Get Linked!

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.

 

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One thought on “Get Linked!

  1. Networking has been the buzz for a number of years. The way people talk about it, one would think that it’s a relatively new invention.

    Networking is simply getting together with a group of people that share a common interest or goal. When you look closely at your business, ask yourself where does most of your new business come from?

    Referrals are generally the largest source of new business. Networking is a great way to expand your business further. If you’ve never been involved in Business networking, then now’s the time to start.

    Whether you attend breakfasts, or after work functions, you’ll find groups of people who, most times, are self- employed, successful entrepreneurs or corporate go-getters.

    You’ll find a variety of businesses represented with a common goal to meet others and share, learn and become better at their craft.

    Nothing beats word of mouth advertising

    Like anything in life, what you gain from them is in proportion to your level of input. Often people will go along to the function for the food, entertainment, or social aspect of the occasion.
    Others are there to expand their circle of business contacts.

    You’ll soon learn the networking etiquette; it’s a mix of business sense and courtesy.

    Be yourself, smile, and be genuine. You’re there to meet people, and not do the hard sell. Remember, people don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care, so be sure that you listen more than you talk.

    Question more than you answer, and you’ll be surprised how much you learn; everyone has a story to tell. Try to meet at least six different people, and have a chat with them.

    You can go back and meet the rest on another occasion.

    You don’t know what you don’t know. So you’re asking “What’s in it for me?”. That’s upto you. One new contact could open a whole new door of opportunity, and until you attend such a function you won’t know what new business could develop.
    Could you use another 1000 contacts?

    Everyone knows at least 200 other people. If you meet six business leaders that’s potential another 1000 contacts.

    Often networking finctions revolve around a guest speaker who may bring you valuable information about topics ranging from accounting to law, sales to hiring an employee and much more.

    Ask around and fellow networkers will be glad to dispense it for free and many have already faced the same situation you now have.

    Go along to a networking breakfast, enjoy the food, you’ll be able to meet some people and decide if it’s the right thing for your business.

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