LinkedIn has a reputation as a networking site for suits, but don't let this perception put you off. As with any social network, you are responsible for curating your community — if you do it well, LinkedIn is a powerful resource.
Grow a supplier network
Chances are you don't work in a vacuum. Every supplier or contractor that you meet on the job is a potential reference, recommendation, or source of work in the future. If you make a habit of adding those people to your LinkedIn network then when you have a client who needs a recommendation, you'll have a list of contacts at the ready.
TIPS FOR GLAZIERS: Make it easy to exchange details by including the URL for your LinkedIn profile on your business card and in your email signature.
Boost your online presence
Here's where LinkedIn can offer you so many benefits with so little effort. By simply having a LinkedIn profile, you are improving your Google ranking without paying a cent. Here are a few ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile for Google search:
- Don't get creative with your job title — people aren't searching for a "glazing king", they're searching for a "glazier"!
- Complete all the different sections of your profile, it gives people lots of different avenues by which to find you
- Claim your "vanity URL" and change it to your name (preferably without numbers and symbols if possible)
Keep up with glazing news through LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn groups are an excellent way to keep up with new developments in the glass and glazing industry, as well as a useful sounding board to discuss ideas.
Here are the most popular glass and glazing groups on LinkedIn:
- Glass & Glazing Industry Professionals, 20701 members
- Glass People, 12790 members
- Structural Glass Facades, 12609 members
- Laminated Glass Professionals, 5787 members
- Glass International, 4513 members
If you don't have a LinkedIn profile, you'll need to create one first to join those groups. Aside from that, simply request to join and wait for the administrator to accept your request. You should make it clear on your LinkedIn profile that you work in the glazing industry.