By James J. Talerico, Jr.
I began networking on LinkedIn just before the credit crunch. while on a Southwest Flight from Chicago to Dallas. I was sitting next to a young man named Ben, a social media marketer, who was creating Twitter ads for several popular candy brands. Ben persuaded me that the benefits of social networking were going to outweigh the investment of time and I began connecting with interesting people on LinkedIn.
Over the next several years, I accumulated over 30,000 followers on LinkedIn. My followers include family, friends, colleagues, competitors and leaders in my industry, in addition to many interesting people from all over the world (some very famous) with backgrounds very different from mine.
As a result of my networking efforts on LinkedIn, I made a little money from consulting work, benefited from media writeups in major newspapers like the New York Times, and have even been mentioned in a couple of books on social networking. For several years, I was one of the most followed small business experts on Twitter. All of these opportunities literally fell in my lap because of my past social networking efforts.
Looking back, while engaging in social media did require an investment in time on my part, I feel that it has boosted my statute as an SMB consultant and has been a fascinating, educational, positive addition to my life; and I, furthermore, view my 30,000 followers as an important, future marketing resource, as I know of several consulting firms today that are successfully monetizing their LinkedIn followers.
Hopefully, by now I have inspired you to think about how you can expand your professional network on LinkedIn. The good news is that there are some takeaways about how I did it from which you can benefit, and there are also many new tools available today that didn’t exist years ago that are powerful ways you can connect with others.
In part, my success was a result of PR exposure I received while managing a consulting division for a national consulting firm in Chicago that helped brand me as an industry expert. This was the job I had when I met Ben.
So, your first step is to identify why people should connect with you on LinkedIn and then you need to make sure that your profile is built around these strengths. After putting together a compelling profile, you should next devise a strategy for connecting with the people you’d like to be part of your network, invest time daily interacting on LinkedIn and attracting followers, continually try new ways to grow your connections, and adjust your approach, as needed, to reach your LinkedIn connection goals & objectives. In short, those five-(5) ideas were how I grew such a large network on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the premier social network for professionals today. As we entered the new decade, LinkedIn boasts over 645,000,000 users. Forty-five (45%) percent of LinkedIn users are in upper management, hence, decision makers.
No matter where your LinkedIn Page currently stands there is room to improve your LinkedIn profile and expand your network, which can lead to innumerable career, brand, and business opportunities in any direction you want to take it, a fact to which I can personally attest.
While preparing for my radio segment on The Price of Business Radio Show about how I accumulated 30,000 LinkedIn followers, I was reminded of the following ideas — many of which were not available when I was growing my network that, I feel, can also help you grow your network once you get started. Click here to view these ideas:
About the Author
A nationally recognized small to mid-sized business (SMB) expert, Jim Talerico has consistently ranked among the “top small business consultants followed on Twitter.” With more than thirty – (30) years of diversified business experience, Jim has a solid track record helping thousands of business owners across the US and in Canada tackle tough business problems and improve their organizational performance.
A regular guest on the Price of Business on Bloomberg Talk Radio, Jim’s client success stories have been highlighted in the Wall St Journal, Dallas Business Journal, Chicago Daily Herald, and on MSNBC’s Your Business, and he is regularly quoted in publications like the New York Times, Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Inquirer, and INC Magazine, in addition to numerous, other industry publications, radio broadcasts, business books, and Internet media.
Jim Talerico is a certified management consultant CMC©, an honor bestowed on only 1% of all consultants worldwide.
Increase your knowledge of the latest small to mid-sized business (SMB) trends by tuning into Jim’s regular appearances on the Price of Business !
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Listen to Talerico’s recent interview with Kevin Price on this very subject:
This article is based on one at PoB Digital Network partner PriceofBusiness.com.