In business, it’s difficult to overstate the value of getting connected with others, and staying that way. Chamber of commerce and networking group memberships are important for just that reason; those groups present opportunities for you to make peer-to-peer connections in your own community.
LinkedIn, the business networking website, offers the same benefits – and more – on a global scale. Yes, LinkedIn is a networking site, but unlike Facebook and the others, on LinkedIn you share your professional image to gain contacts, not your personal one. And with 77 million members in the U.S. alone, you are certain to meet and get to know people who can help you grow your business.
If you work a little bit at it, that is. A chamber of commerce meeting is an investment of your time, one that you have good reason to expect will pay off. The same is true of a LinkedIn membership. It’s free of charge, but getting the most out of LinkedIn means investing some time in creating a complete and impressive profile.
Once you are a member, what then? Think about what you would do if you walked into a very, very large party. Most of us would be comfortable identifying a small group that looks inviting, and then joining in. We can’t know everybody, nor do we want to; we want to find a small fraction of the whole that will suit our purposes and needs. The same is true of LinkedIn. The site hosts groups centered on virtually every business interest imaginable. With a little effort, you will find your niche.
Getting started on LinkedIn is as simple as signing up. There are loads of basic tutorials available on the web featuring instruction on adjusting your account settings, creating your profile, and other particulars. Here is just one that will help you get the ball rolling. LinkedIn has become an indispensable tool used by the majority of professionals today. Consider joining and getting the most of what LinkedIn can offer you and your business.