It always amazes me when I can’t find someone LinkedIn.
As the world’s largest professional social media network, LinkedIn is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the professional world – and be found — for free!
And if you engage with others on LinkedIn, you are likely to find new opportunities not possible from traditional networking.
But there are still those who are not joining to the party. Some have already “arrived” in their careers and don’t think they need it. Others contend they just do not have the time.
My word to them is this: Unless you plan to become a monk or plan to retire with unlimited financial security, you need LinkedIn.
We live in uncertain economic times. Staying connected opens up opportunities open, which will only grow in importance.
Unless you plan to become a monk or plan to retire with unlimited financial security, you need LinkedIn.
I am a fan of LinkedIn because it enables me to meet goals I could have never met had I depended on traditional networking and marketing approaches.
Here are my top five reasons to join and engage in LinkedIn:
1) LinkedIn is a great equalizer for professionals. Traditional networking does not work for everyone. Often, people are focused on meeting “the right people” based on their title or reputation and miss the up-and-comers or those with talents not apparent in a crowded room of dark suits.
LinkedIn, however, equalizes the playing field. People are looking for more for talent, not necessarily titles. LinkedIn allows everyone from Jack Welch to the part-time sole proprietor to showcase what he or she can do. It also provides the opportunity to search deliberately for the talent you need.
Try that over cocktails and awkward conversations! In fact, LinkedIn’s degrees of separation might just help you discover that a former colleague can introduce you to the former General Electric revolutionary!
2) LinkedIn Makes Intelligence Gathering Easier. Those of you born before the Clinton administration might not appreciate just how much professionals depended on word of mouth! When I began my career in communications, I would contact someone I knew, ask them whom they knew and maybe I would get a job lead or the right source for an article. I spent a lot of time on the phone and attending meetings.
Then search engines came online and gradually, it became easier to learn about someone by Googling their names. But that did not always cut it because often the available information wasn’t useful.
You can learn much more about someone and whom they know via LinkedIn.
3) LinkedIn promotes inbound marketing, which draws professionals to you instead of having to pound the payment for leads and contacts. When I was a full-time reporter, I was constantly on the phone to find leads and exclusives. LinkedIn makes that a thing of the past. (That said, LinkedIn is for engaging, not for making sales pitches. That is a major social media turn off!)
4) LinkedIn is like an electronic Rolodex, reducing the time it takes to build address books. With LinkedIn, I can contact virtually everyone I know professionally. Last year, when I needed to announce my marriage and name change, I was able to contact 50 people contacts at a time through LinkedIn messaging. LinkedIn also offers an app just for obtaining your contacts on your mobile device.
5) LinkedIn Keeps You Top of Mind. Broadcasting messages is no longer the sole domain of public relations professionals. Want to stay top of mind by sharing an idea, company news, a useful article or blog? Go for it!
If you have not yet taken advantage of LinkedIn, set up an appointment on your calendar to get connected. You can thank me later.