We get it…you grind. You wake daily, before sunrise, and return home long after rush hour has ended. Your phone is three weeks away from permanently fusing itself to your hand. You’re a regular in the local networking circle and you have the waist-high pile of business cards to prove it.
But while you’ve been charting this voyage to career paradise, you’ve been ignoring a whale. A whale comprised of 414 million people, and it’s time to land it, Ahab.
LinkedIn. By now, everyone’s familiar with it. You’ve posted your clean little profile picture and fairly updated resume. That’s all well and fine, but like most people, you might not realize that you’re missing out on one of the most efficient and effective business partners you’ll ever find.
Once upon a time, you only needed to be on LinkedIn in order to help aid your job search. Before that, (a long time ago…) you didn’t need to be on it at all. Oh the times, they are a changin’. Fast forward to now. LinkedIn has become a crucial, if not indispensable, part of business marketing and sales.
More and more people are joining LinkedIn daily and those already there are increasing the time they spend on the site. With the introduction of relevant news feed content, major globalization, (LinkedIn is in 24 languages and is one of the only social networking sites allowed in China,) and advanced mobile optimization, they’ve managed to grow from 100 million users in 2011 to over 400 million users today. That’s 800 million eyeballs potentially looking at the content you are putting out there.
Forgive me, LinkedIn. I was wrong about you. You’re no longer boring or stuffy. You’ve changed. I enjoy spending time with you now. You’re much better looking and easier to navigate than I remember. If only I could say the same for dating! But I digress. You’ve managed to capture the millennials, which as most companies will admit, is no easy feat. They can be a fickle bunch with zero brand loyalty, forever craving the newest and bestest. LinkedIn has become a large part of mapping out your career voyage long before you even start looking for the shores of that New World. Many college students now have profiles on LinkedIn, which has helped to solidify the fact the site’s biggest growth is coming from millennials. This group is adding content to the LinkedIn feed and helping add more depth to the site’s scope and personality.
It’s likely we’ve all used LinkedIn for their talent qualities, helping us find and be found by the right people in our voyage for the promise land–a beacon we refer to as “the new gig.” But there is so, so much more to it than that.
LinkedIn’s marketing and sales features are invaluable. They allow you to precisely target the people that you want to market or sell your product to. F & B managers in the greater Philadelphia area? Click! Forensic engineers who are registered in the state of California? Click!
Done and done. It’s already set up.
There are small fees for some of the other features such as sponsored InMail, which allows you to drop a full-page ad, newsletter, etc. into the mailboxes of specific people or groups. But this enables your content to be seen by the right people at the right time and that’s what’s going to grow your business.
What’s the old adage? Work smarter, not harder?
I’m not going to tell you not to work hard. You should work hard. Working hard is awesome. Get after it. Get out there and kill it. Make hay, sunshine! But work smarter too. Delegate. Let LinkedIn carry some of the load. They’ve already done most of the hard stuff for you. All you have to do now is click.