LinkedIn is my preferred tool as an entrepreneur. It surprises me that individuals in my age group (early-to-mid 20s) rarely rely on LinkedIn. It is my go-to site where I can learn about the experiences and qualifications of those in my industry, seek out those who I would like to connect-to in the near future, and finally connect further with those I’ve met at events and meet-ups.
Here’s why I find LinkedIn relevant:
- Hiring Talent: Where else would an early-stage startup find their talent? LinkedIn is a startup co-founder’s Google search engine for engineering talent. Just simply type in the skill you are searching for in a potential hiree (i.e. natural language processing). Filter the city and state of where your startup is located in. Voila! You now have a descriptive list of all the people in your area with the skills you are looking for. Reach out to them. Maybe they could be the perfect fit for your startup.
- Investors: Have an investor meeting coming up? Look up him/her up on LinkedIn. Learn about where they went to school, their venture capital firms, and the online groups they are apart of. That way, you are fully educated on the background of the person who could potentially write you a check for a large sum of money.
- Industry Leaders: Who are your industry leaders? Find out on LinkedIn. Most of the them publish interesting and valuable content through LinkedIn’s Pulse. Take a chance and reach out to them and introduce yourself. You’ll never know what that might lead to.
Yes, LinkedIn is not as sexy as Facebook or Twitter. However, I still find LinkedIn to be the most valuable social media site for a first-time entrepreneur. Get off that Facebook account and get productive!