Connecting with peers and colleagues will allow you to gain valuable connections that can help grow your business. While it’s nice to take a business call or lunch to catch up on news, the internet has opened up a whole new world of networking capabilities for busy business owners to connect with other company CEOs, share information, mentor young entrepreneurs and create more business connections.
LinkedIn has become the top place for business professionals to network. The very nature of the platform is for business owners and employees to interact in an environment that encourages career growth and knowledge. There are several ways to use LinkedIn to grow your network.
Post Industry-Related Articles, Business News, and Engaging Content
LinkedIn allows you to post short article pieces on your status so you can show your professional knowledge. Use this to your advantage as your existing contacts will share your posts and drive more people to connect with you. Stick with timely and trending topics that help other business owners succeed.
Simply rehashing old topics and cramming keywords into articles will only make people see you as a spammer. Drop a snippet of an article taken from your blog and have people visit your business webpage for additional information to build up web traffic. Just make sure to keep content fresh and varied so it is engaging to readers.
Get Involved in LinkedIn Groups
There are countless groups on LinkedIn that allow you to get involved in discussions with industry peers. Selecting several to participate in will help you to connect with people who can become a part of your network. While it is easy to simply click on every group available until you hit your limit (about 50), it is better to just stick with 3 to 4 groups that you can actively take part in.
You will be able to use your time wisely and really engage with other people. Also, LinkedIn limits automated weekly emails to only those groups you actively participate with as you could quickly get bogged down if you are trying to be involved in every group that is available.
Keep Your Profile Updated
You wouldn’t want to do business with a company that doesn’t have an about page that describes what type of business they operate, their vision, or talks about their business owner. So don’t be surprised if you have fewer network connections due to an incomplete profile. While your business day is busy, take a few minutes to fill out as much information as possible. With a complete profile, people can see how interesting and likable you are as these opinions will reflect positively on your business.
Also, occasionally update profile information to keep it fresh and engaging. LinkedIn doesn’t limit what you can place on your profile. So sharing interesting business accomplishments can get people more interested in your products and services.
Use LinkedIn as Your Digital Business Card
Events, tradeshows and conferences strive to gather all like-minded entrepreneurs in one location. You never know when or where you will meet another business professional that you want to connect with: in the lobby, during dinner, or on the elevator. While business cards are still ideal promotional materials, they can get lost and forgotten in a hotel room.
You can instantly build your network with your smartphone and a LinkedIn profile. Connect with the people you meet, then follow up with a personalized message reminding them about the event where you both met. This tactic allows you to build a business relationship with the LinkedIn connection that you can use to your advantage.
Growing your LinkedIn network won’t happen overnight. It takes time, energy and dedication. Try to dedicate a few minutes in your day toward networking with other professionals. Bring more visibility to your business, without spamming your connections. They will see your profile as a valuable connection to know online.