I call it the "Social Media Big 5." This group that I'm about to tell you about is a set of social media and search sites that you must actively participate in if you want to maximize your internet presence. Here they are:

  1. Your website (includes getting ranked in the major Search Engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo)
  2. Facebook (you have a fanpage, right?)
  3. YouTube (upload your own videos and market your website through them)
  4. Twitter (engage some of the best minds in online marketing)
  5. LinkedIn (this is where the big players in industry hang out)

Today, I'm here to talk about #5. LinkedIn is commonly thought of as the place people go to find a job. In fact, that's true. It's the best job networking site there is. LinkedIn has it all: Major industry players, tons of traffic, high interactivity, built in social media, and much, much more.

THow to leverage LinkedInhose qualities above are what make LinkedIn a fantastic "job board." But it's so much more than that.

People are making major business deals in terms of B2B. In fact, LinkedIn is probably the single best place online to go to conduct business. If you want to make a contact with a company you covet for your business, LI is the place to go.

So let's talk about several things you can do on LinkedIn to market your business.

First and foremost, create a fully-fleshed out profile for yourself. YOU are the brand. Sell yourself here. Tell me, the potential business partner or client, what you can do for me. Sell me on you and your business. In other words, if I choose to work with you or hire you, what's in it for me?

That really is the golden rule of business: What's in it for the customer? How can he benefit from a relationship with you?

Secondly, there are a few things you can do with your LI account that can help you enhance your perceived value with current and potential partners.

You can–and should–add a few "applications" (or "apps") to your account. Did you know you can add your Twitter stream to your LI account? Whenever you tweet, your LI profile is updated with your last tweet. This is powerful.

If you've ever been to my site, you know I'm all about automation, systematization, and content syndication. LI makes all three dead-simple easy.

You can also add a WordPress blog to LinkedIn. Imagine creating a post on your site and that post getting automatically added to your LinkedIn account. Well, you don't have to. By adding the WordPress app right within LI, you now have that exact ability.

Another neat application that I like is Amazon's reading list. Here, you can let anybody who looks at your profile know what you're reading right now and have read in the past. I'm a firm believer in continuous improvement, personally and professionally. This app shows others what you're reading to improve yourself and your business.

Did you know that you can answer questions on LinkedIn on a variety of topics? You can establish authority and expertise in a subject by actively engaging in the "Answers" section of LI. Remember, LinkedIn is where CxOs hang out and do business. Movers and shakers live here, too. Anybody and everybody in all sorts of industries have established online presences here. They're watching. You can quickly turn this visibility into dollars by impressing an important person who reaches out to you and asks for help.

That is truly super-powerful.

Above are just a few of the many ways that you can leverage the social networking power and reach of LinkedIn.


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