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Why Small Businesses are Using LinkedIn, by Barbara Kuppersmith

Posted By Becky Hull, Monday, June 21, 2010

 Did you know that LinkedIn is used by 70 million business professionals in 200 countries and 170 industries? And that a new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second of the day. Is there any doubt that LinkedIn is to business networking what Facebook is to social media and that it will continue to grow exponentially going forward?

 If you are not a user of LinkedIn, it is important to understand why it has become so popular and the benefits that can be derived by participating in this vast networking facility. Ultimately, I believe you will find that LinkedIn creates a level playing field that provides small business owners and entrepreneurs the ability to establish their brand on a local, national or international basis, a phenomenon that simply did not exist prior to LinkedIn. I started using LinkedIn shortly after its inception. I utilized LinkedIn extensively as a small business recruiter and business developer to find candidates, business development leads and business contacts and have developed a network of over 400 connections. Because of my expertise I began to teach job seekers how to use LinkedIn. It has led to the realization that if used properly, small business owners, as much, if not more than job seekers, can extract benefits that were simply not possible prior to LinkedIn.

So as a small business owner why use LinkedIn?

First, LinkedIn is here to stay. In a few years, if not sooner, if you don’t have a complete profile you will be seen as not with the times. Second, it is a great way to maximize your brand, be it for personal or business reasons. Third, there is no better way for you to access millions of people, both domestically and internationally, or for those people to find the products or services you provide. LinkedIn will simplify and multiply your ability to reach through your network. How many people can your reach? Well, take for example the network that I’ve established over the years, which gives me exposure to over 7,411,500+million people. Isn’t that an amazing number of people I can touch or help!

Benefits of LinkedIn:

  • Create a brand presence on line of you and your product or service. This will make you memorable to business connections and possible clients.
  •  Establish an online site where potential customers can find out more about you
  • Add credibility with recommendations Help to network and stay in touch
  • Connect with other professionals
  • Create contact with new people
  • Find contacts within an industry, company or group as a target market for business development
  •  Reconnect with past colleagues, alumni, clients, etc.
  • Find people with your expertise
  •  Give advice to be seen as an expert Keep your business "top of mind” through updates, postings and events

How to start using LinkedIn:

  • Set up a profile. This should include at least headline, marketing summary, company with description of your position, professional picture, link to your website and contact information
  •  Connect with people
  •  Request recommendations
  • Join groups

 To summarize, what is the essence of LinkedIn that makes it different? If utilized correctly, you can establish a brand online, build relationships and reach millions of people.

Barbara Kuppersmith teaches business owners and Job Seekers how to maximize their use of LINKEDIN. Also works with Job Seekers on how to get past "the black hole” of on-line job applications through networking, research, interview skills and resume writing. In her spare time Barbara does recruiting and business development at BRKSolutionsGroup, llc Barbara@brkSolutionsGroup.com

Tags:  business development  LinkedIn  profile  resume  social networking 

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