This post first appeared on the V3im.com blog on April 10, 2012
We’ve talked about the benefits of using LinkedIn as a tool for networking and developing new business leads. Using the LinkedIn Answers section is an effective way to build your reputation as an expert in your industry. Answering a few questions every day can become just another part of your daily routine—once you know what to do.
In case you’ve missed it, LinkedIn Answers is a Q&A forum in which members share business information. The Answers section allows you to answer questions from other users to demonstrate your experience, knowledge and ability. Answers are rated, and you can earn a “Best Answer” designation for your response. Your avatar is posted beside your answer, and can lead viewers of your answer back to your profile where they can learn more about you and your professional experience.
Unfortunately, many of us get busy. We forget to visit the site or check the Answers section with any regularity. What if there was a way to access those questions and post answers quickly and easily? Oh, but there is! You can sign up for the RSS feeds for your area of expertise and send them to your RSS reader. It’s like the easy button. All you need do is check your reader every day or so, scroll through the Answers topics that fit your expertise and spend a few moments answering the questions that fit. If you can manage to do this as a part of your regular daily routine, so much the better.
I learned this trick from Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer last year. It’s effortless and takes only minutes to set up. Want to get started? Here’s how:
How To Set Up A LinkedIn Answers RSS Feed
1. Log in to your Linkedin account and go to the Answers section. (For those of you who are new to Linkedin, the Answers section is found by clicking on More at the top of the page).
Locate a topic that fits your industry and expertise and browse the open questions listed. Scroll down the page until you find the RSS button on the right side of the page. Sign up for the Answers topic feed using your preferred RSS feeder. I use Google Reader.
2. Create a folder in your reader for your LinkedIn Answers feeds. You can subscribe to as many categories as you like. Then train yourself to open your reader every day, scroll through the feeds and answer the questions that resonate. Two important points: often the people who ask the questions you answer will follow up with you. Make sure you respond. The communications could develop into new business leads for you. And it’s a good idea not to answer unless you can add value to the conversation.
You’ve heard the saying, “people buy from people they know, like and trust,” right? It’s true. It’s also true that people like to do business with those who are known as industry leaders or who demonstrate a high level of expertise. You can be both. Check the RSS feed. Browse the questions users are posting on LinkedIn. Offer your expertise and even your assistance. Start developing those new business relationships and enjoy the leads you generate along the way.
Do you need help figuring out how to use Linkedin or where it fits in your organization’s marketing strategy? Give us a call at 419.740.1262. We’ll be happy to help you get started.
Lead image via milos milosevic via Creative Commons