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In April this year, LinkedIn, now owned by Microsoft, claimed 500 million users from more than 200 countries, making it the most popular social platform for professional networking
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Using LinkedIn to build your business

LinkedIn is a great way to build your brand and develop a rapport with your clients. And while you may already have a profile, there are plenty of ways to use it more effectively.

There are a number of reasons why LinkedIn is so useful but the main one is that Google loves it. Potential clients who are searching for your name in Google will likely find your LinkedIn profile within the first few results.

However, it’s not enough to just have a LinkedIn profile; you need to make sure it stands out. This means making sure you have a professional and high-resolution photograph of yourself – not one of you having fun in the sun with family or a beer down the pub with your mates. You also need a concise description that outlines who you are, your professional skills, and your business experience.

A great way to think about what to include in your LinkedIn profile is to have in the back of your mind whether you would want to do business with yourself if you were reading it.

Market your business in LinkedIn Groups

Once you’re on LinkedIn, it’s important to stay in front of your clients. This can be done by “liking”, commenting on, or sharing articles. But make sure the articles are relevant to your business. By interacting regularly in this way, your clients can see that you are staying engaged with your industry.

The more active you are with LinkedIn the more effective it will be for you. Post regular updates on what you’re working on and with whom. Maybe write and post an article that positions yourself as an expert. Just remember to keep your blog posts punchy and to the point. It also helps if you have a clear “call to action” at the end.

One of the best ways to market your business using LinkedIn is to participate in LinkedIn Groups. This is a great way for potential clients or industry peers to find you, particularly as Group members are able to directly message each other, even if they aren’t connected.

Find a LinkedIn Group for your industry to informally interact and engage with your professional peers. It’s a way to share information, ask questions and help people with their queries. This type of networking can also open up new work opportunities and referrals.

LinkedIn is a cost-effective way to market your business and build your personal brand, so once you’re on it, don’t adopt a set-and-forget approach: take some time each day to make it work for you.

 

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Gayle Bryant

Gayle has been a financial and business journalist and sub-editor for almost 30 years. She has written for a wide range of newspapers, magazines, custom and trade press and websites. Gayle’s articles regularly appear in the Sydney Morning Herald’s small business section and the Australian Financial Review’s special reports section.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.