If you have left the corporate world to concentrate on your work-at-home career, there is still a way to capitalize on your corporate contacts. Among the several social networking sites available, LinkedIn is a great one for maintaining relationships in the business world.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social networking site that completely focuses on the corporate side of relationships and keeping those relationships connected to benefit both sides: the business and the job seeker.
LinkedIn is different than MySpace or FaceBook, which are more social and personal in nature. LinkedIn offers several venues which allow you to keep yourself visible and connected to previous and future client contacts.
Post Your Profile
The first thing you can do at the LinkedIn website is to register and post your profile. This is where you will enter in all of the general information about yourself including your current position, your past positions, your skills, your experience and your education among others. It is very inclusive and resembles an extended and glorified resume, which is a good thing.
Use this posting to your advantage and include as much experience as you can. This is what will connect you to those contacts that may be vital in boosting your at-home career. Consider it online marketing of yourself.
Capitalize on Contacts
This is where you really get to use the contacts you have made over the years to capitalize and grow your current business. There are several ways to do this. LinkedIn will even help you out by sending you possible connections based on your profile entries.
You can request contacts to endorse you, recommend you or provide a reference for you. You can have as many as you want listed, so don't be afraid to ask and post. You can always delete what you don't like or what doesn't fit your current need.
Network, Network, Network
Networking is key to moms that choose an at-home career. You don't have to leave the kids to go online. There are plenty of ways to do this using LinkedIn and your contacts.
You can join networking groups, which are communities of professionals that cater to exactly what you are looking for. If you are into real estate, they have that group. If it is sales you are looking for, they have that too. Use your 'snapshot' feature as an e-business card, and list the vital information that will attract potential clients to look further at your skills and experience.
Use the Applications
There are many applications on LinkedIn that you can use to your advantage also. For instance, you can use the 'Huddle' application which allows you to directly collaborate with your contacts on projects. This is much easier and more practical than emailing documents via attachments.
You can also use the 'Slide' application to showcase your current work or whatever else is relevant to your career. There are many more applications to explore as well.
The bottom line is working at home can be just as effective as working outside the home when you use the right tools. Set up your LinkedIn account today, and take advantage of this valuable (and free) marketing device!