LinkedIn recently hit 70M users worldwide. While less than 40M are in the USA, LinkedIn’s American growth is staggering. I was using LinkedIn back in 2003 and I was like a voice crying in the wilderness. I would encourage people to start using the site for networking, job searches, business due diligence and other purposes. Quite often, people didn’t create a profile at the time, but they are now. Boy, are they now.
The world is getting smaller. Whereas only a few years ago you would almost never heard of LinkedIn in the press, now you’re hearing about it every day if not multiple times a day. Most people have figured out that Social Media isn’t a pet rock, mood ring or hula hoop. This isn’t going away.
Facebook and Twitter have been very social by nature and LinkedIn has always been about business. But I’m seeing changes on LinkedIn. I’m finding that some people are forgetting (or unaware) that LinkedIn is about business and they are “socializing” LinkedIn. I’m all for building social relationships but some folks are shooting themselves in the foot by some of the things they’re posting and doing on LinkedIn.
Here are a few LinkedIn tips:
Remember that LinkedIn is about business. It’s typically not the place to talk about things in your personal life. Leave that to Facebook and Twitter.
No one is getting on LinkedIn to be sold to. Overt solicitations are like a fart in a church on LinkedIn.
Build business relationships. All things being equal, people do business with and refer business to people they like, know and trust. Add value.
Make it personal. While I said that LinkedIn is about business, people do business with people. Don’t be afraid to let your personality come through on LinkedIn. Being professional and having a personality are not mutually exclusive.
Treat LinkedIn like you would a party that you’ve been invited to. You wouldn’t run into the party screaming “Here I am!” Observe the etiquette and respect the fact that you’ve been invited to the big room. You’re the same person online that you are offline. Be a person that others see value in connecting with.