Think of your LinkedIn profile as an interactive billboard. The billboard has been erected but you’re waiting for traffic to drive down the road. You can wait and hope that someone takes a wrong turn and sees you, or you can try to detour traffic past your billboard.
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.
If you’re a small business or a sales person you’re not selling a product or service, you’re selling yourself. For many, the thought of self-promotion just isn’t one that they are comfortable with. LinkedIn can help you with your discomfort.
Recommendations can serve as an effective alternative to selling yourself.
This morning I received an email from Guy Havelick with a tale of two workers who were laid off. Here’s part of his email:
I work for a large corporation. They too often play the musical chairs game with far too few chairs. Recently two good friends, excellent contributors and employees, were caught when the music stopped. One had a great network and found another job immediately. The second was not properly networked and is still struggling to start his own business.
As a good employee, as secure as I can be working for a big company, how can I provide myself a safety net? (One that I would prefer not to be forced to use.) LinkedIn seems like the best social networking tool out there. How can I use LinkedIn to be that safety net? What’s the best way to sell my reputation when I’m not yet in a position to be bought?