What’s LinkedIn ® and Why Should I Care?

The ladies of Blogsnap are very excited to introduce our very first guest blogger, LinkedIn expert and owner of DW Consulting Solutions, Debbie Wemyss:

When I was asked if I had an interest in writing a guest blog for Blogsnap about LinkedIn it took me about a millisecond to answer with an emphatic: ‘Yes!’ I love opportunities to spread an awareness of the world’s largest professional networking site because it’s important… for everybody. What’s LinkedIn and why should you care? Well, for starters, if you work you probably also network on one level or another. And if you’re job seeking or considering a transition, LinkedIn is a must! 57% of LinkedIn’s revenue comes from the HR industry because it is their #1 resource for job candidates. All businesses require contacts and LinkedIn gives you a way to build business relationships on all levels and without boundaries.

The facts: LinkedIn will be 11 years old in May; there are 277+ million members in over 200 countries with 83+ million members in the US alone. Every Fortune 500 company is represented on the site; LinkedIn is offered in 22 languages and users continue to sign up at a rate of more than 2 new members per second. I’ve done the math: that’s another million members using the site every 12 days.

The myths: ‘LinkedIn is for job seekers.’ Yes, but it is also for anyone who works, owns a business, seeks advancement in their profession or anyone transitioning to another state, country or industry. It’s also ideal for anyone who wants to cultivate clients, customers and ‘raving fans!’ Fact: There were over 5.3 billion searches done on LinkedIn last year! People are looking for your expertise and they are finding it on LinkedIn.

Another myth: ‘I have a business page on Facebook – I don’t need LinkedIn.’ Yes, you do! Both sites serve a purpose; LinkedIn offers multiple options for increasing your professional visibility with a targeted audience. You will learn to create engagement, grow your business and get ahead. And don’t forget how fast the site continues to grow.

Here’s my favorite: ‘I don’t have time for LinkedIn!’ Hmmmm… sometimes that really means: ‘I’m lost when it comes to social media!’ You’re not alone! Most of us (try to) live our lives as superhumans – able to multi-task and load up on commitments in a single hour! Prioritizing can be challenging for all of us, no matter how ‘super’ we like to imagine ourselves. At its most basic level, LinkedIn is about marketing: yourself, your company, your employer or your skills. Your competition is on LinkedIn. So, the real question becomes: ‘Can you afford not to be on LinkedIn?’

How to start: 94% of the 277M+ members use the free ‘Basic’ profile – you do not need to spend money on an upgraded membership! I always suggest that users start with the Basic account and get familiar with all it offers. Your goals and business will determine whether you should upgrade later. Visit www.linkedin.com to start an account – you’ll need a name, email and password. Then, take your time to build your profile. LinkedIn offers a step-by-step process – I also know someone who can help! The first reason that anyone has a profile on LinkedIn is to have the most professional presence possible on the world’s largest professional networking site. The second reason is to be found! You want to be found for your expertise! LinkedIn is one of the finest marketing tools available and once you understand the basic steps for using it, it will become a favorite – particularly when it begins to help you reach your goals.

Once your profile is complete (photo, experience, education, skills, industry choice, etc.) you’re ready to start building your network with Connections. You will be surprised at who you’ll find on LinkedIn! In addition to all the business people you know, you’ll find your doctors, teachers, veterinarian, coaches, church friends and more. Each professional you connect with also has a network of Connections… hence the name ‘LinkedIn.’ Those Connections will be assisting you later to lead you to business or they will become your business – it’s a powerful way to advance yourself and/or your business.

Some of my favorite clients are those who were a bit terrified of the site at first, but now they are avid users, finding it a wonderful way to grow their professional lives and businesses. Some of my 450+ clients include: professionals in almost any industry you can name; a radio deejay; a neighborhood electrician; an artist/gallery owner in the Bahamas; college professors; students; job seekers, bank vice presidents; professional golfers; authors; nonprofit executives; photographers; a race car driver; secretaries; head hunters; court reporters and many entrepreneurs.

They’ve learned to love LinkedIn – you will, too! Please view my LinkedIn profile www.linkedin.com/in/debbiewemyss for more information about how you, too, can benefit from LinkedIn. Contact Debbie Wemyss at 561-444-2265 or email debbie@dwconsultingsolutions.com. Please note: I am not with, affiliated or endorsed by the LinkedIn® Corporation.

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