Friday, August 31, 2007

Are You LinkedIn? Top 10 Reasons To Network Online

By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP - International Business Speaker

LinkedIn is the way busy professionals connect online.
Its like speed networking via the Internet.
And its great for finding lost friends, former classmates, or your dream job.
If you are not a member of LinkedIn, you are missing out on some great opportunities.
There are 13 million registered users and the list keeps growing.
Not only can you ask questions, search for people, connect with people and get testimonials, you can also connect with like minded others.
The "gated-access approach" builds trust because contact with other professionals requires either a pre-existing relationship, or a recommendation or introduction from another.
This avoids being spammed constantly.
Here are the Top 10 Reasons To Network Online via LinkedIn.

1. Increase Your Credibility.
You can list your past jobs, current role, qualifications, awards and other achievements.
Its like having an online CV or Statement of Capabilities.
But best of all, people can say nice things about you via testimonials and references.
For example, you can view my profile here.
PS: Don't ruin your credibility by accepting connections from people you don't know.

2. Increase Your Visibility.
You can increase your visibility by just becoming a registered user.
It is simple and easy to use. But best of all it is free.

3. Increase Your Connections.
It is a social business networking site and the best way to connect with everyone you know.
The best part is you can measure how many connections you have and view the connections of others in your network.
A true example of the concept of six degrees of separation at work.

4. Increase Your Testimonials.
It is easy and simple to ask for and give testimonials from people in your network.
Don't blindly forward requests though.

5. Categorise Your Contacts.
It is very easy to track and categorise your contacts.
I suggest you keep it simple to three areas:
- Casual acquaintances - friends - highly recommended

6. Increase Your Google Rankings.
Just by registering, you can increase your rankings on search engines like Google.
This helps people find you via the Internet at no cost to you.
I call this "the gravity effect of a strong reputation".

7. Increase Your Links To Your Website.
Link back from your LinkedIn page back to your own website, blog or MySpace page where people can access more detail.

8. Increase Your Expertise.
You can categorise your expertise via interests, industry, job title or country.

9. Research Others.
The great aspect about LinkedIn is that you can research potential prospects, clients, partners, job offers or competition.
And they have just launched a new service called LinkedIn answers.

10. Increase Your Network.
You can increase your network by asking others to join.
So if you are already a registered user and have received this eZine, I would love to join your network. Why not add me now?
If you are not a user, join now and please include me as your first contact!
Do this and see if you are connected to any of my contacts.
Join now.

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