What’s the deal with LinkedIn? Where did it come from, and how can I get started?

By Pastor Bobby/ Unless you have a ton of money to spend on a PR firm or marketing group, you must become a proactive self marketer. This is no easy task but there are ways to accomplish your goals. The advent of Social Media and Social Networking has opened a grand avenue for the proactive self marketer. Not only can it be fun to explore the world of social networking, but it can also be very rewarding.

In this post we are going to explore one of the social networking websites that offers a great opportunity to network with like-minded professionals from around the world. To give you a little background information about LinkedIn.com, look at the facts listed below.

LinkedIn started out in the living room of co-founder Reid Hoffman in 2002. The site officially launched on May 5, 2003. At the end of the first month in operation, LinkedIn had a total of 4,500 members in the network. That was 8 years ago! Now it is estimated that roughly one million new members join LinkedIn every week, at a rate faster than one new connected professional per second!

The company is privately held and has a diversified business model with revenues coming from user subscriptions, advertising sales and hiring solutions. Members can have a basic membership (free) or a paid pro membership. Obviously the pro plan offers access to all of the many features of Linkedin.com but the basic membership offers many great features.

LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 100 million members in over 200 countries and territories. More than half of LinkedIn members are currently located outside of the United States. To show you how well used this website is consider that there were nearly two billion people searches on LinkedIn in 2010.

LinkedIn is currently available in six languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. To understand the scope of Linkedin.com’s worldwide coverage, consider this. There are 100M+ professionals from around the world who are members of linkedin.com. There are 20M+ members in Europe, 5M+ in the UK, 3M+ members in Canada and 2M+ members in Australia, just to mention a few.

As of April 2011, LinkedIn counts more than 11 million recent college graduates* around the world as members (*LinkedIn defines recent graduates as members who have graduated within the last five years–between 2005 and 2010.).

All of this is good information but you are probably wondering how Linkedin.com help you. I’m glad you asked.

Once you have created you account, there are many features to explore. After creating you public profile, there are many areas to explore. It would take a 100-page manual to explore all of the possibilities. I’m going to just mention of few of the basic functions that will help you in marketing yourself or your products or services.

Groups are one of the best ways to communicate with individuals who are like-minded or in related industries to your particular ‘niche.’ There are groups that cover a wide variety of interests. There is a directory of groups that are available to join, some are private and require an application and some are public and usually do not require being accepted.

How does joining groups help you?

First of all, it allows you to communicate with people who are interested in the same or similar things that interest you. Once you are a member of a group you can post discussions to that group. These discussions, without being overtly ‘sales letters,’ can be used to discuss and introduce you, your product or your service to other members.

The best thing to do is join Linkedin.com, create a profile and explore. The website is easy to navigate and there is a ton of information there and you can make some great friends.

Pastor Bobby is an Evangelist, diligent student of The Holy Bible, a published author, teacher, success coach, prison minister,addiction counselor and the Director of the Christian Success Institute (http://christian-success-institute.com) where he teaches biblical success principles and Internet marketing. You can learn more about Pastor Bobby and his 2 new books at http://pastorbobby.com


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