At the beginning of 2007 I joined a site called LinkedIn. I wasn’t at all familiar with it at that time, and as a new online entrepreneur I hoped it would be beneficial in some way to my business. This was back when Facebook was only for college students, Twitter was just getting off the ground, and social media in general was unheard of by the average person.
I saw that LinkedIn was a site for people in the corporate world. It was stiff and formal and not very interactive. It was more of a directory back then for professionals to list themselves and to post their resume and other pertinent information. I can remember filling out the questionnaire as slowly and carefully as possible so that my listing would not be rejected for mot being up to par. If I didn’t understand or have an answer to one of their questions, I just wrote something that sounded proper and would be innocuous overall. I never even thought of this as “LinkedIn marketing” at that time.
Then I came to a screen where I had to verify my email address, and that’s when it happened…
Evidently I had checked a box I did not intend to check, and suddenly the LinkedIn site was going through my personal email addresses to find people that I knew who were already members of their site. Within a period of about three minutes they had sent automatic invitations to about twenty people in my contacts. I was mortified when I realized that just about all of these people were members of my Rotary Club, an organization I had joined just months before.
I was actually afraid to attend the next Rotary meeting, but I showed up and tried to blend into the wall. What would these professionals think about someone just getting started as an online entrepreneur joining the LinkedIn site? And then one Rotarian came up to me with a big smile on his face and shook my hand vigorously.
“I see we’re connected on LinkedIn”, he said.
I mumbled something back to him but was cut off by someone else coming over to say the same thing. They were actually excited that I had joined them there and I was quite relieved. My LinkedIn marketing plan was taking shape.
LinkedIn has changed dramatically during this past decade. I believe Facebook was the biggest influence, but the leaders at LinkedIn were smart enough to roll with the tide and everyone has benefited. And when it comes to marketing for local business, gaining visibility in the marketplace, and increasing your credibility as a professional, LinkedIn marketing just makes sense.
These days I have thousands of first level connections on LinkedIn, which translates to over thirty million people from around the world in my network. And these people are serious about life and business and all things related to entrepreneurship and success. Connecting with like-minded people instead of random ones on Twitter and other social media marketing sites is definitely worth its weight in titanium, in my opinion.
If you haven’t joined already, do so now. Add your photo right away, and be sure to allow LinkedIn to find the people in your contacts who are already members. Because I have such a huge following and extended reach on the site, and consider it to be a primary source for information and connections to other professionals I encourage you to connect with me on LinkedIn and introducing yourself. Social media may have changed over the years, but networking and connecting with others remains a valuable endeavor. LinkedIn marketing can be an excellent place to build your business.
There is an excellent training on LinkedIn that I highly recommend. You may use this course to teach others in your community how to use LinkedIn as well. It’s a PLR (private label rights) course you may sell as your own in order to educate and inform others who would benefit from this information.
I’m author and online marketing strategist Connie Ragen Green. I work with entrepreneurs to create multiple streams of online income and would love to connect with you. Pick up my Online Entrepreneur’s Blueprint and get started right away.