Here are some recommendations when utilizing LinkedIn (LI) as a social networking site to improve your business connections, sales activity and personal marketing.

1 – Connections – While the goal in terms of connections is to get as many as possible, you also want to ensure that the quality of your connections is just as important. When you send an invitation to connect, ensure that the message you send has a personal touch, other than using the standard default that LI provides. This shows your new connection that you are not just randomly adding people to improve your number of contacts. Also, think of the person you are sending an invitation to. Are there advantages in it for both parties such as making introductions to connections already within your network or theirs, business opportunities for both, keeping them abreast of your personal business activity and more. It is always helpful when asking someone to connect to you to add valuable information in your introduction; this gives you instant creditability and creates a positive impression.

2 – Marketing – Traditional marketing while costly, can also be ineffective. If you are using the “What are you working on” tab in LI to let your connections know what is occurring in your business you have just sent a free commercial to those in your network. The amount of time required to do this simple task is about 30 seconds and can be done weekly or monthly depending on your business.

3 – Image – Before you meet someone for wobb internships (maps.google.cz) an interview or meeting you have the ability to create a positive first impression without even entering the room. LinkedIn allows you the ability to create that positive impression when they view your profile. Ways to create a positive impression through your LI profile include a quality photo, receiving and providing recommendations and a concise yet compelling summary section.

4 – Sales – While LI may not yield the pot of gold you hope for immediately, like anything else in life you get out of what you put into it. Ways to help drive revenue with it include finding a valuable resource for your business, finding a new career opportunity through a posted job, locating a potential customer via an introduction through a connection, provide valuable information to your connections that will give you the image of a subject matter expert resulting in the eventual sale of your product or service.

5 – Optimizing yourself – One of the coolest things on LI is creating the ability, through your profile, to get found for what you do. As an example, I offer training on the topic of a concept called “Mind Mapping”. When someone is searching on the key words of Mind Mapping and trainer or training in my network, my profile should be one of the first to appear. This does not say that I will appear first on the entire LI network, however it does allow me the ability to get found from those in my network.