LinkedIn, ever heard of it???

I am sure you have. LinkedIn is a social networking website that was started in Mountain View, California (also know as Silicon Valley) 13 years ago. LinkedIn was founded by five extraordinary people: Reid Hoffman (recently offered to pay 5 million for Donald Trump’s tax returns), Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly and Jean-Luce Vailliant. Since then, it has grown into a 26 billion dollar company (soon to be acquired by Microsoft) with over 106 million active users.

But, enough with the facts.

You probably have your very own LinkedIn account. I guarantee, it features the most professional picture of yourself right above your name.

However, how often do you really use it ? Do you really even know how to use it?

The truth is, most people have no clue how to use LinkedIn. Most likely, the only reason you made an account was because a teacher or friend told you: “you should make a LinkedIn account it’s good for networking”.

So, how much networking have you gotten done ?

None? Don’t worry when I made my profile I didn’t get much use out of it either. However, what I learned is that LinkedIn is an amazing network with a ton of benefits.

How do I unlock those benefits, you ask?

The key is to learn what LinkedIn can do and how to effectively use it.

So to help you out here are the top 10 uses for LinkedIn:

1. Networking

networking, kids talking

The greatest advantage to LinkedIn is the social networking power it puts in the palm of your hand.

First, you have the ability to connect with anyone, any time. You want to talk to the CEO of your favorite company pull up their profile on LinkedIn, connect and send them a message.

If that’s not enough for you LinkedIn has over 2 million groups to choose from.

Join one that interests you and start networking with like-minded people. Offer valuable content and be helpful. This will get you noticed by employers or potential customers.

2. Marketing

marketing, success, planing, teamwork, growth

LinkedIn is primarily made up of students looking for jobs and business professionals.

The latter is your gold mine to your, personal and business success. You can use your connections and groups to market your product and build your brand.

Also, LinkedIn allows you to create your own business page. Once created, share your page and ask people to like it. Update content regularly and interact with them. Also, make sure you thank people for liking your page. This way they will  be more open to sharing and liking you contnet.

3. Advertising

advertising on billboars, city, downtown

Unlike other social-media, LinkedIn offers 9 ways to advertise.

Not only do you have the option of putting your product or page in front of the people who need to see it.

You also get to deliver your message through:

  • Content Ads
  • PPC Ads
  • Slideshare Ads
  • Sponsored InMail ads
  • Social Ads
  • Follow Company Ads
  • Featured Company Ads
  • LinkedIn GroupAds
  • Spotlight Ads.

I won’t go into detail about what they are or how to use them. However, you can learn more about them  here.

4. Promoting content through publishing

blogger, pants, publishing, articles

Do you have a blog or e-book? Or do you want to start writing?

LinkedIn offers their very own publishing platform. It allows you to post your own articles within LinkedIn.

If you are already running a magazine or blog this is perfect for you. the traffic won’t go directly to your website, but it does have potential for massive traffic gains.

What you need to do is write separate articles for LinkedIn and link them to your own blog. Also make sure you put your URL on the bottom of your LinkedIn articles.

Not only will it drive traffic, but it will help you get noticed by influencers in your niche. If they share your contnet or even better your website, you’ve hit the jackpot of traffic generation.

On the other hand if you don’t write, this is a great way to start. The format is simple to use (looks like Microsoft Word) and you can reach your readers easily.

LinkedIn also offer analytics, so you can keep track of the amount of people reading your articles on a daily basis.

5. Find Jobs

women looking for jobs, employment, work

Indeed and Kijiji are great but, in my opinion limited.

When you go to an interview the last thing you want, is to be unprepared. Read Get the Dream Job by Doing the Right Things at the Interview for more information on what you need to land your dream job.

However, before the big interview you have to first find a position and Company to apply for.

LinkedIn is amazing for this in 4 ways:

1. The Job Board

The job baord is the easiest way to find jobs on LinkedIn. All you have to do is enter the type of possiotion you are looking for and the area in your natigation bar. Then a board with a veriety of job listings will come up. Look at some and apply.

2. Groups

LinkedIn has a few hundred diffrent groups for devoted to conecting people with work within diffrent industries. Find a page with an industry you are intrested in an browse their feed.

3. Business Pages

If you have somecompanys in mind that you would like to work for, find their business page on Linkedin. Go down their feed and see if they are lisitng any jobs. If not you can always conact the business directly and ask them.

4.Your Feed

Sometimes your connections see an intresting job and will share it. This will appear on your feed. Also, if youve liked a Businesses page any job litings they post will also come up in you feed.

6. Review Products 

quality control, review, products


Looking for products to review?

LinkedIn is great for getting in touch with small companies that have products you can review.

You can do this in 2 ways:

Advanced people search: Allows you to search within a given radius of your postal code. You can use this to find the right people who you will need to talk to or the Company itself. You can also try entering different keywords for the products your interested in.

Use groups: You can look for small business groups or for groups related to the products your interested in reviewing.

Then obviously you send the company or person a message. Include your name and your website. Ask them to send you a sample of their product and that you will review it for them.

You can also use this to get people to review your own products. Look for bloggers or magazines the same way you would look for a product. Then, send them a similar message asking to review your product in exchange for free merchandise.

7. News and articles

news, newspaper, reading

On top of everything you can set your feed to show you news. CBC, NBC,FOX, RT, BBC, it’s all there.

Have a favorite magazine? The Entrepreneur (personal favorite) or Forbes, don’t worry you can see their latest articles too.

All you have to do is like their pages or join their groups.

Then, when you want to just see just articles and news click the “All Updates” arrow. Click customize and make a custom feed. Then you can comment and share these articles accros any social-media channel.

8. Get feedback 

feedback, post,

LinkedIn allows you to post your own content that gets shared with your connections.

Post a link to your product or article and ask for feedback.

People on LinkedIn are way more likely to give you descriptive, professional feedback then on Facebook or Twitter.

Remember, people on LinkedIn are also putting on an image for clients or employers. You have just given them the perfect opportunity to show off how smart they are.

Try it out!

9. Freelance work

freelance, working, phone, laptop

Need part-time freelance work?

Most businesses will post job listing on LinkedIn. Especially, if they are only looking for part-time freelance work.

Moreover, (even though it’s getting repetitive) there are freelance groups. People post different freelance work in these groups all the time.

Last of all, you can also simply search for them like you would for any other job.  Just search freelance and you’ll see thousands of listings on LinkedIn.

10. Export Connections

connections, people,

Although, this is not a big deal I found it pretty cool. LinkedIn allows you to export your connections. That way you can organize them in a data base.

Why is this great?

Let’s say 2 of your connections are leads, 4 are pending customers and 10 are existing customers.

Shouldn’t you know who is who?

Exporting their information will allow you to manage your customers better. You can even upload them to Salesforce  (If you don’t know what that is check them out).

To export connections go to “Network” on the top of your page and click “Export Connections”. Then download the file and there you are.

Tie it all together

Although, all these uses for LinkedIn are great, they are useless if your profile is not complete.

So, to use LinkedIn effectively you need to:

  • Fill out your complete bio
  • Make sure you have a professional picture
  • Connect with as many people as you can
  • Comment and like other people’s content
  • Message people (it’s called social media for a reason)
  • Share interesting professional content (this is not Facebook kids, so no inappropriate memes)

Now, you have all you need to know use LinkedIn effectively with the 10 uses you’ve learned about. Some may apply others may not, however I hope you learned something.

Share this article, so your friends and family can learn about LinkedIn’s 10 uses.