Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 35 seconds

LinkedIn is the most popular social network among accounting professionals according to the SocialCPAs 2010 Social Networking Survey. Accounting professionals have joined LinkedIn, built profiles and connected with colleagues. However, I keep hearing that they don't see the benefit from their time spent on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is all about connections. It's about you reaching out to others to connect and about others finding you. These connections can lead you to new sources of revenue, new employees and maybe even new referral sources.

 

In this article, I will share some things that you can do to strengthen your existing connections and find others that may want to connect with you and your firm.

Let's start with your contact list. Compare the number of contacts in your Outlook contact list with the number of connections you have on LinkedIn. Most of us have significantly more Outlook Contacts than LinkedIn Connections. I encourage you to connect with all of your contacts. The benefit that you receive from LinkedIn increases with each new connection.

Your profile is a very important part of your LinkedIn experience. It should include your picture, a meaningful headline, your job history and links to your websites. In addition, you profile should include a vanity URL that helps people find you. Building and maintaining a complete profile will make it easier for others to find you.

How many emails do you send each day? Do the people that you email know that you have a LinkedIn profile? If not, this is easy to change. You may have seen people who have the following LinkedIn logos in their e-mail signature:

You can add a LinkedIn logo and hyperlink to your existing email signature so that the people who receive your emails can easily find your LinkedIn Profile. This is just another way to people to find you!

Do you actively participate in any networking groups like your local chamber of commerce or your college alumni group? Active participation in networking groups can lead to new contacts and new sources of revenue. The same is true of LinkedIn. You can find LinkedIn groups that focus on your area of expertise, your Alma mater, a professional association or a hobby. There is even a group where accounting professionals gather to discuss social media. Join a few groups, watch the discussions and jump in when you're ready to share. Groups allow you to share your knowledge, showcase your expertise and expand your network of connections.

LinkedIn allows you to post status updates that are broadcast to your connections. These updates tend to focus on business related topics. For example, you could use a status updates to discuss a new tax law and include a link to an article written by you or someone at your firm. You can also use them to publicize an event or a new blog post. It is important to actively update your status. It helps people get to know you and may spark interest in your firm.

LinkedIn is all about getting connected and sharing with others. Hopefully, these ideas will help you get more out of LinkedIn!

 

Last modified on Sunday, 02 June 2013
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