LinkedIn mistakes and networking strategiesDec 7th, 2009 | By joegrimm | Category: Advice, News
Two people have written this past week about LinkedIn mistakes and how to avoid them. I’d like to add a tip of my own.
On RecruitingBlogs.com, Bill Ward trashed a generic and innocuous e-mail he received in which he said the president of an executive search firm asked to be a connection.
It said, “I saw your profile on LinkedIn and wanted to be connected with you on LinkedIn.
“Please add my profile to your LinkedIn contacts.”
So, what’s wrong with that?
Ward objects to the writer’s insincerity — he doubts the writer even read his profile — and commanding tone. Both are poor ways to network.
In his LinkedIn mistakes article, Ward says that this person seems to be like so many who simply want to build their networks as large as possible without regard for the quality of the connections.
On the Community Marketing Blog, Sean Nelson warns of seven LinkedIn mistakes — and offers fixes.
Two of the mistakes are bad or absent photos and profiles that lack detail. The fixes for these problems are clear enough.
Another of Nelson’s LinkedIn mistakes is failing to share your knowledge in the LinkedIn Answers section. That shows up on your home page.
I am totally with Nelson on that. Part of networking is sharing your knowledge to help others in your field or specialty. Being a sinkhole into which information goes but from which is does not emerge does no one — even you — any good.
* Great LinkedIn recommendations can build your brand.
* Sharyln Lauby’s piece on Mashable about seven ways to maximize your LinkedIn account.
I would add that an all-too-common mistake on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networking sites is the mistaken belief that the goals should be too amass as many contacts as possible. That is bunk. A tight group of well-maintained, strategically selected contacts is a much stronger network than a huge one. This is especially true on LinkedIn, which shows you yor first-degree contacts and your second-degree contacts. Second-degrees are people who know people you also know, and they are people you could request introductions too, when needed.
This policy is hard to follow when people you know ask to be connected and you don’t want to be mean. But I wouldn’t go looking for mass connections. It’s smarter to be selective.
The bottom line for me, Ward and Nelson seems to be that good networking means to be sincere, to be personable and to respectfully share what you know with well chosen peers.
If you don;t already have a LinkedIn account, I recommend you start one now and start learning how it can help you.