A CEO’s Guide to Networking Using LinkedIn

A CEO’s Guide to Networking Using LinkedInSocial network choices are growing every day — Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ . . . the list goes on. It’s overwhelming!

As a business owner with an already-packed schedule, you can’t possibly take the time to master ALL of these social channels. So . . .

If you’re a CEO trying to decide how to best leverage social media for your business, consider starting with LinkedIn.

Why?

LinkedIn gives you the benefit of building both a SOCIAL network and a BUSINESS network. This is invaluable as a business owner for finding and maintaining business contacts, looking for secondary-level connections that can help you grow your business, and establishing yourself as a go-to person in your particular area of expertise.

Let me elaborate on these three key reasons to be on LinkedIn:

{A CEO’s Guide to Networking Using LinkedIn} Three key reasons to be on LinkedInMAKING business contacts — Whether you have a career that spans 4 years or 40 years, your contacts are a critical part of being a successful CEO. They can be a resource to you when you have an issue or idea that needs to be hashed out with a fellow expert in your field. (You don’t have to solve every problem all on your own — use a team approach . . . Two heads really are better than one.) They can be an advocate on your behalf to help you get your foot in the door of a new account. And they are fantastic sources for finding that next essential employee, as applicants that come already recommended and vouched for on behalf of a trusted contact can save your HR department a great deal of time, money, and hassle.

GROWING your business — LinkedIn is all about building up your network. It’s not just about connecting with the first-tier people you know, but about extending your reach to a second tier of people who know the people you know. A contact list of 400 people can generate a network of over 40,000 contacts. This type of network can give you access to people (and leads!) whom you couldn’t possibly access all on your own.

ESTABLISHING yourself as an expert — When you think about it, you’re building a personal brand on LinkedIn. Sharing your expertise by using content, project lists, and other resource-sharing tools establishes you as an expert in your field. This attracts other CEOs who are interested in what you know and what you have to say. Being helpful provides powerful branding for growing your business.

And I’m just getting started . . .

LinkedIn Groups is an exceptional way to connect with others of similar interests or skills. These Groups are also a resource to keep you up to date on the latest thinking in your industry or just to keep up with alumni or friends. You never know who (or what) they might know that could help your business to grow.

Company pages are another valuable component of LinkedIn. Building a company page is essential for other businesses or potential employees to learn about the capabilities and culture of your business.

I’m sure you’re starting to see why I say it should be a busy CEO’s first choice when you decide you’re ready to take the plunge into the social networking pool. It really does give you the most return on your time investment, and the value it brings to you as a business owner is immense.

Ready to learn more? Check out this article on how to best utilize Recommendations and Endorsements on LinkedIn. Or call me for more insights into how LinkedIn can help you grow your business. I’m always here to help.

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