Yes, LinkedIn can be used for more than your job search. This topic came up today while meeting with a business associate. So, here's a quick Top 5 list specifically for those who have leadership roles, or are in consultative, business development and sales roles.
5 LinkedIn features that can help you build your business:
- Companies. Research and follow companies, tracking headcount changes, job openings, your connections there, statistics about employees, and more. This feature is getting better all the time. Are there prospective client companies that you should be tracking? Do you know what's happening at the company where your customer works? Are there competing companies that you want to keep an eye on?
- Events. Are there events you or your staff should be attending for networking or professional development? This feature can help, allowing you to search and find relevant events and/or see which events your contacts (customers and/or colleagues) are attending. Identify events relevant to your business and connect with people who are important to your business.
- Groups. Join them! These provide an opportunity to build your expertise and/or showcase your knowledge/products/services/events. You connect to existing and new contacts.
- Updates. Periodic updates keep you intouch with your network. Read others' updates and post yours! Let people know what you are doing, or where you are going. You can also use updates to announce new products/services/events/company news, etc. I’ve found some great information from watching updates, including identifying research of interest for my clients. I've even identified consulting projects to pursue. You can too.
- Applications. Add your business blog to your LinkedIn page, highlight upcoming trips, post presentations and more. There are many applications that can be used to further connect with your network.