Updated: Jun 28, 2022
As of December 2021, the number of LinkedIn users reached 9.46 million in South Africa.
Most people have heard of the on-line networking platform, used by businesses and professionals, called LinkedIn. I know this because there are now over 9.5million personal profiles in South Africa alone and over 800 million globally!!!
LinkedIn has been around since 2003 and yet has exploded to these numbers in just the last few years. There has also been a massive explosion of usage since Covid. People have a profile because they think they should but the vast majority of people don’t know how to use it effectively to gain business. That’s because what LinkedIn was created to do and what it can do now are poles apart.
From my understanding, LinkedIn was originally set up by a few guys who decided to share their personal and business networks with each other. They then invited their connections to do the same and so it has grown virally.
You have probably heard of the general principle of “The Six Degrees of Separation” that says we are no more than six people away from anybody in the world and there have been a number of studies to prove this. It is now recognised that, with LinkedIn, it is nearer three steps away from anyone. Your ability to find and connect with whoever you want in the world is now greater than it has ever been! You know that people source contacts through word of mouth referral – how many times have you recommended your lawyer or web designer? How many times have you had business referred to you through people you know?
People are now using LinkedIn to find and connect with their ideal business contacts. They are also checking you out on LinkedIn before contacting you. Your LinkedIn profile even gets found by Google so if you are not on it or utilising it effectively then you are missing MASSIVE opportunities to grow your sales and your businesses!
As a Business Coach I started to use LinkedIn to gain business for myself in 2010. It quickly became my main marketing, communication and networking tool. I have had a profile on LinkedIn since 2003 but only ever really used it to connect with colleagues and often only when they had asked to connect with me. I had never proactively used it to gain business.
It is the most powerful way to find, connect (in the right way) and engage with your ideal contact. All this from the comfort of your laptop or smart phone anywhere in the world!!!
There are really two parts to LinkedIn:
1. Creating a powerful personal profile that gets found, gives value to the reader (a point that is missed by so many people!) and proves your credibility. There is no point going out to try and network if, when people see your profile, it is weak, unprofessional and of no interest to them.
I have, in the files section of my free Facebook group, my “9 Points to Creating a Powerful Personal Profile” document (+ a heap of other resources) which we will delve into more, in future articles. You can join the group here: www.facebook.com/groups/linkedinmasterywithandy
2. Your strategy. What you are going to do on a weekly or daily basis to find, connect with (in the right way – have I already mentioned this? ) and engage with your ideal connections.
Connect with Andy on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/andygwynn/ ), start utilising it more effectively and set yourself apart from your competition!!!