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Forget Facebook and Twitter: For B2B It's All About LinkedIn
by Steve Fretzin

Owning your own business in this economy is not an easy task, especially if you run your company from home. Home businesses are very rewarding, but they can also offer limited networking opportunities. As a result, you might miss out on the potentially valuable connections that are out there.

Luckily, you can expand your home business and promote your brand without leaving the office. Thanks to online social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, networking has never been easier or more efficient. However, choosing between these 3 valuable sites can be complicated but no one wants to waste valuable time and energy trying to navigate all three.

For home business owners, LinkedIn is generally the best bet. Here's why:

It brings the separation gap from 6 to 2. LinkedIn not only allows you to connect with people you know, but it shows you the degree of separation between you and others you are not yet connected to. This allows you to discover who your connections are connected with, and many times they're just the people you need to know!

It allows you to reach the white collar crowd. When you're using social networking to build your home business, LinkedIn is the best tool because it is used by so many white collar workers. This helps you not only reach a large audience, but your target audience.

You can easily find people you know through school and work. Because the profile includes an extensive area to profile your school and work experience, it's a great way to re-connect with people you've lost touch with along the way and someone you went to grade school with could now be your ideal business partner!

You can use it to get quality introductions. LinkedIn has a very unique tool that allows you to ask people you are connected with to connect you with people they know in a professional way. A quality introduction like this is a great way to get your foot in the door and gives you more credibility than a cold call would.

If you are new to LinkedIn and aren't sure where to start, consider the following pointers:

Make a game plan. Understand what you are looking to accomplish before beginning- Many people jump into using social media without a plan. If you are looking for more sales, be sure to create a large but focused network within the LinkedIn site. Going in blind is never a good idea.

Learn the layout. Take an hour to go through the LinkedIn tutorials or attend a seminar- In less than two hours, you should be able to find a tutorial or explanation of LinkedIn to be sure you save valuable time down the road. You don't want to realize too late that the way you are using LinkedIn is just a waste of your time.

Know the tricks. When using LinkedIn- There are three keys to being effective on LinkedIn. First, create a complete and sophisticated profile. Second, have a strategy for building your network. Larger networks provide more contacts, but they may not get you in the door as well as a tighter group. Third, use the advanced search tool to target the industries or companies that will get you the best results in less time.

In today's information era, the Internet is a crucial part of every business's success plan. If you don't utilize the Internet and online social networks, you are missing out on a free, easy way to expand your client base in as little as 30 minutes!

About the Author:
Steve Fretzin, President, Sales Results, Inc.

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Note from the Editor:
Join the NMOA group on LinkedIn here: LinkedIn NMOA Group

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