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LinkedIn Features You Should Be Using, but Most Likely Aren’t

Written by TJ Shroat | Mon,Aug 20, 2012 @ 02:12 PM

Like most things in life, you have to put some effort in to get anything out.  This holds true for LinkedIn and the features that it provides its users.  From basic to more advanced, the site offers features that everyone in business should take advantage of to make the greatest impact on their success.

Give them the Full Monty – Don’t leave anything out including work, education, skills or volunteer activities.  Regardless of the position you held and its relevance to what you currently do, your work history can boost your credentials and even help you make connections with others who may have worked for the same company.  The same is true for your educational background.  We do business with people that we have a connection with, and the fellow alumni connection can be a quite powerful one.

Special skills can help others find you – most importantly potential customers.  Listing skills legitimizes you and increases your chances of being found through a search for that particular skill.  Rounding it out by adding your volunteer activities can help you to stand out in the crowd and differentiate you from the pack.  

Get Yourself a Vanity Plate – Just like expressing your individuality with a vanity license plate for your car, LinkedIn provides users the opportunity to customize their URL.  By following a few simple steps you can create a unique URL for your public profile using keywords to make you more searchable.

Stop being a spectator and get in the game - Don’t just throw your info up and keep your fingers crossed that eventually someone will stumble upon it.  Put in your 2 cents and get involved with groups and discussions.  The majority of LinkedIn users, 66%, are decision makers or have influence in the purchase decisions at their companies.  Be part of the conversation relevant to what you do, contribute to it and make your voice be heard.  Doing so will get you on their radar, help make new connections, and impact the growth of your business.  

Be in the know – shadow your industry by signing up for industry specific updates.  You will be able to see and follow companies you want to do business with, read their press releases, and keep on top of what their employees are up to.  With a 61% success rate in B2B customer gain through LinedIn, this is a great way to gain information for that ice breaker conversation once the door is open.

In business, it is rare that things happen by chance.  So make some time to take control of the impression that you are making and create your own networking destiny.  The LinkedIn features are right there for you to use – so what are you waiting for?