3 ways LinkedIn serves as your electronic business card

LinkedIn logoOften when I mention something to do with LinkedIn, the business networking platform, people give me a weird look. It’s as if they can’t process that I actually can and do use LinkedIn to help my business.

LinkedIn has become the go-to location for business people to find out about other business people. And believe me, the more you know about the other people you are meeting up with, the better business goes. For instance, knowing that someone I was meeting with a few months ago had played lacrosse enabled me to mention that my wife and I are big Johns Hopkins University lacrosse fans. We are fans, but it wouldn’t have been something I would have thought to have discussed. That discussion helped us form a relationship that went beyond just business.

First, LinkedIn also allows me to verify a person’s credentials. Not having a LinkedIn account for me and others is a good gauge of who is serious about business.

Second, Google is taking notice too because LinkedIn pages are showing with greater frequency as a top search result. That fact alone should make any business owner realize the value of investing time in creating a profile, adding appropriate skills and listing prior jobs so potential contacts that know you from those positions can find you.

Third, LinkedIn is the Facebook of business. It’s a who’s who. It’s also a great place to fish for possible clients. It is routine now for me and other smart business people to immediately seek a connection on LinkedIn with every new person they meet.

My network of connections isn’t for my vanity. Rather, it serves as a spider web of people who might be able to help me, my clients or other connections accomplish their business goals. That network doesn’t require me to attend meetings, eat bad food or make up questions.

I typically scour LinkedIn at night and on weekends, adding connections, checking other connections and checking out the activities of various LinkedIn Groups where my potential clients hang out.

A vibrant, active, complete LinkedIn page isn’t a luxury now; it’s a necessity. That page is probably more valuable than a business card because it can reach people who you might never knew existed but could be incredibly valuable to your business.

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