Toronto startup Red Scarf Equestrian proves effectiveness of professional network LinkedIn

While the company isn’t high tech, it knows how to use tech.

Started in 2008 in Toronto, Red Scarf Equestrian is a lean startup that’s a niche within a niche – luxury accessories for horse lovers.

Founder Joanna Wiseberg claims that LinkedIn was a critical component on her climb to success – one that should be noted as no easy feat.

“My business is a niche within a niche, and I opened at the worst possible time,” Joanna told the New York Times. “You try and push a ball uphill.”

Joanna says that joining and actively participating in groups on LinkedIn proved considerably more valuable than any other type of online networking, giving the business-oriented social network much credit for Red Scarf’s success up to this point. “I wouldn’t be here without LinkedIn,” Joanna, who has attended several high-profile events showing off her Red Scarf goods, asserts.

Joanna and the Times suggest maximizing your efforts on LinkedIn by targeting relevant groups with active discussions, listing all of your skills and experiences to boost SEO and exposure, and following key company pages that announce hirings and firings. There are many LinkedIn tools that have become quite sophisticated in networking on a truly professional level.

Just think: instead of tweeting about your ham sandwich or Facebooking a rant about the smell of the dude behind you at the movie theatre line-up, you could actually be advancing your career. Hmm.