LinkedIn is among the most popular social networking sites for businesses and for good reason. With 238 million readers, its reach is large and effective. If you’re an individual looking to make contact with people worldwide, LinkedIn gives you this option.

Creating an Account

Registration is fast. It takes no more than two minutes and it’s free. Here’s what you’ll need to submit to the website to get started:

  • Your First and Last Name
  • Your Email Address
  • Your Choice of Password (It must be at least 6 or more characters long.)

Once your account has been verified, you can go in and personalize your profile.

Things to Include on Your LinkedIn Profile

There are a number of different things you’ll want to do to personalize your LinkedIn profile. This will give you the cred you need to form long lasting business relationships with people internationally.

You’ll want to include:

  • A Professional Headshot of Yourself
  • Your Business Background
  • Information About Your Education
  • The Current Company You Work For and the Title of the Position You’re Currently In
  • Previous Companies That You’ve Worked For or With in the Past
  • A Summary of What Makes You Unique and Qualified (Certifications, Languages, and Relevant Skills)
  • Volunteer Experience and Causes
  • Additional Information Like Your Website, Other Social Media Accounts, Interests, and Groups

As with any other type of social media account, the more detailed you are, the better response you receive from other members. This can help you reach your objective faster and more effectively.

Reaching Others with Your Posts and Interactions

When reaching others with your post and interactions on LinkedIn, there are a few things to remember. First, your content should be timely. Current events are ideal because that’s what people will be talking about at the moment. Your posts also need to be relevant. You don’t want to be posting about things that are of little interest and value to the people you’ve connected with on LinkedIn.

Here are some additional tips that will help you use your account as a valuable outreach tool:

  • Promote a recent blog post by inserting the title with a shortened URL that people can click to read it.
  • Include a link to something newsworthy and valuable.
  • Report an important announcement involving your company.
  • Add a video that you found interesting.
  • Include a link to an article about you or that you were quoted in.
  • Solicit Twitter followers and Facebook fans by linking to the other social media sites in your life.
  • Advice that fits the image of your brand or area of specialty.

LinkedIn can be used to grow your business. As a free resource, it’s valuable beyond measure. Not only can you reach out to people and businesses on all corners of the globe, but you can help build your company’s identity and reputation by sharing useful information with other members on the site. People will consider you an expert when you contribute to this online conversation frequently.