Women In Business

5 ways to make the most of LinkedIn

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Everybody knows that they should be on LinkedIn. It’s the business and career world’s primary internet connection site. But just being on there is not enough. You need to figure out how to make the most of LinkedIn and how to use it as a networking and business tool.

 

1. Go premium

Emails only get you so far, and sometimes accessing the email addresses of the people you need to contact, especially CEOs and Directors, can be near impossible. Paying for LinkedIn Premium was one of the best decisions I have made in business; it allows you to essentially bypass the receptionist and contact anyone you need to, whether that be the Managing Director of a corporation, the Chairman of a multi-national company, or even a politician.

2. Build personal and business relationships

When I first joined LinkedIn I started by connecting with those I already knew, which allowed me to discover new connections and make new acquaintances. In my experience, not only have I created and built strong business relationships but personal relationships as well, and along the way I have made new friends I otherwise never would have had the opportunity to connect with. These relationships have become support networks that I can call upon for both business and personal needs.

3. Seek and you shall find

I am not shy when it comes to seeking out mentors, and through my LinkedIn prowess I have accumulated a team of mentors who have each helped to guide me along the path to success. These mentors include former Melbourne Storm and interim Federation Square CEO Ron Gauci, former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett, and Ticketmaster Australasia Managing Director Maria O’Connor, among others.

Don’t be afraid to network, especially online. Face-to-face networking can be daunting for many, so I first approached one of my current mentors Ron Gauci via LinkedIn, and he later connected me to another mentor, Maria O’Connor, from there. Both Ron and Maria have proven invaluable in terms of opening doors and they have each played a major role in helping me get to where I am today.

4. Think of LinkedIn as a set of keys to closed doors

Struggling to get your foot in the door or secure a meeting with the right person can be an incredible roadblock when launching a start-up, especially in the online and tech industry. Not only has LinkedIn enabled me to get in contact with new people, but I’ve also found you can connect directly with the right person, the person that you actually need to speak to. One thing I have learnt is that usually CEOs manage their own LinkedIn accounts, so you can jump the queue and engage with them directly.

For example, when securing the Twitter handles for my new start-up, the handle I wanted was already taken, but it was inactive. After wasting many weeks waiting for the customer service team to get back to me, I contacted the Australian Twitter Director via LinkedIn and had the matter resolved within hours.

5. Take it one step further

Whilst many people think that LinkedIn is simply a tool for making connections, the groups and forums can also prove helpful resources. Following LinkedIn groups is a great way to engage with other people, join in discussions, learn about new topics and strategies and increase your knowledge database.

The most rewarding experience to come out of LinkedIn has been following through and meeting new connections in person — it demonstrates that you are invested in a personal or business relationship, and that you are committed to yourself, your product and your brand. Connecting in person is critical to getting the most out of the connections you make online.

About Caroline Woodhouse

Caroline Woodhouse is the Founder and Director of Where4Events. Where4Events streamlines over 80,000 events from Australia’s leading ticketing systems like Hoyts, Ticketmaster, ATDW and Oztix. Caroline is also the managing director of NetCABS, a Vehicle Dispatch System set to bring significant change to a worldwide industry.

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