Linkedin tips for virtual networking

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If you're in a business function, you need to meet and contact new people all the time. One of my favourite tools is LinkedIn, a virtual networking system with a free level of access. The goal is to meet up with people of similar interest for mutual benefit and/or gain. If you're a Linkedin user, my profile is here and you can connect directly with me at linkedin@jphebert.name.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of LinkedIn:

  • Connect with everyone you know – no on left behind
  • NEVER turn down a connection, their address book may prove very useful! The goal is to connect with many people!
  • If you don't connect much, you can't be found so opportunities will pass you by!
  • Make sure your profile is heavily detailed for all jobs, education, memberships and whatever you can throw at it.
    • You want to be found, so more is better
    • It will be useful to find old colleagues and customers
  • Endorse others:
    • Be genuine, if a person does not deserve the endorsement, don't write it
    • It's a bit of "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" process, so initiate the endorsements and ask others to write one for you as well.
    • The more the better, especially when recruiters are looking at your profile

    Once you have a few contacts in your network, start connecting to the network heavyweights, the 1000+ connection people

    • They never turn down a new connection
    • They usually pass your requests to other users very quickly as long as they're legitimate
    • They will make your 2nd and 3rd levels grow exponentially
  • Use their tools
    • Use the LinkedIn Toolbar to invite your contacts found in Outlook
    • Upload your contacts into their system to see who's a LinkedIn user that you can easily connect with
    • Reconnect with their "Find a colleague" feature. I personally reconnected with everybody I could see in the lists, regardless if I knew them or not. Worst thing to happen is that the receipient(s) decline your invitation to connect. I've added dozens of contact that way that help me reach people I need to talk to.
  • Spend time searching for contacts on a regular basis
    • Look for users with their e-mail addresses publicly listed, they usually never turn down connections. Look in ALL the profile to locate them
    • When looking for people, use keywords like "gmail" , ".com" or "yahoo" because of #1, it's just easier to locate them
    • Use #2 with a similar keyword search like "gmail.com" or "dot" – get creative!
    • Repeat for 10/15 minutes a few times per week, your network will grow quickly.

If you have questions and/or comments, please leave a comment! I hope this bit will help you!

This article has been contributed by Creative Reporter – jean. Jean Pascal Hebert, President, Socius Technologies. He has been involved with security vendors for the past 8 years in sales, marketing, relationship management roles. Having worked at Symantec and Sybari Software, consulted for LastSpam.com and Vircom, he has developed expertise which enables vendors to maximize their potential through strategic relationships. His new project can be seen at www.computer-secure.com.

The Social Networking WeblogThe Social Networking Weblog – The Social Side of the Net – social software, social networking, linkedin, myspace, social networks, social networking software, social network

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