Here is what I used to believe. I believed that protecting the value of your network required that you know or have plans to get to know those that you were connected to. I believed that it only made sense to add new connections as I met people within my chamber or other offline networking. Since my prospects are in Georgia I believed that there was limited value in connecting to other outside of the state. I was wrong.
Can LinkedIn work for you
Numbers are always interesting to consider. Take for instance the 40+ million users on LinkedIn (not an official number but an educated guess). That’s a pretty impressive number. But, more important is the number of people that are active. The value of one member in your network is not equal to the value of another.
But how do you place a value on each member?
In my last post I described the three types of networkers, or networking strategies on LinkedIn: LION, Turtle and Hound Dog. For the last 18 months I’ve pretty much considered myself a Hound Dog. I connect to those I know and those I would like to know.
y job is helping people find the best option for their health insurance needs. Specifically in the state of Georgia. While connections outside of the state might help my network in terms of size, it really wasn’t that relevant to business. Plus I figured that the more connected I was to my network the more valuable it would be to my connections.
I’m beginning to think that while the thought was well intentioned, it was also flawed.
Most of us joined LinkedIn because we hoped that it would somehow impact our bottom line. That at some point down the road we would be rewarded with some economic return. I’ve been fortunate in that it has generated business for me. Just as important, it has helped me provide value to those that I have connected to.
Straight line benefits include developing new partners or alliances and developing new client’s. Crooked line benefits include introducing connections, writing recommendations, and simply helping others.
Have you ever wondered how your presence on LinkedIn compares to the average LinkedIn user. Last year I created the Linkulator to allow people to score their profile and presence numerically. You simply answer some questions about your profile and participation in things such as Answers and Recommendations. It then calculates a score and displays the average score of everyone who has computed a score. It also classifies your presence based on your score and offers some tips to improve.
Sean is working on helping a client with their health insurance because they contacted me after seeing my last “What are you working on?” post. On Twitter they would be responding to my Tweet. I’m still working on learning Twitter so I’m not sure what a response to a Tweet is. On LinkedIn that response is called a “new Lead”, “New business” and “new client”.
Posting what you’re working on is a lot like fishing. You’re casting your bait hoping that someone bites.