Do you know what “LinkedIn”:http://www.linkedin.com is?
Our guess is that you’ve probably never heard of it. Which is definitely fine?
At first glance, LinkedIn looks like another run of the mill social networking web site, albeit a professional version of Facebook. Just another Social Networking tool to post a profile, update for a couple of months and then ignore once the next fad comes around.
Unfortunately, that assumption would mean that you are missing out on a very powerful self-promotional and connection tool, especially if you’re a freelance consultant.
First and foremost, over 30 million users are currently utilizing the LinkedIn Social Network and that number is growing daily. Secondly, when used correctly, it is one of the most powerful tools to increase your professional online presence. (For a list of ideas on how to use LinkedIn, “read Guy Kawasaki ‘s post on the ten ways you can use Linkedin to enhance your connections”:http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/01/ten_ways_to_use.html ) Using LinkedIn’s connection matrix can garnish you dozens of new connections within any given Industry. In addition, you can utilize LinkedIn’s profile links to increase your search engine strength for your own personal web site. But more importantly the Discussion threads and Industry groups on LinkedIn can provide you a means to demonstrate your expertise.
And it is this final reason that we truly believe is LinkedIn’s greatest benefit and why, for our clients in the Southern Alberta region, *now is the time to get on the Linkedin bandwagon*.
We believe that establishing yourself within your key industry on LinkedIn or providing thoughtful comments to open discussions is a great way to increase your profile’s views. And the more profile views you can garner, the more likely you’re going to appear in a project managers or HR representatives search on _Industry Specific Consultants_.
One of the trends we’ve noticed is that the Oil & Gas and Energy Industries is one of the most poorly under representative groups in the LinkedIn network. Couple that observation with the growing popularity of LinkedIn within the Calgary/Southern Alberta region and this is a perfect time to start marketing yourself as an expert in _Oil & Gas Mineral and Contract Administration_ or as an _Energy Sector Consultant_. In particular to start curtailing your profile to attract people in this underrepresented market. (You can “view one of our profiles here”:http://www.linkedin.com/in/connorturner)
With an estimated value of close to “1 Billion dollars, LinkedIn”:http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/10/22/linkedin-announces-227-million-follow-on-round-from-sap-goldman-sachs-and-mcgraw-hill/
is a Social Networking Tool that appears to be establishing itself for the long run and a key Human Resources tool. So now is the time to set-up an account, link it to your web site, and get involved with your professional community.
Who knows where it will take you.