5 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Grow Your Business

by Guest Contributor on July 18, 2011

ConnectionOne of the most untapped social media tools is LinkedInFacebookTwitter, and now Google+ are the media darlings while LinkedIn, which has been around longer than any of the tools combined, continues to grow and provide value without all the celebrity.

Image: Grizdave via Flickr, Creative Commons

Sparkle and shine notwithstanding, the fact remains it is the single most valuable tool when it comes to business development.

Following are five ways you can use LinkedIn to grow your business…right now.

1. Link to your web properties using keywords.

The default words (website, blog, etc.) can be edited to fit the words people actually search to find your business. If you don’t know which keywords to use (i.e. We use “Chicago PR firm” for Arment Dietrich), you can use Google’s free keyword tool.

2. Activate the apps.

If you don’t have a blog, don’t panic! There are several applications you can activate to move content to your LinkedIn profile. Just like anything else, the more active your profile is, the higher it ranks in the search engines.

3. Find connections through search.

I’m a Vistage member and I like to connect with other members around the world for networking and business development. By doing an advanced search and entering keywords, finding Vistage members who are second connections takes less than three seconds. Then it’s easy to sort through them and find people who you’d like to meet.

4. Browse your connections’s connections.

This is so easy and so underused. It’s the same philosophy of saying, “Gini, I’d really love to meet Shonali Burke. Can you introduce me?” I find a reason to help you make the connection, I introduce the two of you, and then the ball is quickly in your court.

5. Set up searches for specific questions

… and then answer them. You can search for questions about your industry, your product, your service, or even your competitors. You can also set up an alert so that, any time anyone asks a question about your topic of expertise, it comes to you. This allows you to stay top-of-mind and build credibility around your expertise.

By following these five easy steps (take one a week if it’s too overwhelming), you’ll grow your pipeline in just more than a month and money will begin to grow on trees. OK. Maybe not. But you will see some significant success.

Gini Dietrich is the founder and chief executive officer of Arment Dietrich, Inc., and the author of Spin Sucks, a top 10 social media blog from Social Media Examiner, and an AdAge Power 150blog. She also can be found writing at Crain’s Chicago BusinessAllBusiness, and Franchise Times.

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