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Is your LinkedIn account mostly sitting idle? You can do so much more with it than simply look up contacts: find gigs, sell products, expand your networks, grow your business and gain free publicity. Here are 33 ways to use LinkedIn more effectively. Fill out your […]

Is your LinkedIn account mostly sitting idle? You can do so much more with it than simply look up contacts: find gigs, sell products, expand your networks, grow your business and gain free publicity.

Here are 33 ways to use LinkedIn more effectively.

  1. Fill out your profile completely to earn trust.
  2. Use widgets to integrate other tools, such as importing your blog entries or Twitter stream into your profile.
  3. Do market research and gain knowledge with Polls.
  4. Share survey and poll results with your contacts.
  5. Answer questions in Questions and Answers: show expertise without a hint of self-promotion.
  6. Ask questions in Questions and Answers to get a feel for what customers and prospects want or think.
  7. Publish your LinkedIn URL on all your marketing collateral, including business cards, email signature, email newsletters, web sites and brochures, so prospects learn more about you.
  8. Grow your network by joining industry and alumni groups related to your business.
  9. Update your status examples of recent work.
  10. Link your status updates with your other social media accounts.
  11. Combine your social media approach: when someone asks a question in Twitter, respond in detail on LinkedIn and link to it from Twitter.
  12. Use the search feature to find people by company, industry and city.
  13. Start and manage a group or fan page for your product, brand or business.
  14. Research your prospects before meeting or contacting them.
  15. Share useful articles and resources that will be of interest to customers and prospects.
  16. Don’t turn off your contacts: avoid hard-sell tactics.
  17. Write honest and valuable recommendations for your contacts.
  18. Request LinkedIn recommendation from happy customers willing to provide testimonials.
  19. Post your presentations on your profile using a presentation application.
  20. Check connections’ locations before traveling so you can meet with those in the city where you’re heading.
  21. Ask your first-level contacts for introductions to their first-level contacts.
  22. Interact with LinkedIn on a regular basis to reach those who may not see you on other social media sites.
  23. Set up to receive LinkedIn messages in your inbox so you can respond right away.
  24. Link to articles and content posted elsewhere, with a summary of why it’s valuable to add to your credibility.
  25. List your newsletter subscription information and archives.
  26. Find experts in your field and invite them as a guest blogger on your blog or speaker at your event.
  27. Post discounts and package deals.
  28. Import vCards and contacts from other applications to find more connections.
  29. Export your contacts into other applications.
  30. Buy a LinkedIn direct ad that only your target market will see.
  31. Post job listings to find qualified talent.
  32. Look for connections related to a job you want.
  33. Find vendors and contractors through connections.

(Thanks to Frank Strong, Zale Tabakman, Robert Medak and Jon Tucker for their suggestions for this post.)

What other ways do you use LinkedIn for business?

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  1. 33 Ways to Use LinkedIn for Business « Innovative Technologies Monday, July 13, 2009
  2. Meryl

    Thanks for posting the information we discussed. I was excited to be able to see the other tips that people have talked about…lots of great info on the post.

    Feel free to email me with any other stories you’re working on. Would be happy to help again.

    Jon Tucker
    CompeteOnWeb.com

  3. A few other ideas for using LinkedIn:

    1. Check your contacts and see who might benefit from knowing each other. Then introduce them to each other, using InMail or traditional email (not the LinkedIn introduction function).
    2. Create a short newsletter for your LinkedIn contacts to let them know what’s happening in your career or job-search.
    3. Mentor a fellow employee or a colleage who needs a job.
    4. Find your next project work team by checking their skills on their LinkedIn profiles.
    5. Keep track of your colleague’s promotions and title changes on LinkedIn and send congratulations. They will probably show up on their profile or Network Updates before the company newsletter.
    6. If your employer doesn’t have online networking tools, start a LinkedIn group. Consider inviting alumni, too.
    7. Network with professionals in similar roles in your industry.
    8. Use LinkedIn’s Outlook toolbar or use Xobni, from Xobni.com to find new contacts.
    9. Research Career 2.0 — what you’ll do if or when your current job is gone.
    10. Remember, networking is more about giving than getting. Build your karma.
    11. If you are job-hunting, see my profile, http://www.linkedin.com/in/andybrandt1 for a free PDF book on job hunting online, networking and using LinkedIn, “The Job Seeker’s Guide to Online Networking and Using LinkedIn.”

    Andy Brandt

  4. 33 Ways to Use LinkedIn for Business « Netcrema – creme de la social news via digg + delicious + stumpleupon + reddit Monday, July 13, 2009

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  5. links for 2009-07-13 at DeStructUred Blog Monday, July 13, 2009

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  6. My big frustration with LinkedIn is that it doesn’t do more to help broker introductions to other members who may have a need for what it is you do; or can answer a need to you have. Sure, one of your contacts may make the introductions for you, but how often does that happen?

    LinkedIn members are looking for help with challenges and buying services every day and yet it does nothing to help connect people to make this happen.

    Ian Hendry
    CEO, WeCanDo.BIZ
    http://www.wecando.biz

  7. 33 Ways to Use LinkedIn for Business « Tech South Tuesday, July 14, 2009

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  8. Great post!
    Thanks for sharing the list.
    I’ve used it also as a Linkedin health check: good to see that I’m doing 90% of what the list suggests :)
    Best
    Fred

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  10. TC McClenning Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    Very informative article. As someone who is now assisting clients with getting up to speed on all there is to know/keep up with on social media sites, I’m sure they’ll find this helpful as well. We are now in a world where personal branding via such tools as LinkedIn is essential.

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