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Loving LinkedIn (the importance of networking)

September 11, 2010

There is a lot of talk (and disagreement) about the impact of social media in business today.   However, something nearly everyone can agree upon is the importance of maintaining a strong network of business connections.  Once upon a time, “networking” was covert for “job search”, and while this is still critical for any successful job search – if you believe relationships help drive business then networking (and the stregnth of one’s network is critical).   One particular form of social media which I particularly like  and have used for several years is LinkedIn.  This site is all about building and stregnthening professional networks.

Initially I thought of LinkedIn as a sophisticated job search site (sort of the next generation of online recruiting).  However, as with so many social media tools, at first their full potential is either not fully realized or perceived “too much work”.  In both cases these assumptions (at least with LinkedIn) are generally incorrect.  I won’t write endlessly about LinkedIn, but I will list a few features / activities the average professional can leverage with little effort to help increase their profile.  These suggestions are in no particular order and additional suggestions or comments are welcome.

  • Save your profile as a favorite link on your browser and periodically log on.  Believe it or not many profiles are activated and then rarely revisited; making the entire effort to create the account a waste of time.
  • Recommend someone you’ve worked with who did a great job and then ask if they would not mind returning the favor – encourage them to be specific and be certain to thank them after you’ve approved the recommendation. 
  • Get familiar with the Groups section and join a few that you find interesting.  After you’ve joined, initiate a dialog or comment on something that catches your eye. 

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can help you promote your industry knowledge and make connections.  Each year more companies are devoting more resources to sites like LinkedIn to help them with their recruiting and go-to-market strategies.  A well-managed LinkedIn account is an excellent way to showcase your accomplishments and industry knowledge. 

Comments are welcome, but you can also e-mail me directly or find me on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/clevermarketer.

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