3 Benefits of Networking Online with LinkedIn
It’s online. It’s for professionals. It helps with networking. It’s LinkedIn! LinkedIn definitely has name recognition. The name linkedIn brings up a basic definition of the website as a place where people search for jobs or stay in touch with colleagues. However, LinkedIn can be more than just a digital rolodex. LinkedIn has potential to help businesses find new prospects for their products or services. The three main reasons to get started with LinkedIn is that it is convenient, cost-effective, and clear connections.
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Many professionals join Associations, BNI, Chambers of Commerce, and other networking groups for the sake of expanding meeting the right people or their ideal customer. LinkedIn provides an avenue for professionals to network online. The advantage is you can find groups of professionals that contain the professionals you’re trying to meet. LinkedIn is convenient; it’s available to you at any time of the day; LinkedIn is cost-effective; there isn’t a need to drive across town to spend $20, $40, $80 per event fees. LinkedIn is targeted networking; it’s more efficient because you interact with the specific people you’re trying to reach. You can skip the ever-popular question “What do you do for a living?” and dive more quickly into subjects of mutual interest. Online interactions can lead to phone conversations or one-on-one meetings where the conversation can evolve to become more personable.
With LinkedIn you can network when it fits your schedule. Whether a few minutes in the morning, during lunch time, few minutes after work, or whenever a few moments to spare are available. It fits the schedule easily; there's no major rearrangements in schedule. You can interact with ideal professionals from the comfort of your office or home office. When you’re away from your computer, you can stay in touch on the go; LinkedIn makes mobile application for android and iphone; this allows you to respond and interact with people while you go about your day. A few minutes here and there, and you online networking does not need to take too much of your time. Since it isn’t a fixed day and time, you can choose when the best time for your schedule.
The vast majority of LinkedIn features that are available for free. You can create a profile. You can join groups. You can connect with your professional contacts for free. These are only three major features that are readily available.
How much individuals spend varies by person, by industry, by company. Still, the cost of traditional networking fees add up. A simple networking event can cost $40 an event, a short seminar $100, an association fee $400, an annual conference $3,000 per person. When you do the annual costs of networking events, it can add up quickly.
With LinkedIn you can potentially interact with an even greater number of professionals for a fraction of the price. If you upgrade your account, you can use LinkedIn to integrate with a CRM like SalesForce. It makes it much easier to manage your prospects and leads.
The vast majority of LinkedIn users take advantage of the many site features that are available for free.
How to Connect with LinkedIn Members for Free
Many members of LinkedIn are able to enjoy the benefits of free membership because it lets them connect to many different professionals for free. Here are three ways to connect for free:
- Connect for free with people you already know.
- Connect for free via 2nd/3rd degree connections.
- Connect for free using linkedin groups.
- Connect for free via introductions.
Even if you upgrade your membership, the monthly fee is cheaper or equal to most association fees while providing access to a greater quantity of connections. For the price equal to one association, you can access the equivalent of 100+ association members through LinkedIn.
At offline events, you may or may not meet influencers or decision makers. Since many members fill out their profiles on LinkedIn. You can connect with the ideal person. This helps you locate and network with the right people. Here is a list of things you can learn about a connection through Linkedin:
- Potential Need
- Offline Networking
- LinkedIn Groups