As the most relevant tool to the modern-day professional, LinkedIn can help grow your brand both personally and as a business.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. Launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. At the last count, it had more than 65 million registered users, spanning more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
LinkedIn allows registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business. The people on the list are called Connections. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection.
This list of connections can be used in a number of ways:
• A contact network is built up consisting of their direct connections, the connections of each of their connections (second-degree connections) and also the connections of second-degree connections (third-degree connections). This can be used to gain an introduction to someone through a mutual, trusted contact.
• It can be used to find jobs, people and business opportunities recommended by someone in one’s network.
• Employers can list jobs and search for candidates.
• Job seekers can review the profile of hiring managers and discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them.
• Businesses can connect with others and uncover opportunities.
LinkedIn also allows users to research companies they are interested in doing business with. It allows you to network with over 65 million people and expand your business globally.
It’s a fantastic place to research companies you’d like to work for, find opportunities before they hit the major job boards and even be found! This can only be done if you are prepared to create and maintain your brand and your image (see previous articles at www. canadaboundimmigrant.com). Being equipped with the tools to ace those interviews (see www.brandandland.com) can make getting that dream job simpler.
As a company, LinkedIn can be the place to grow your presence and brand by networking with prospective clients, joining and contributing to groups to build a reputation as well as posting work you’ve done and collecting testimonials.
Go to www.linkedin.com and follow the prompts under the Sign Up link.
My top six suggestions:
1. Include a picture of you that is warm and professional.
2. Customize the URL to be unique, relevant and memorable. Mine is http://ca. linkedin. com/in/sanjug (feel free to add me!)
3. When requesting connections, include how they know you, how you can benefit them and even how you hope to work with or for them in the future.
4. If you use your work e-mail address, include your personal e-mail address as well just in case you leave a company and forget your password.
5. Ask for recommendations for great work. Don’t be afraid to offer a suggestion of what a good recommendation might look like. Most importantly, reciprocate, reciprocate, reciprocate!
6. Answer questions in your area of expertise, or recommend the questions you find to experts you know can answer them.
SANJU GANGLANI is the President of Gang & Lani Productions, a Mississauga-based custom marketing services company and co-founder, Brand & Land.
Need guidance? Write to Sanju at sanju@gang andlaniproductions.com. With over seven years of experience with the largest Fortune 500 companies, Sanju Ganglani specializes in brand management, web marketing, event management and revenue generation planning.
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