As of last Monday I have been a member of LinkedIn for a decade. When I joined as a far as I can tell there were less than 1 million members. Now there's over 300 million. Has LinkedIn's growth been valuable for me? Yes. Here's my top lessons:
Lesson 1. Sharing and spreading
I have an in person business so being online is important yet not essential to my success. It's important for me because of the sharing and spreading capabilities and who uses these.
Almost 100% of my clients come from referrals from a small base of fans. These folk value being able to show or let know prospective buyers insights I have provided.
In last Sunday's sparkenation I shared some great wisdom from Yo-Yo Ma “It’s not about proving anything, it’s about sharing something.”
I regard LinkedIn as a professional network more than a social network. It has been and is a good place for me to share and spread insights that people important to me find valuable to them for their own use as well as for people they feel would be interested in working with me.
Lesson 2. LinkedIn is good for Google
Most prospective buyers including red hot referrals Google me before we meet to see how we can work together. My LinkedIn profile features in their searches. Being a regular contributor on LinkedIn therefore enhances my credibility and visibility.
I'm a member of Google+ because it's Google. I am a member of Twitter because 140 characters is a great way to learn to be succinct and a simple way to share. I like scoop.it because I came across insights I wouldn't otherwise. I like YouTube because people being able to see me in person has proved to be invaluable in their buying decisions. I'm playing with Pinterest. My LinkedIn presence though showcases my work the best.
Lesson 3. LinkedIn Premium membership is good for getting to know prospective buyers
I pay LinkedIn the small monthly fee for Premium membership because I find I can quickly use the search function to find out what I need to know about organisations and prospective buyers before I meet them. This search facility is far more valuable to me than any Google search.
Lesson 4. Our mates can lead us to our market
Most of my LinkedIn connections are my mates, some in the true sense of the word, and others in the sense that they do similar work. LinkedIn profiles are a good way to differentiate ourselves as well as make it simple for our true mates to recommend us and share our insights.
Lesson 5. Seeing what other professionals are saying is great value for adding value as well as saying the same thing differently or more uniquely
It seems every person and their dog is now posting their thoughts on LinkedIn. I value this because I can take a yes and approach and add value to my mates as well as my fans. This also provides an opportunity to further stand out from the crowd.
What are your lessons from being on LinkedIn. Please share.
Be the difference you want to see in the world.