So why in the world would you become LinkedIn?
1. To see who you know in common in the world. You might have worked across the hall from someone for two years not realizing they know the person you have been trying to get a f2f with for months.
2. Get reacquainted with old colleagues and classmates you had completely forgotten about, (or forgotten their names) but make good contacts for you now. They may very well be working at a company you’ve been targeting.
3. Get found on Google (Thanks Laurie!) when you make your profile ‘public’. Not only that, but having a highly visible LinkedIn profile will pull up your website rating as well.
4. Use it as a sales prospecting tool to:
i. Find lead: channel partners, alliances, horizontal markets
ii. Connect to your prospect’s “human” side – emotional marketing
iii. Find out who your prospect is connected to – vertical markets
iv. Change “Unknown to Unknown” to “Known to Known” (AZM)
5. Get information about your competition in the town you are prospecting, visiting or moving to.
i. Create a “niche or vertical market” and your business story based on what is and is not being offered.
ii. Scope out your competitor’s staff: is there someone you want to head hunt?
iii. Find out their business philosophy – is there room for a partnership or alliance?
6. Employers use LinkedIn to recruit:
i. Search via keywords for the person/job you’re trying to fill.
ii. Contact your prospect’s referrals and get the low down.
7. Use LinkedIn to prepare for a job interview
i. Find the person who had the job before you, and get the low down.
ii. Scope out the company and its staff.
iii. Look at the turnover rate at a company.
iv. Integrate more easily in a new job once you’re there!
8. Use LinkedIn to find vendors.
i. Check out their recommendations.
ii. Contact the people who recommended them and find out if they are a company with whom you want to work.
9. Get free advice from the top professionals in their field.
10. Give free advice, become a LinkedIn SME (subject matter expert) AND garner business (I consult for two people on their profiles, have had several people come to my classes because of my “expertise”. IA has been offered several world tours.)
11. Notify others of changes or upcoming events – much like Twitter, when you update your profile, your contacts (number one’s) are notified.
12. Gauge the vitality of an industry you wish to invest in or to work for. Connect to the people in you industry of interest and ask! Because they are most likely in a different state or country, they will probably be honest with you.
13. Find guests for your blogs, forums and roundtables.