You’ll want to log on to your LinkedIn account with some regularity. Not only can you stay apprised of current news and trends, you can update your status so that contacts know you’re still out there. Be sure to present yourself professionally. Save silly updates about heading out to see a movie or grabbing a Red Bull to stay awake through the afternoon for sites like Facebook. You don’t have to be dull or stoic, but you do want to make the best first impression possible.
2. Avoid a blind approach
If you’re in the business of selling power tools, you won’t want to scour LinkedIn for anybody who mentions woodworking as a hobby and hit them up with a sales pitch. Instead, share information about a great new tool you are offering or sale you are having, and ask your contacts to share the news with their friends and connections who are interested in woodworking. When second and third connections express interest, you will have a more realistic foot in the door to open a dialog with them about your merchandise.
3. Be wise when friending
If you’re new to the business world and looking to make contacts, you may want to connect with as many people as possible. You might also be selective about who you add to your professional circle, perhaps limiting your friends to industry peers. It’s up to you who you add to your list of contacts. What works for someone else on LinkedIn does not have to work for you, no matter what the experts might say. You can add a contact as easily as taking someone’s business card during a networking event. Just don’t end up with a bevy of connections you don’t remember making.
It doesn’t take a lot of know-how to successfully manage your LinkedIn life. Just use common sense, and approach every connection as one that can boost your professional presence. You’ll soon be using the site to its full advantage and making social media work for you.
Danielle, who blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands, enjoys networking with other business professionals and improving upon her public speaking skills as a member of Toastmasters. Read her work at Suits and Ladders.
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