10 smart ways to use LinkedIn to grow your business.

Author:Brown, Carolyn M.
Position:SOCIAL MEDIA
 
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ENTREPRENEURS KNOW THAT LINKEDIN ALLOWS THEM TO FIND potential employees and customers based on their interests and experience. But how can the social network help a business grow? The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invitation-only organization that comprises the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses, black enterprise asked the collective, what's the most effective way to use LinkedIn to grow your business?

Here's what they had to say:

1 MAKE USE OF EVERY AVAILABLE PLATFORM

Use every platform LinkedIn offers. Join groups and participate--you will get noticed. Tell others about opportunities, and if you don't have paid InMails, get them.

2 BECOME A CONNECTOR

Help other people first. Go out of your way to make valuable connections for them, not yourself. It may seem counterintuitive to grow your business by focusing on helping others, but it not only works, it has "karmic" value.

3 RESEARCH AND GET PERSONAL

For some companies LinkedIn produces the highest ROI of any distribution outlet. Use it to deeply research potential clients before sending them a message. Since LinkedIn generally charges for its InMail credits, the likelihood spammers controlling this avenue of communication is reduced.

4 ADD VIDEOS TO YOUR ACCOUNT

One of the best ways to grow your business using LinkedIn is to add videos to your account. Blog posts are fine, but displaying your industry expertise in the form of a video can have a greater impact on viewers.

5 DON'T PRIVATE MESSAGE FOR LEADS

LinkedIn is becoming more popular as a platform to showcase industry thought leaders. Produce and provide relevant content for your audience, and your influence will grow. Do not send private messages to the contacts you collect. Doing that diminishes your credibility.

6 ACTIVATE TOUR NETWORK

As soon as you meet a new contact or potential lead, check LinkedIn to see whom you know in common and who might be able to make a warm introduction. Also, use LinkedIn to share company updates and to keep up-to-date with what people in your network are doing and talking about.

7 GET ACTIVE IN GROUPS

There's a group for almost any business niche on LinkedIn. Find a few that fit your industry and join the community. If you are seen as a useful resource in those groups, you'll get a lot of natural inquiries about your business. Word of caution: Don't be...

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