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Are you underestimating the power of LinkedIn?

December 12th, 2009 by | 1 Comment

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What platforms do you think of when you hear Social Media? Facebook, Twitter, Myspace? Then somewhere down the line is LinkedIn, right? Maybe it’s time to stop thinking about LinkedIn as an afterthought and start incorporating it into your Social Media Marketing mix.

The breakdown of Social Media goes something like this:

Facebook: Your “personal” space – the place there you post pictures from the party last weekend and keep in touch with people you graduated from high school with, even though you never really have a plan to speak with them again.

Twitter: Your “Personal Branding” space – Instant updates on what you’re doing, reading, watching, etc. Also the primary platform to promote your own work, business, blog posts, etc.

Myspace: Pretty much a dead horse – good for listening to music and stalking high-schoolers. That’s about it.

And then there’s LinkedIn. Which – to most of us – is seen as the most “professional” of networks. We post our resume of work experience, our skills and talents, and use it to network with other companies and professionals in the area. On the surface, it may not seem like all-too-valuable of a resource, but underneath there is a lot you can do to get networking and connected with the right people. Here are two ways to harness and power of LinkedIn for the greater good.

Ask for referrals

One of the primary reasons I remain such an advocate of LinkedIn is the ability to ask and send letters of recommendation to people you have worked with. It’s a great way to receive instant feedback, not to mention the added bonus of having it public – which enhances your personal/professional transparency. At the end of every project I work on with a client – I ask them if they would be so kind to write a recommendation for me. And if someone asks to see references – I can point them to a running list of feedback from past clients.

LinkedIn Groups

Not only a great way to share information and ideas – LinkedIn Groups are outstanding for Q&A and brainstorming ideas. A lot of the groups are more “exclusive” and have certain requirements for their members. For example I belong to one group that requires you to pose and answer at least three questions a month or you’ll get the boot. It may seem sort of elitist and ridiculous to have group “rules” – but it really helps to enhance the interactivity amongst group members. It indirectly forces you to be a contributor – but even better, requires you to ask questions, which only acts to enhance your own continual learning and growth.

So if you haven’t already, give LinkedIn the time it deserves. You’d be amazed at the value that can be tapped into. If you have any LinkedIn success stories or advice of your own, please feel free to share them in the below comments!

Matt Cheuvront is the mastermind behind Life Without Pants. Take the next step by saying hello on Twitter and subscribing to his blog today!


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