LinkedIn: less funny than Facebook, not as cute as Pinterest, and it definitely requires a longer attention span than Twitter.
But despite all that, LinkedIn’s use among professionals is growing. Why? LinkedIn is the place to show the world you mean business. Whether you’re a student in search of advice or a swamped business owner seeking the perfect employee, LinkedIn is where you can really showcase your professional side without it seeming presumptuous. (Try posting your resume on Twitter and see how that goes!) For all its great qualities, people love to make excuses about why they haven’t taken advantage of this free professional network. Let’s pull a Mythbusters here (minus the explosions) and tackle four of these complaints about LinkedIn head-on. See if you don’t recognize yourself in them, or someone you know.
1. People keep inviting me to join LinkedIn, but I don’t know what it’s for.
LinkedIn is all about networking. You know a lot of useful people, whether you realize it or not. Some of them are friends, classmates, or family. Some you’ve worked with, or for. Some are your clients, and some have sold you products or services. This is your professional network. Near at hand or halfway around the world, these people trust you, and know you’re not a spammer. So when you’re looking to rent office space in Boston, or get a massage in Toronto, or your sister wants to discuss the feasibility of moving her interior design business to Dubai, you can reach out to them. It’s possible that none of them are Emirates resident your kid sis needs. But if one of their networks includes the person you’re looking for, everybody wins.
2. I signed up for LinkedIn ages ago and don’t know what to do with it.
Lots of people say this because they don’t feel like they need anything LinkedIn provides. But you can give it a try by reaching out and helping others. Are folks looking for services from people with your particular skills? Fill out your profile to help them find you. Totally enamored with the customer service your insurance agent provides? Write her a testimonial. Are you a superstar when it comes to budgeting for your massage business? Join a discussion group and share your expertise.( <--- pssst, that's the Mass Chapter group, go join it!) By the time you need your professional network for support, it’s too late to start building it. So right now, when you’re doing fine without, is exactly the time to be strengthening your professional relationships online.
3. LinkedIn is boring.
Is it? Or is it professional? If you are working to grow your own practice, do you find adding content to your website boring? Connecting with potential clients? Spiffing up your treatment room? Sure, it’s not exactly volleyball on the beach, but the sense of anticipation and accomplishment keep you going anyway.
No, there’s no FarmVille on LinkedIn. No LOLCats, either. But when you start to compare it with real-world professional networking instead of oceanside frolics and Facebook shenanigans, you might find there’s a lot of interest hiding there after all!
4. Being on LinkedIn hasn’t helped me yet.
Patience, padawan. Think of all the people in the world who walk out of their first massage wondering why their pain isn’t “fixed” yet. Just like a weekend warrior’s hamstrings, it’s quite possible you’ve been using LinkedIn enthusiastically, but not effectively. There are plenty of articles wandering around the internet, but why not learn about effective LinkedIn habits directly from a pro?
5. It’s too hard to learn.
We can teach you, Kemosabe. Mass Chapter had corralled the LinkedIn Whisperer himself to teach us how to ride. Michael Reynolds is just the cowboy to get you on the trail of great referrals and relationships.
Think webinars are boring and one about LinkedIn will be a snore-fest? Not a chance. We’ve got our very own Allissa Haines hosting just to keep it interesting. (She’s a LinkedIn frenemy herself, so this’ll be fun.)
The webinar was a GREAT success! You can watch the recording here!
Hope to see you there!