Pin It is the largest professional networking site on the internet. While Facebook has more users, LinkedIn can be very worthwhile for business.

linkedinBeing successful on LinkedIn can be a little more tricky than being successful on more casual social media, but it’s not difficult or hard. LinkedIn is simple to use, and very intuitive. It’s reasonably simple to navigate and understand. They do offer an upgraded version, LinkedIn Premium, which enables you to connect with a broader range of people. The premium version is optional, and most people get by just fine with the free version.

Here are 5 Steps to Greater Success on LinkedIn

* Create a strong profile – On LinkedIn your profile is very important. It is your calling card. Don’t exaggerate on LinkedIn; be honest, transparent, and yourself. There are no anonymous LinkedIn profiles. Fill it out completely, with some awareness of how people might search on LinkedIn for people like you. What would you share in your profile that would compel your ideal client to contact you?

* Join groups strategically – LinkedIn has groups for every interest and even allows you to create your own group if you want to. And it’s free. When joining other people’s groups, ensure that you join the right groups about your industry. Mostly focus on joining groups or creating groups that have members you may want to do business with.

* Create your own group – If you have a group of customers who would like more access to you, and you have the time to devote, you can create a closed group on LinkedIn that is only open by invitation or by permission. Giving people special access to you that others don’t have can move them further down your service funnel more quickly.

* Ask for recommendations – When you join LinkedIn, be sure to connect with former clients and customers so that you can ask them to give you a recommendation about work you’ve done for them, or products you’ve created or sold them. Recommendations on LinkedIn aren’t to be taken lightly; they are publically given and carry a lot of weight. Be sure to ask for new recommendations in a timely fashion, too- like anything else, your clients will forget to recommend you if too much time passes between when you worked together and your request for a recommendation.

* Build connections carefully – Take the time to build connections that matter. Don’t connect with just anyone and everyone: look at their profile, determine if it is beneficial to connect with them before you do it.

Once you join, be sure to keep active on LinkedIn. Your activities are noticed by your connections and can be liked, commented on and shared just like other types of social media. As with other kinds of social networking, participation is key on LinkedIn, too. Present yourself as a competent professional worth knowing.

LinkedIn is a great business social networking tool for business owners who know their target audience and will spend the time to develop highly-targeted content to share.

Like anything, it takes some effort, but the results can be well worth it.

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