As I’ve written before, I “get” LinkedIn, but I don’t see how it can help my business.
I’ve had a few people tell me LinkedIn is a contact management system, but I use ACT!. LinkedIn does not give me the ability to keep track of prospects’ and customers’ histories (plus spouse and kid names, birthdays, home address and phone numbers, etc.), so it’s not a place where I would keep track of contacts.
Other people have said it’s a social networking site, but I prefer face-to-face events where I can chat with people and catch up on their lives.
So, it was with relief that I found Jason Alba’s book, I’m On LinkedIn — Now What???
Like me, Jason found LinkedIn just was not working for him. As he states in the intro:
I knew that if I could figure out what all the buzz was about, and learn how professionals were using LinkedIn to improve their businesses and careers, I could benefit. But at first I just didn’t understand what I needed to do.
Jason then proceeds to explain exactly what LinkedIn is — and what it is not. To wit, LinkedIn is a networking tool, but it is not a social networking site like Facebook or a contact manager. (It’s also not a “time hog,” to use Jason’s words.)
LinkedIn is ideal for becoming known within other people’s networks — something I intuitively knew but couldn’t articulate.
That’s because some people prefer to ask their networks for recommendations — which is how crisis management expert Jonathan Bernstein heard about me. He posed a question to his LinkedIn network and someone recommended me.
How you can get more out of LinkedIn
A few of the things I learned from this book include the typical things, such as how to write a better profile and why recommendations are important.
However, the main thing I learned — and which I had no clue even existed — is that LinkedIn members have the ability to post and answer questions. Click on the “Answers” tab and you’ll find dozens of topics ranging from health and medical to marketing and PR.
And, this is where the lightbulb went on. Michelle Vranizan Rafter, Contributing Editor for Workforce Management and a business and technology reporter, posted the following question: “What’s your favorite blog for writers?”
Bottom line: if you have no clue why you should be on LinkedIn, or if you want to get more out of your LinkedIn experience, read Jason Alba’s book. The first thing I did after I read it? Made my profile “public.”