One secret to using LinkedIn to best advantage is to answer (and ask) questions.
LinkedIn works best if you can expand your network and to do that you need visibility. Once you’ve imported all you e-mail contacts and searched for all your friends and colleagues, you’ll need other ways to grow your network. Answering questions is one great way.
Log in to LinkedIn and click the “Answers” link at the top of the screen. Ask a question immediately or scroll to find a question you have the expertise to answer. Browse along the right-hand side of the screen to find categories of questions. Click the category called “Personal Finance” and you’ll find sub-categories such as “Wealth Management” and “Personal Real Estate.”
The Personal Real Estate category is a no-brainer for most real estate agents. Today, for example, people are asking questions like: “Can anyone recommend a real estate agent in the Columbus, OH area?” and “Should a seller in a short sale continue to pay condo association fees?” But to really extend your reach, look for questions you can answer in other categories. You can answer a question or you can suggest the name of another LinkedIn member—a friend or perhaps even a client—who has the expertise to handle the question.
Answering questions (assuming you give good answers) gets you instant recognition and helps you gain status as an expert in your field. It also gives you the opportunity to send a private message to the person who asked the question.
Putting LinkedIn members in touch with people you know who can help them works too and, in fact, is what LinkedIn is all about—making connections.