If you think that the social networking space revolves only MySpace, FaceBook, Multiply and Friendster, you’re dead wrong – especially if you’re an owner of a small business trying to tap onto the vast potential of the Internet.
While the above social networking sites are great for connecting with friends, business-minded LinkedIn works a bit differently – it targets adults with are interested in building their professional networks. In fact it’s a great site to meet a future employer!
For entrepreneurs, sthe professional networking site can serve as an invaluable resource for networking with potential partners, sales prospects and even employees. Julie Chiang, owner and director of local boutique public relations firm Asia PR Werkz, recently created a profile on LinkedIn to explore how sites such as these can help drive business growth. “It will be interesting to see how a digital networking platform can value-add to business owners”, she mused.
Wired has a great post on how to work LinkedIn for job opportunities, but most of the advice also make sense for those trying to promote their businesses online.
Here are two of my thoughts on this:
1. Your Profile
Just as how jobseekers post up their most updated resumes for the purview of potential employers, business owners should provide the most up-to-date information on their business – such as the products or services you provide, for example. You don’t have to put up pricing, but make it easy for people to find out key business details.
2. Build and Maintain Your Network
In the real (business) world you need to grow and cultivate your network – it applies here as well. Continue to engage them in conversation on a regular basis. LinkedIn allows you to write recommendations for others – do so! Be genuinely nice, and people will reciprocate.
Marketing guru Guy Kawasaki suggests ten ways you can use LinkedIn. Small Business Trends also has a great read on why entrepreneurs should have both FaceBook ad LinkedIn.
Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.