In a post from last year I talked about reasons why business people need to be on LinkedIn. I hope some of you decided to check it out at that point, or some of the other articles I wrote about it since then. If you did, you might still be a bit confused on what you should do once you’re there. I’m going to give you 3 quick things you should do when you get there.

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The first thing you need to do is fill out your profile, which includes adding an image. Many people, me being one, hates connecting with someone they don’t know if there’s no image with the account. But they really hate connecting with someone who hasn’t completed their profile, at least most of it. It’s actually very easy to do because they give you a step by step that’s easy to follow.

The mistake most people do is type in everything exactly how their resume reads and that’s not the best way to go about it. However, initially it’s more important to have information there that people can view than worrying about doing something special. We’ll talk about that another time.

The second thing you need to do is join at least one group in a field that would work best for you. Many people might say you need to join a group that does what you do, and that’s not a bad move, but it’s not your best move. Your best move is to join a local group where you have the opportunity to meet people that could one day use your services, or at the very least network with in some fashion, with the possibility of meeting some of them in person. This is the recommendation for almost anyone; I put it that way because if you never do work in your area then going with a group of people that do what you do, or are in your industry, moves up to the first spot.

The third thing you need to do is reach out to a few people. This can be done in two ways.

LinkedIn has a search function, so you can either search for people in your area or people in an industry that you might want to talk to. It’s hard to do if you don’t know anyone, but if you’re like most business people, you already have some kind of contact list that you work with.

Take that list and look up some of those people; you’ll probably find some of them. If you have an email address it works great; if not, you can still find a way to connect with some people. However, having an email address lets you connect with people quicker, and once you’ve connected with them you get to look at who they’re connected to, which also helps you out.

Those are down and dirty, but they’ll get you started. I believe anyone in business needs to be on LinkedIn, but if you’re not doing anything with it you’re wasting a great opportunity.
 

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