so Groups are very useful to me.

Side note on Groups: By being in the same Group as someone else you are then “Connected” to them.  You can then see more information on their profile than you could if you were not in that Group.  This can be beneficial if you there is a business you would like to work with but have not been able to find an appropriate contact through other means.

LinkedIn Profile

I could not write the post without discussing the “Profile” as its own category.  Many people view your LinkedIn Profile as your online resume and you should treat it that way.  Put your best foot forward so that when people visit your profile (because you have been so darn interesting in your “Groups”) they will want to connect with you.  Some quick tips on the profile:

  • Ask your connections for “Recommendations”.  People can recommend your work therefore providing added credibility to what you do.  This is a must!
  • Have a well written “Headline” and “Summary”.  Do not just put your job title and some boring information.  Use these areas to really describe how you help those you work with/for.  Beyond this being interesting to those who visit your profile it can also help your profile be found by search engines.
  • Promote your other online activities.  You can link to your Twitter account, blogs, company or personal website and much more right from your profile.  This means you can add even more value to your connections!

There are numerous other features that I find useful by being a part of LinkedIn but I do not want to write a novel in this post.  A few I will mention that you can investigate further are the “Apps”, “Answers”, “Jobs” and “Profile Statistics”.

So that is why I love LinkedIn.  It provides me with daily knowledge and allows me to connect with interesting people.  Why do you love LinkedIn?  What did I miss?

As always, thanks for reading!

Image courtesy of Google Images

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