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.
It’s like speed networking via the Internet.
And it’s 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 35 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.
I even found out about requests for social media articles like this through LinkedIn!
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.
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.
You can post articles, links and questions to other people.

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. You can measure who has viewed your profile and how many contacts you have.
For example, here are my recent statistics:
You are at the center of your network. Your connections can introduce you to 5,482,100+ professionals — here’s how your network breaks down:
Your Connections
Your trusted friends and colleagues 269

Two degrees away
Friends of friends; each connected to one of your connections 113,400+
Three degrees away
Reach these users through a friend and one of their friends 5,368,400+
Total users you can contact through an Introduction 5,482,100+
It also gives breakdowns for geographical areas and industries.
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.
You can also link back to your blog, with posts being automatically updated, show with others what your reading and even post PowerPoint slides from recent presentations.
You can also set up your own group.

9. Research Others.
The great aspect about LinkedIn is that you can research potential prospects, clients, partners, job offers or competition.
One of the most powerful tools is the advanced search where you can search by keyword, postcode location or company name.
The Groups tool is also useful for linking with other like minded experts.
I strongly suggest you join the PRIA group.

10. Increase Your Network.
You can increase your network by asking others to join.
I invite you to sign up to LinkedIn, join the PRIA group and link with other like minded people.

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