Connecting to people professionally online and offline is very important for small business owners. I joined LinkedIn over a year ago without really knowing what to do with it. Then I realized that I can use my existing network to make a formal online connection. This is great for giving and receiving recommendations.
Recently, I got a new client who found me through my LinkedIn profile, so it is worth to take the time to build your brand online! You can read my profile by clicking the link on my sidebar.
Here’s a bit from Bright Surfer who also raves about LinkedIn and other social networking sites.
The best place on the web for professional networking is LinkedIn. Their site is very well designed to appear mature and businesslike. The major functions of the site work very well for people connecting with their professional networks, and the site has a very good reputation among professionals (who generally find MySpace and communities like it a bit juvenile for their tastes). Here, you can connect with all of your professional friends and family, and it is highly recommended that you use this site to connect to your clients, vendors, and major customers as well. You cannot go wrong with offering a connection, and you can benefit tremendously from using LinkedIn to keep track of people, their skills, their professional experience, and their business preferences.