One of the great and yet most frustrating aspects of using the internet for information is anonymity. Say you post a question on a popular forum and you get several answers. You never know if you are getting good advice from an experienced professional or if your question is actually being answered by a 13 year old who is at home during the day because he skipped school. Well, this is where the LinkedIn network can be of great value.
The Answers section on LinkedIn may be one of the site’s most worthwhile and underutilized features. You can type any question you have and get answers within minutes. When people answer your question, you will be able to click on links and view their profiles to see if you are getting answers from people who really know what they are talking about. Because of the way LinkedIn is set up, you have a little more insurance that the profiles listed are actually valid and true. Whether you have a very technical question or one for just some general ideas, you are likely to get several quality answers on this site. You can even set up your question in the form of a poll to help you gather more data. For the most part, people love to share what they know and you get to reap the benefit of that knowledge on this site.
LinkedIn Answers also has links to questions that have previously been asked and answered in a wide range of topics such as business travel, education and training, non-profit, and sustainability. You can easily browse through these areas to find solutions to both common and uncommon issues in the area that interests you.
If you are looking to get your name and information seen, answering other people’s questions is a great way to get noticed. The more questions you answer, the more others on the site will get to know you. Remember that LinkedIn is all about making connections with other professionals. If you help someone out by answering their question, you may make a new connection with that person. Every time you add a new connection, you have access to that many more potential clients. If you answer enough questions, you can be labeled an expert which will lead to much more exposure in this site, and you will find that more people than ever are viewing your profile and wanting to make a connection with you.