If you’re among those who think that LinkedIn is a poor cousin or a bad imitation of the Facebooks, Twitters and YouTubes of this world, then you’re missing out on an incredibly powerful medium which when used for the right reasons will catapult your business/career to a completely different level.
More than the 75m odd users who are on this medium, it is the quality and influence of those users which is the attraction of LinkedIn. The average user of this platform earns over $100k a year and are some of the most influential decision makers there are.
To be honest, I also was having a LinkedIn profile for quite sometime without knowing what do with it until I had the chance to meet this remarkable person called Rick Itzkowich. Rick truly changed my perception about the tool and now I’m one of its biggest fans.
Thought it’s worth to share some of my thoughts about this potent tool with you folks.
What the heck is it after all?
Actually only a minority of the users do really know what it is and how it is supposed to be used. To put it simply, it is a relationship network which gives you visibility and credibility which ultimately leads to profitability because people need to be aware of you and should trust you before they do business with you. LinkedIn provides the platform to do just that.
As Rick says, the power of LinkedIn manifests in the solution of a simple problem which is,
You don’t know who all the people that you know, know.
And with LinkedIn, you get to know that. Now isn’t that exciting? For instance, how cool it will be if a person who you want to get in touch with dearly is already connected to a person who is in your contact list? Also what if you could identify unknown areas of activity of a person you already know but never thought about it because the context of that connection is entirely a different one? And so goes the scenarios..
Spam Shy: One of the things which LinkedIn visualized quite early in its inception is that it has to be tightly guarded against potential spammers and abusers. The comfort level that the top level executives and highly influential people have on this platform is ample testimony on how successful the tool is at this. Its vision of placing quality over quantity and preferring class over mass is getting relevant by the day. Ask Facebook and Twitter.
They do this not by posing as a strict disciplinarian up front with a long list of don’t or taboos; the policing is implicit and so you wouldn’t realize the perils of improper conduct until you indulge in it and the damage is done. It expects a certain level of conduct which keeps miscreants at an arm’s distance.
Essentials: Here are some of the basics that you need with the tool.
- Identify your purpose or the objective of using the tool and make sure that it matches with the intrinsic nature of the tool or else you’ll be wasting your time.
- Put up a decent profile by focusing on your areas of strength in strategic places. This is so important since LinkedIn is also widely used as a highly targeted search engine which works on keywords.
- Follow a certain level of etiquette on introductions, referrals and recommendations.
Advanced: Once you’ve gotten familiarized, you need to take it to another level with advanced features such as,
- Groups which is a really effective feature of the tool for building a community of sorts and becoming a credible voice.
- Professional applications like Blogs, Polls and Status updates which have to be used strategically.
- Referral Sources and Referral Partners, that bring you leads and customers over an extended period of time instead of just direct customers.
Now if you want to take online business networking to another level, you would do well to master this incredibly powerful medium. The caveat is that it’s definitely not meant for someone who is in it for the quick buck. You need to have a long term strategy as well as a day to day tactical action plan to make use of the tool.
You can get the roadmap on how to use and leverage the power of this grossly understated medium and thereby convert your relationships into opportunities, business success and profits by getting your hands on LinkedIn Power, a one of its kind work by the LinkedIn guy himself, Rick Itzkowich. The value of this work is in not just the fact that it makes getting accustomed to the tool a heck of a lot easy since as you know the tool doesn’t have the best of interfaces and its complexity can be a bit daunting for a new user. It also takes the training of the tool to a level of mastery that only a small minority can claim of. I would wholly endorse this piece of work.
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