Note: LinkedIn Answers was retired by LinkedIn in 2013

I have always been a huge fan of LinkedIn Answers. A simple tool, such as LinkedIn Answers is amazing for so many different purposes from creating valuable branding answers for prospects, closer connections with your network, and referrals. Linkedin Answers is one of the best features of Linkedin in my opinion.

Linkedin AnswersLinkedin Answers Features

So, what makes LinkedIn Answers so great? It is the ability to ask and answer questions about every possible business topic. There are experts on Linkedin who know about everything from starting up a business to finding more leads to making referrals to accounting and more.

Even better is that everyone gets to ask 10 questions a month on the site, or roughly one question every 3 days for their challenges, scenarios, and ideas. Your questions are posted by category, but LinkedIn does it’s best to have people who are first-level connections see your questions before anyone else’s questions. The questions in each category start with your first, second, and then third-level connections before going out of network.

Additionally, when you decide to start answering questions you will first see people in your network and then the questions will start going farther and farther out of your network. The other great thing about answering questions is that you can browse through the list of categories, or you can look at the recommended questions that are based on your field of interest and previously answered questions. Everything is tailored for the person who can answer questions best in their field of interest.

The final feature for Linkedin is the stats that they do under My Q&A. You can see how many questions you have asked in the past, as well as answered. Additionally, in your answers section, they list how many were voted Good and Best Answers. For those of you wondering, I have a 22% listed as good answers and 4% listed as best answers. I am closing in on 100 questions answered.

Linkedin Answers Business Tool Extraordinaire

So now that you know how Linkedin Answers works, let’s discuss how you can use this as a business tool extraordinaire! For those of you who read How To Build Relationships With Prospects Through Social Networking, this will be an extension of this article’s discussion of LinkedIn Answers, where we delve into the in’s and out’s of how to make this a business tool extraordinaire.

First, we can become a valued resource to people in need of our services. When someone posts a question about a certain topic on Linkedin it is because they do not have the answers to those challenges at the moment. That is your chance to go in and become a white knight for a potential client by resolving their challenges.

Second, this is an amazing opportunity to refer clients. Remember, how I said that there are questions in every topic imaginable to business? Great! This is your opportunity to seize the day! Take advantage of your use of Linkedin Answers by checking out referral partners questions. When the right question pops up then you can recommend XYZ person to answer that question. I have CPA’s and Attorney’s who can not understand how I get them so many connections on LinkedIn. The simple answer is that I use this business tool as much as a referral source as I do for finding prospects.

Third, even if you do not have the chance to get a client with each answer, establish your brand. Answering people’s questions about your area of expertise is free brand advertising that takes very little time. Do not spend more than 5-10 minutes per day trolling through LinkedIn Answers. After a while, you will start to create amazing connections and people will remember who you are based on your conversations with them about specific topics.

LinkedIn Answers is a tremendous tool to help you connect with your prospects and referral partners. Use this tool wisely, because it could help define your business on LinkedIn and in other networking circles. Start answering at least 1 question per day on Linkedin Answers and see how much you benefit from using this amazing tool.