The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Home Business

What You Need to Know to get the Most out of LinkedIn for your Home Business

LinkedIn is a social network geared towards career professionals. It's ideal for finding a job or freelance work, promoting a home business, or connecting with joint venture partners. Nearly 50% of LinkedIn users are the final decision makers for their companies. Plus, LinkedIn's popularity has grown to the point where it is now the largest network in the world for business professionals.

If you are a freelancer, have a home business that caters to other businesses (B2B), or have a business in which networking for partners and/or clients is important, you should have a profile on LinkedIn. If you're not there, or haven't maximized all the great features of LinkedIn, this guide will help. The LinkedIn Guide is intended for users at all levels, from novice to pros. 

What Is LinkedIn?

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The first step to maximizing the power of LinkedIn is to understand what it is and how it works. Unlike other social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn isn't about posting what you had for breakfast or funny cat videos. Instead, it's were professionals go to network online.

Get an overview of LinkedIn including what it is and how LinkedIn fits into the overall picture of social networking sites and online marketing.

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How Does LinkedIn Work?

Social Networking with Influencers
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LinkedIn is the professional person’s “Six Degrees of Separation,” in which you can connect with people you don't know through the people you do know. As a home business owner, it's an ideal way to mingle with influencers and potential partners, build your client base, and get referrals. 

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How to Create a LinkedIn Login

LinkedIn Login - Join LinkedIn Today Section of Page
How to Set Up a LinkedIn Account Join LinkedIn Today. Screen Shot by Randy Duermyer

Like most social networks, you need to create an account before you can start connecting with others and posting content. Here are step-by-step instructions to do just that. Please note, that on occasion, social networks change how their sites looks, however, the information required to create a LinkedIn account (i.e. name, profession, etc), won't change. 

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How to Create a Great LinkedIn Profile

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Whether you use LinkedIn to network for your home business or to look for freelance work, your LinkedIn profile is the key to attracting business and partners. Once you've established a LinkedIn login (set up an account), you'll next create your profile. This is where you'll let others know about you and your home business. The LinkedIn profile is part resume and part marketing document, so you'll want to make sure you put your best foot forward when completing your profile. 

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Controlling What's Public on Your LinkedIn Profile

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One benefit to LinkedIn is being able to control what others see on your public profile. LinkedIn makes controlling and protecting your privacy relatively simple compared to other networks, such as Facebook. While those who become part of your LinkedIn network will be able to see your complete LinkedIn profile, you have considerable control over what portions of your profile are displayed to the public.

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How to Create a Custom URL for Your LinkedIn Profile

Custom LinkedIn Profile URL
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Your LinkedIn profile can be used to promote your business online, as well as on your business cards and other marketing tools. To make it easy for others to access your profile, you can create a custom URL for your profile that includes your name, business name and/or keywords. Creating a customer URL also makes it easy for search engines to find it, as well.

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How to Create a LinkedIn Badge

LinkedIn Badge
Make it easy for other to network with you with a LinkedIn badge. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Staff | Getty Images

Just like you include your other social media buttons on your website, you can also create a LinkedIn badge that will link visitors to your LinkedIn public profile when clicked. The badge can be added to any online resource including your website, email signature file, and any other online resource you're allowed to add your personal information.

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How to Use LinkedIn to Find Work at Home Jobs and Opportunities

LinkedIn to Find Work-At-Home Jobs
Connect with Employers on Linkedin to Find Telecommuting Jobs. Alex Slobodkin | Getty Images

LinkedIn can help you find opportunities to work from home, whether that's freelance and contract work, or a telecommuting job. Not only is LinkedIn a resource for networking with potential clients and employers, but also, you can search for freelance work and telecommuting jobs. 

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How to Use LinkedIn to Promote Your Business

Linkedin Networking
Use LinkedIn to build and expand your freelance business. Credit: Plume Creative | Getty Images

Since LinkedIn is a networking site dedicated to career professionals, it's easy to see why it's ideal for the home business owner wanting to connect with influencers, potential clients, and like-minded professionals.  Done well, marketing a small or home business on LinkedIn is an affordable and effective way to build profitable connections,

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Maximize LinkedIn to Build Your Home Business

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Like most social networks, there is a learning curve to figuring out and taking advantage of all that they offer. LinkedIn is no different. The first steps are to create a profile and begin connecting with others. Once you have a basic understanding, it's time to dive in maximize all that LinkedIn has to offer. 

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Don't miss all the possibilities LinkedIn Offers Your Business

Many people are overwhelmed by social media and for good reason. It's time consuming and often leads to information overload. However, if you're in business, LinkedIn is a must-be place to connect with potential partners, prospects and others who can help you build your business. Updated March 2017 Leslie Truex