Using LinkedIn For Business Success
August 30, 2012 Leave a comment
I wrote a blog a few weeks ago in which I stated that I had been on LinkedIn since December 2007. And although I was a (relatively) early adapter, my purposes for signing up for it was to keep in contact with the number of people I had worked with in past home building companies that were fleeing from the industry. I really intended it to be an up-to-date contact management system that everyone else updated their info. I was on it occasionally.
Ahhh, but how times have changed.
Today, I am on LinkedIn daily. Although, I am on the a number of different parts within LinkedIn a lot, I use it for two primary purposes: network growth and branding.
- Network Growth:
Now disclaimer…yes, I have the 500+ designation. But, I am not a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker). Not that there is anything wrong with that, but growth is more than just the numbers. I don’t think I ever had the goal of intentionally trying to get to the 500+ status. The physical growth of my LinkedIn network has been a result of networking offline, meeting good quality people at various structured events, and making myself available to others with similar interest. From there, the numbers just happened.
However, growth is more than just numbers. It is also relationship growth with the people I am connected to. I joke about the fact of my first 500 connections, that I have better connections with my last 250 than I did with my first 250, even though I have known them longer. But the joke is also the truth. Of my second 250, I see them more regularly, read their status updates, group post, and know what they are up to. Relationship growth is, in my opinion, is more important than numbers growth. These deeper relationships will provide more leads, more referrals and more business that any quantity of connections.
Now, I run a small consulting based business that provides market research to small businesses and start-ups. When I started this up, I was going after home builders and independent restaurants and retail stores. I have 10 years experience working with builders and restaurants and retail stores seemed like a logical extension. Although a lot of people knew me, they did not necessarily know about me and what I can do. Also, they did not know that I could do research outside the residential real estate industry. In order to let people know what I can do, I needed to show them that I was a subject matter expert in the areas and industries that I wanted to pursue. This got me to start this blog, read more industry and broad business articles and magazines, and share them on various appropriate groups and with specific individuals on LinkedIn. Since doing this, many have referred to me as the “market research guy” I smile whenever that happens. Also, nearly 2 months later I get positive comments about a specific blog post from someone I have high level of admiration.
Regardless of how “technology savvy” you may or may not be, getting on LinkedIn is imperative. This is regardless of your profession, industry, or employment situation. Being actively on LinkedIn is essentially a job requirement in your professional life. Without it, it will be difficult to achieve the professional success you are looking for.
Share your thoughts on how you use LinkedIn to grow your network and brand?
–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.