September 15, 2016 4:25 pm

LinkedIn, the business-oriented social media network, has more than 106 million active users. It’s very popular in the business world for companies developing their brand, employers looking for new talent, job-searchers looking for new opportunities, and employees amping up their thought leadership status. LinkedIn is also a great way for inventors to network with each other, follow and reach out to companies, present their invention materials, and receive up-to-date news from their industry.  Inventors should consider using LinkedIn as one of their primary tools for promoting themselves and their inventions.

Make New Connections

Have you ever met an acquaintance in person and then looked them up later on Facebook? With LinkedIn, inventors can find the profiles of the people they meet at networking events or in everyday life and connect with them with the hopes of making a professional connection. If you have a mutual connection with someone, you can even ask for an introduction through the platform. Many people list their industry and employer, so it’s possible to meet new people and make connections in the innovation space, keeping in mind location and job function. Tip: Personalize your LinkedIn URL and include it on your business card. 

Join Groups

LinkedIn has a feature called groups that allows you to join discussions with professionals in your field. There are many inventor and innovation-related groups on LinkedIn, including an InventHelp’s INPEX group. Industry-specific and general entrepreneurial groups may also be beneficial. In these groups, you can participate in discussions, post links and blogs, and network with group members. If you’re considering running a crowdfunding campaign, it would be beneficial to join a LinkedIn group to help grow your crowd. Additionally, if you need information on something invention related or opinions on your idea, you could start a discussion with the group. (Always consult your lawyer before disclosing information about your invention.) Tip: Focus on joining 3-4 groups and actively participate in conversations several times per week to grow your network.

Compile a Portfolio and/or Resume

Your LinkedIn profile page can tell a lot about you with various sections being used for different things. The “Summary” section often reads a little like an introduction or cover letter. Experience allows you to show your job history/experience and you can post links associated with those positions, such as websites or blogs. There are also sections for patents, honors/awards, publications, recommendations, projects, education, volunteer work, certifications and many more. Although not every section will be applicable to you, there are many ways you can make use of these sections to highlight your ideas and achievements as an inventor. For example, if you have been awarded a patent, put that front and center in the patent section. Use the summary section to explain that you’re an inventor and describe your latest project. If you have received any accolades for your inventions, list those in the honors/awards section. Gather recommendations from partners so others can see what you are like to work with. LinkedIn can hold all of this information for you and you can provide it to networkers with just a simple URL. Tip: Set yourself a calendar reminder to go through your LinkedIn profile once a month and add or edit information as necessary.

Get News Updates

Many companies and people of interest have LinkedIn pages to which you can subscribe. LinkedIn is a hub of great content, and whether you’re looking for advice on how to create a prototype, a list of the most innovative products of the year, or wise words on how to be more productive, LinkedIn is the place to go for informative editorial content. Follow companies in your invention’s industry, innovation thought leaders, and people who you find inspirational. Tip: Set aside some time each day to catch up on your industry’s news by reading LinkedIn articles.

Inventors should add LinkedIn to their list of social media sites to use to promote their invention idea. Make new connections, join groups, compile your work, and read industry news all through one platform.

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