I was recently reflecting on why this past summer felt like such a productive season.  It wasn’t just that I got up earlier and exercised more, it was also that I learned so many new things.  A big part of that learning was thanks to a new habit I cultivated this summer.  Every morning, seven days a week, I spent 10 minutes on LinkedIn while I sipped my morning coffee.  Here are my five favourite things about LinkedIn and why I encourage you to make it a daily part of your routine.

  1. New and Renewed Connections

Working from a home office, as more and more professionals do, can be isolating.  LinkedIn is exceptionally good at keeping your connections strong with former and current colleagues.  While there is some wading through notifications such as birthdays and job updates, those prompts can be a great reminder to reach out with a brief message to build your relationship with those connections. There are also many articles with information that is genuinely useful and can enhance your career success.

Don’t have many connections? Start reaching out by using all the tools that LinkedIn provides to find new ones.  A best practice is to always include a note explaining why you would like to connect.  Strive for 501 connections  and you’ll be considered a serious networker,  part of the 46% of LinkedIn users who have an unknown number of connections.

  1. LinkedIn Influencers and Inspiring Leadership Stories

Influencers are my favourite people on LinkedIn.  These leaders are handpicked by LinkedIn. Reading life and leadership tips from these icons can really kickstart your day!  Some of my personal favourites are Elon Musk, Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson and Bill Gates.

  1. Great Resources

LinkedIn is jam-packed with resources – from learning digital media tricks to the latest technology announcements.  For marketers, try the LinkedIn Marketing Showcase page, for payments technology, PYMNTS.com is outstanding, and for leadership you can’t beat INC.com.  If you haven’t discovered LinkedIn Learning with lots of free courses (available as part of a Premium membership) or SlideShare,  with seemingly limitless PowerPoint slides to download, you are in for a treat.

  1. Industry News

LinkedIn offers lots of technology news about the latest iPhone or self-driving car, combined with business news and industry updates from around the world.  These stories are often curated by industry experts who provide a helpful perspective.  There are also some very clever writers who bring a quirky perspective and occasionally make me laugh out loud – and who doesn’t want to start their day with a smile?  On LinkedIn, comments are civil and stories are strictly business focused.  Political or personal stories are shut down or self-policed by other LinkedIn users.

  1. Promote Your Company … And Yourself

The final reason I love LinkedIn, and why I encourage my clients to use it, is that it is the best marketing tool out there for B2B.  Often called “Facebook for Business”, it is extremely helpful for keeping both you and your company top of mind with the people who matter most to your business — your connections.  Companies that put together a thoughtful LinkedIn campaign, focused on providing useful thought leadership content are often highly successful.  Unlike consumer marketing where there are so many competing channels – e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc. — within the B2B world, LinkedIn is the best channel.  With over 500 million users (more than the population of the U.S. and Canada combined!) and two new users joining each second, it is a fast-growing network!  New features are continually being added and since LinkedIn was purchased by Microsoft for $26 billion last year, you know there is a a serious commitment behind the latest developments.

So, for all these reasons, LinkedIn was a worthwhile place to create a good, new habit this summer.  It was so good in fact, you will also find me there every morning from now on.  Happy connecting!

Victoria Lant is the Founder of Collingwood Marketing with over 20 years experience in launching new B2B solutions for Fortune 500 companies.  Collingwood Marketing helps tech companies succeed with innovative digital marketing and social media strategies.  Victoria can be reached at [email protected].