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At Venturefest 2012 we had the opportunity to see a bit of everything as Becky moved between presentations and talks to tweet and update the live blog. We’ve put together our own series of blog posts highlighting the ‘best bits’ that we attended throughout the busy event.

We started the day in the Learning Stream, a space for business professionals to teach others about their skills and expertise. This year it had the theme “An introduction to the new essentials for any business (but especially high growth businesses) to gain competitive advantage”.

First to take to the stage was ‘Linked2Success’. Founders Michelle Beckett and Steve Phillip talked about how LinkedIn can be used to build business relationships. They suggest that your LinkedIn profile should be seen as a ‘shop window’ of your skills, interests and achievements – reasons why others should connect with you.

We made note of some of their top tips for building successful relationships in LinkedIn.

  • Make sure your profile is professional but personal. Don’t use a company logo for your profile picture, use a professional headshot instead. Highly recommended: no photos of you posing with a waxwork of Kylie Minogue!
  • First impressions do count and the first part of your profile that people will see is your photograph, name and headline. Keep your headline concise and include keywords. If you have been married, give your maiden name too and always use the name you are addressed with professionally – no nicknames.
  • Make the most of the website links box. You can enter three so, even if your company only has one website, fill the slots with links to different areas of the site that are relevant to you.
  • The skills section is a great way to showcase what you’re good at. Move it to the top of your profile and use it to back up the things you say you do in your headline. Each keyword will link to a page that lists companies and professionals that share the chosen skill – a fantastic resource.
  • Find different ways to connect. Fill out your interests, university education and join a variety of groups. You’d be surprised how many different ways you can create common touch points on which you can build business relationships, whether it’s a favourite film or a shared hobby.

You can find out more about Michelle, Steve and Linked2Success on their website.

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