Are you growing profitable relationships using LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is one of those social networks that has a lot of rabid fans – but also a few detractors who scratch their heads on the non-resume posting / job searching capabilities of the site.
Guilty confession: I was one of the latter, until recently re-connecting with some of the great updates and cool features LinkedIn has to offer.
Here are a few of the ways that LinkedIn has become a relevant part of my relationship building process:
- Knowledge sharing tool extraordinaire – With so many places to share your insights, content of note and other great media (think articles, events, notes, thoughts on recent events, etc.) LinkedIn makes it easy for you to keep you name in connections’ minds and give you another platform to be appreciated as a valuable and relevant relationship. Be generous and interesting – it will come back to you in spades (or search engine rankings, at the very least).
- Uber-awesome search engine – LinkedIn gives you some pretty remarkable Advanced search features that enable you to narrow down your searches to zip code, job title, keywords, industry and oh-so-much more. Go crazy searching through your 2nd degree connections (that is, your own connections’ connections) or search the LinkedIn database at large.
- Magical time machine! – By including all of your education and previous work experience, LinkedIn can help you locate former colleagues, associates, clients and school buddies. Don’t forget to include your high school too. Your old high school flame might be an industry pioneer and your old physics teacher might be a CEO – don’t lose those valuable opportunities!
- Additional membership benefit – LinkedIn groups are a great way to get more out of your professional memberships by giving you a single location to share ideas, events and needs with a select group of people that you know, trust and (hopefully) like. You can also leverage groups for special interests you share (motorcycle maintenance or hang gliding) to find like-minded folks to connect with in an out-of-the-ordinary way. Don’t forget those alumni and church groups too!
- The ultimate due diligence tool – There is no place like LinkedIn to track a company, association or individual’s updates and news. Plus you get to read between the lines by seeing a firm’s attrition rate, recently updated press release and employee discussion. Take advantage of this information and use it to be helpful and awesome.
Grow your networking brain with LinkedIn Today Headlines feature
During this presentation, I make the suggestion of re-working your morning office routine to include a 5 minute review of your Linked connection / groups / companies updates with coffee. With LinkedIn’s ‘LinkedIn Today’ headline tool, you can even read up on the news that actually matters to you by subscribing to specific news sources and topics.