Archives for November 2013

How to Build Meaningful Connections on LinkedIn

 

Using LinkedIn to build professional connections can be a powerful tool in your business arsenal. LinkedIn boasts millions of members, and your profile on the site has a huge array of ways to showcase your professional talents and accomplishments. I’ve talked before about how to put together a great profile that will help you get found by other people who might be good connections. But who exactly should you be connecting with?

Like I said above, LinkedIn has millions of users. So should you accept connection requests from everyone who sends them? Probably not. While LinkedIn is a professional website, it is not free from spammers and people who are not looking to make actual connections. LinkedIn is a good place to be selective when it comes to saying yes to connection requests.

In order to attract the right kind of connections, here are a few things you can do to your profile:

  • Figure out a strategy as to how you want yourself to be seen on LinkedIn. Do you want to paint yourself as an expert in a particular field or niche? If so, make sure that you use the right keywords when it comes to your summary and work descriptions.
  • Think about your target audience. Are you looking to join professional groups or have them notice you? Tailor your content as such.
  • Think about how much time you have to spend making connections on LinkedIn. Once you have a time frame in mind, you can come up with a game plan.

So how do you decide who to let into your LinkedIn network? Here are a few tips:

  • I generally say yes to anyone that I know. You can take this strategy, or you can be selective in who you add. Just be prepared for questions or reminders from colleagues or acquaintances who you have chosen not to add to your network.
  • If the request is coming from someone who you don’t know, take a minute to look over their profile. Do you have something in common? Maybe you went to the same college, had the same major, or worked for the same company in the past. Maybe you have a mutual friend or professional connection. Vet the person who is asking before saying yes or no.
  • Don’t feel bad about saying no. It’s fine to keep your professional network relatively closed. If you don’t see any value in adding the person who has requested to join your network, then don’t!

When building out your connections on LinkedIn, remember that you are in control. Follow these tips above and you’ll be on your way to building meaningful connections.

(Photo Source)

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

Veterans Day: Soldiers Returning Home (Emotional Video)

 

 

Today is special day that is often overlooked or totally unacknowledged. Today is Veterans Day in the United States. Veterans Day honors all American Veterans, both living and dead.

Veterans Day became official in 1954 when President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11th Veterans Day.

The Video below was produced by ESPN back in July 2013 for Independence Day. It shows military personal surprising their families at various sporting events and locations across the U.S. A moving piece no matter what country you hail from…

Happy Veterans Day 2013, and thank you for your work, dedication, and service.

 

How to Make a Difference Online

 

When it comes to your time online, you should show your support both to people and businesses. But how do you make someone else’s day a little easier or brighter while you’re spending some time on the (ahem, often time-sucking) Internet?

In my opinion, before the advent of the Internet as an everyday tool, helping others commit a RAOK (random act of kindness) could take more effort. Yes, paying for the person behind you in line when you’re getting coffee or taking a donation to Goodwill is still a really great thing to do, but you can commit these small acts even easier just by using the Web. While we just missed national Make A Difference Day, taking the time to make a difference every day is still an easy thing to do.

Here are a few ways that you can make a difference online:

  1. Offer specific help to a friend or acquaintance. I don’t know about you, but I am guilty of breezing by sad Facebook statuses with just a “aw, that’s no fun.” Instead, take the time to think of something specific that you can do for the person that appears to be having a rough go of it. You can post on their status or tweet them back, or send a private message or text. While yes, sometimes people are posting for attention, sometimes they can really use the help!
  2. Choose people or organizations that you respect to follow. Even if you don’t necessarily have the time or money to contribute, by sharing their statuses or tweets you can potentially help them to find people who are able to contribute.
  3. Share something inspirational. While yes, the Web is now completely overrun by quotes, memes, and Ecards, sometimes they can still be generally inspirational. Don’t overwhelm your fans and followers by posting six quotes a day, every day. But a few here and there can definitely have an effect on someone who is having a bad day and needed a pick me up.
  4. If you do have the resources to contribute, donate to a crowd-funding project that you find worthwhile. Personally, I find that giving money to a cause that’s closer to me gives me the warm fuzzies more than donating to something that’s still worthwhile but more obscure when it comes to everyday life.

These things are not just for individuals either – you and your business pages can do the same. Not only will it perhaps help someone feel better about their day, you’re boosting your online reputation. Just make sure that you are coming from a giving place sometimes, and not always a sales position.

(Photo Source)

Maddie Heinen is a regular contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com. She is a freelance writer who specializes in blogging, content creation, and social media. When she is not working, she is taking care of her two kids, husband, and home in Central Florida. Maddie enjoys reading, shopping, and is interested in real estate. She is currently working on establishing her own internet-based media company, Red Hibiscus Media, which will specialize in both online content as well as print material.