LinkedIn is quite possibly one of the strongest online business tools available today. And so, I am constantly surprised when I find out people aren’t using it or barely using it. Here’s the truth: We live in an online world and if you’re in business you need to be on LinkedIn. That’s all there is to it.

LinkedIn is about networking

When LinkedIn started out, is was essentially an online resume. It was a place for you to advertise your skills and experience to potential hiring managers. Unfortunately, many people still think this is all it is. But I promise you it so much more!

People are looking for you

If you are in any sort of business, people are looking for you. In today’s world, one of the first things people do when starting a business relationship, is to look you up online. LinkedIn profiles rank highly in search results and provide a validated representation of who you are, on your terms. You can ensure that people looking for you will find what you want them to know!

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Endorsements and Recommendations

Endorsements are an easy way for others to validate skills that you have listed on your profile. In order to receive these endorsements, you need to fill in the skills section on your profile. Recommendations, on the other hand, are almost priceless. These are personally written referrals from those who actually know you and who are willing to put their name and reputation behind you.

Connect and learn through groups

You are permitted to join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn. If you’re not taking advantage of these, you’re missing out on a ton of information! People upload blogs, articles, comments, questions, and suggestions to LinkedIn groups daily. These are all sources of valuable information and network connections that you should be taking advantage of.

LinkedIn is all about establishing connections. When you connect with other professionals in your field, you’re gaining more knowledge and insight since you’re interacting with colleagues. Have a question? Ask someone on LinkedIn. Want to know about upcoming events in your area? You can find out this information on LinkedIn as well. In other words, your connections on LinkedIn can help accelerate your career.

Promoting Yourself

You can also use LinkedIn as a way to promote yourself professionally. Whether you’re employed, looking for a job, or a business owner, think of your LinkedIn page as a personal website that can be used to share your accomplishments with your connections. After all, you now know what potential connections are out there; a high-profile partner or client could be impressed by your work.

Google Loves LinkedIn

Take a second and Google your name. What was one of the first results? If you have a LinkedIn profile, we’re willing to bet that it was one of the top results. For some reason, Google just loves LinkedIn, which is beneficial for managing search results. In other words, if you applied for a job or met someone at a networking event and they searched for you online, your LinkedIn profile would appear. That’s a major bonus if you’re attempting to expand your network.