It’s a powerful platform and successful – or it wouldn’t have so many users (467 million from the last stats). Microsoft wouldn’t have bought it if it didn’t have a future and that means that millions of people use it – but what for?
When it first kicked off in 2003 LinkedIn was very much aimed at the recruitment market. There were no groups, no company pages, just a personal profile – and even that was limited to a CV style arrangement.
Profile owners were encouraged to post their company’s vacancies and job hunters were able to ask people in their network who were connected to someone in that company to introduce them. Employers liked having a third-party validation before getting to the point of interview.
It’s still a very effective platform for both employers looking for staff and people looking for the right role to develop their career.
Somewhere around 2005-6 LinkedIn introduced groups. As this was around the time Facebook started up and included groups on their site, I suspect this might have been an influencing factor.
Typically LinkedIn was set up to encourage account holders to join their peer groups – so as a writer I was pointed at writers and publishers, authors, etc. This is an excellent way to be part of a collaborative community. However, if you’re trying to build relationships with potential employers – or customers – it’s better to join the groups where they hang out!
LinkedIn’s updates are a good way to improve visibility. They’ve developed from just comments to being a multi-media experience!
Posting the right kind of post can engage many of the other LinkedIn members who comment or like your post.
Articles have added another dimension to this and allow account holders to share their expertise, knowledge and opinions. This can be a bonus whether you’re an employee, looking for a new job or running a business.
- An employee who demonstrates their value will gain extra brownie points.
- A potential candidate who has a wealth of published material online gives employers more to get their teeth into and can be the deciding factor between two similarly qualified candidates.
- Sharing your expertise as a business owner lets potential clients know the breadth of your knowledge and know-how, making it more likely that they’ll choose your company as their supplier.
LinkedIn has a number of tools – and also the option to upgrade to a paid account that offers useful services to help you to find people in your market and build relationships with them.
If you know how LinkedIn can be a serious revenue generator. It’s not a quick fix – but pays off if you use it effectively and consistently.
Do you need a paid account?
My advice: first get to grips with all the tools available on the free account – and only if they’re not getting the results you want, take a look at the various levels of paid accounts.