Once you have developed a smarter profile for your company and an individual profile for yourself on LinkedIn, you are ready to move to the next level: making LinkedIn work for you.
You can get value from your LinkedIn profile and affiliation by utilizing direct marketing, drawing upon the knowledge and experience of other members, researching potential employees or associates, and using LinkedIn to find the best service providers.
Tips for making LinkedIn work for you:
1. Direct advertising. LinkedIn offers highly targeted advertising that is text-based and relatively inexpensive. You can get started for less than $50 and choose the audience for your ad based on a wide variety of factors including company size, seniority, and industry. For more information regarding direct advertising on LinkedIn, check out https://www.linkedin.com/directads/
2. Use your knowledge base. You have connected with other professionals and joined groups with individuals who have knowledge and experiences that you do not. Ask them questions about anything that you are researching, from health insurance as an independent contractor to the best Smartphone for your industry. Save time by asking people who have already researched the problem and tried one or more of the potential solutions.
3. Research people before you meet them. LinkedIn offers insights beyond simply performing a Google search with a person’s name because you can look at a specific profile rather than a broad and generic search. Check out their background, work experience, or find people that you both know so that you will be able to create common ground during a first meeting.
4. Find service providers using the research available on LinkedIn. You can see recommendations by others in your area or your industry, and you can ask questions to determine which provider has the strongest reputation.
No such thing as free
The one thing each of these tips has in common is that they are something you can do for free. Like many free online marketing websites and tools, LinkedIn doesn't cost you anything to join.
But make no mistake about it - using LinkedIn woks best when YOU work IT. Meaning it doesn't cost anything to join - but it does require an investment of your time in order to be successful.