Have you seen the ‘Compare the pair’ superannuation ads on TV? The ones that show 2 people at similar stages of life along with their superannuation values? The ads then cut to the same people some years later and compare their super values again. The point of the ads is to highlight the different returns on investment between the person who paid attention and invested strategically and their counterpart who did nothing. The person who paid attention and made intentional changes to their super ended up with a significantly greater return on investment.
Networking though LinkedIn can be considered an investment in much the same way. Not an investment of money, but of time. The individuals and businesses who utilise LinkedIn to expand their network of contacts are those who reap compounding rewards. On the other hand, those who say they will “get around to using it someday” are those who get left far behind.
LinkedIn members fall into 2 broad categories – businesses looking to reach more clients and individuals looking to advance their career. The platform works equally well for both groups.
LinkedIn for businesses
Do you still cold-call potential clients or send out generic email campaigns? If you have found these approaches no longer work, then it’s time to change strategy and reach out to more people directly and instantly.
How many more people? In 2016, the number of LinkedIn members in the Asia Pacific region reached 100 million professionals, including 8 million Australians. Could your sales rep contact that many people in one day the old way?
Through LinkedIn you can:
· Dramatically increase your exposure to potential clients.
· Increase traffic to your website and other platforms.
· Become known as an expert in your field.
· Strengthen your brand awareness.
· Headhunt professional staff – the ‘movers and shakers’.
LinkedIn for individuals
If you’re looking for a new job, a promotion or an entire career change you can no longer afford to just check the newspapers and job-listing sites regularly. You need to learn how to network effectively and intentionally create opportunities for yourself. LinkedIn not only gives you a way to expand your contact network, it also gives you access to mentors, people of influence and key decision-makers. You can:
· Connect with others in your industry and keep updated with the trends.
· Connect with the companies you want to work for and ensure they know who you are.
· Build genuine, strategic relationships.
· Be recognised at ‘real life’ networking events.
· Increase number of people viewing your profile.
· Sign up for targeted job notifications.
· Be headhunted for top jobs.
Invest your time and reap the rewards
“The cause of the depression is traceable directly to the worldwide habit of trying to reap without sowing.”
You might feel powerless to change your situation, but when you take steps to prepare for success, you develop that power. These possibilities don’t just happen as soon as you sign up. They are all there – and most are accessible for free – but you do need to invest time regularly into making them happen.
To get up and running, follow these general tips:
· Create an engaging profile. Be interesting but avoid appearing fake or ‘showy’.
· Make your profile relevant to those likely to view it.
· Update it regularly. Out-of-date information is useless. People want to know what you are doing now.
· Constantly focus on building your number of contacts. There is a direct correlation between the number of contacts you have and the level of wealth you enjoy.
· Become a ‘go to’ source of reliable information in your areas of expertise by writing or sharing helpful tips, facts and articles.
Learning how to use LinkedIn effectively could well be the best investment you’ll ever make. So, don’t be the one who will “get around to it someday”, be the one who sees the opportunities and grabs them with both hands.
Call to action…
To learn more about how to gain maximum leverage from LinkedIn, pull up a seat and invest some time listening to Julie Mason share her insights on The Mentor List podcast.
Julie is Australia’s ‘Social Media Princess’ and a leading expert in using LinkedIn for financial gain. She is also a highly-motivated businesswoman, keynote speaker and author who conducts online courses and one-on-one coaching sessions. After listening to Julie, you’ll be itching to log on to LinkedIn and discovering the opportunities available to you at just the click of a button.
Kick start your personal journey to success from the conversations David has with his inspirational guests on The Mentor List. www.mentorlist.com.au
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