I recently posted my first question on LinkedIn. Many articles about LinkedIn tell you that one of the best ways to raise your profile is to ask and answer questions. Since the question at hand was about our proposed “LinkedIn For Dummies”, where better to post it than LinkedIn?
What did I learn? Like any advice, the flavors range from so-so to pretty darn good. For the most part, all the answers, public and private, had some degree of helpfulness. The best answer was the one that had some common sense advice as well as some hints I had not thought about. I’m putting it into this post as I thought it was worth sharing. I must credit Eric Mariacher as the author of these. I also included my gut checks after each item…
1st advice “Grow your network while you don’t need it” – absolutely right on target. Like old school networking, the most important thing is to have your network ready to go when you need it.
2nd advice “know why you want to network” – another good piece of advice. For me, it’s about personal and professional visibility. I want to be able to build traffic to my blog, to get my name out there as a social networker, and when appropriate, to help increase visibility of my companies products. Check.
3rd advice “get recommendations from current and past colleagues posted on your profile” – I did this after reading the list, somewhat hesitantly. It was a little like asking for a prom date, or worse a “am i hot or not” ranking. I only asked about 5 colleagues past and present, to minimize the possibility of rejection. It was then very pleasing when I got two recommendations right off the bat. This is something I will do, sparingly and thoughtfully, and will also work on giving more recommendations to others.
4th advice “make heavy use of the Q&A feature (on LinkedIn) or post on forums” – Been there! Done that! Although you can see how this is easily abused. The temptation is to post a lot of questions and give in a lot of answers, but you have to be very thoughtful about this to avoid overkill and irrelevancy.
5th advice “never use standard boiler plate templates” when inviting people to connect - I am totally guilty of this. Wonder why I have a full page of unrequited invites. I’ve resolved to stop this bad habit now.
6th advice/fact “The more connections you have, the more time you must spend” – I haven’t found the logic behind this one, but I’m working on it.
7th advice “join yahoo networking groups. You will learn a lot” – It’s quite silly that the best LinkedIn networking sites are not on LinkedIn. I think LinkedIn is missing a huge opportunity here by sending this traffic to other sites. As well, they are asking these groups to stop using the LinkedIn name, and are gaining the ire of members in these groups.
8th advice “Read other 2 cents advices” – gotta work on this one more
9th advice “Do not forget other ways of networking” – Right on target. None of these sites can be the basket for all of your eggs. There are plenty of other sites worth your networking time. As well, never forget the old school networking – conferences, seminars and other face time opportunities.