Updated September 3 at 7:03pm

LinkedIn is great for doing smart business

I am NOT a LinkedIn expert, but I do have more than 15,000 LinkedIn connections. Do you?

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LinkedIn is great for doing smart business

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I am NOT a LinkedIn expert, but I do have more than 15,000 LinkedIn connections. Do you?

I may have more visibility and notoriety than you do, but we are equal in exposure and linking possibilities. And 98.5 percent of my LinkedIn connections are the result of people wanting to connect with me.

I do not accept everyone. I click on everyone’s profile before connection. Many are impressive. Most are average or less. Some are pathetic.

How’s yours? How many connections do you have? How are you communicating with your connections? How are your connections helping your sales or your career?

Your LinkedIn profile is one more social media image. And you choose exactly what it is. When others search for you on Google, LinkedIn is one of the first links they click on. You have a chance to make a positive business and social impression.

THE GOOD: When I realized the business significance of LinkedIn, I immediately sought professional help. I hired Joe Soto at One Social Media to help me with the keywords, layout, and what to include on my profile page. He also recommended what and how to post.

It must be working. In the two years since I hired him, I have added more than 9,000 organic connections. Or should I say, more than 9,000 potential customers. Huge opportunity. At an acquisition cost of ZERO.

REALITY OF LINKEDIN: I receive requests to link and I also get messages. Some are very nice, some are self-serving, some are insincere and some are stupid (very stupid). And ALL messages are a reflection of the person sending them. That would be you.

Here are some THINGS about LinkedIn to make you think, re-think, and act:

• Your picture is NOT an option. Show a professional, but approachable, image. Be proud of who you are.

• Have a LinkedIn profile that gives me insight, not just history. Not just what you’ve done, but also who you are. Your profile is your pathway to connection.

• DO NOT USE stock LinkedIn messages. It shows your laziness, lack of creativity and overall lack of professionalism. Standard LinkedIn messages need to be replaced with your own.

• If you’re looking for a job, or working a lead, tell me WHY I should connect. (Where’s the value?)

• If you’re looking for leads, use the keyword feature (rather than the job title option) in the “advanced search” link to the right of the search box. It’s free, and you’ll find hundreds of people in your industry or in your backyard that you never knew existed.

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