I have found Linkedin to be extremely useful in building my professional network and sharing ideas with professionals that I would probably have no contact with otherwise because they are located throughout the world. Two strategies that I have found fruitful are:
1) Join groups in your industry and start a discussion. This allows you to attract targeted individuals to your discussion and gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself and invite them to network with you. However, in order to reap the optimum results, you must set aside time to reply to each contributer individually. This develops relationships and can eventually lead to business and recommendations.
2) Reply to a group discussion. Pick a day to look through group discussions and give your feedback. It gives you an opportunity to interact with all of the individuals involved in the discussion. Not only reach out to the discussion facilitator, but if you agree with a comment say so and then send that individual an introduction message highlighting what you found interesting about there comment.
Both strategies can be time consuming, so if you don`t have a lot of time, do one strategy at a time. I will not start another discussion until I have replied to everyone who gave me feedback. My belief is that in Linkedin it`s more about quality than quantity.
Did you know that Venture Capitalist and other investors look at you online Social Network to research your social worth. The top two networks that they view are LinkedIn and Facebook. They also Google you and you optimize your Google results by being apart of Social Networks. They want to see that you have leverage, contacts and influence in your industry because this will optimize their return on investment. So don`t give up on Linkedin...just add it to your to do list and watch it pay off, it really is a longterm investment for your company and it only requires time.
Hope this Helps!
Jonnette S. FairHunter Reign Strategies
w. http//citylinks.ning.comLet`s Connect!
HunterReign11/9/2008 3:35 PM