Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Does Anyone Really Use LinkedIn?
I was recently asked "Does anyone use LinkedIn?"
The person doing the asking was trying to rationalize if their firm bio was enough of an internet presence. He could not see why he would need more. He did not like social media, and was hoping to just avoid LinkedIn altogether.
I believe many savvy business professionals are using LinkedIn. It is a valuable resource for you before any meeting you have with someone you have never met before (regardless of the purpose of the meeting).
My advice is you should always check out the other person's LinkedIn profile. The purpose is not to be a weird stalker, but instead it allows you to find tid-bits of information and common connections that can jump start your conversation. Who do you both know? Where did they go to college? What companies did they work for in the past? Etc....
You should also assume that those you meet with are doing their homework on you before you get together. Make it easy for them to find out about you. People expect to connect the dots. Again, this is not stalking, but instead shows that they are invested in the meeting by doing the pre-work.
I recently had coffee with a friend-of-a-friend who wanted to pick my brain about career advice. I had looked her up on LinkedIn, but she had no profile. During our chat I mentioned something about one of my books and her response was "You wrote a book?". I could not figure out how we ended up in a meeting where she wanted to pick my brain without them knowing anything about me. I began to feel our time together was a little one sided. I am always happy to help people, but she did not know who I was or why her friend recommended we have a conversation.
In today's social media world you should be utilizing all the tools available. Gathering information will allow you to discover common interests and things that matter to the other person. In days when there is too little time for chit-chat, LinkedIn can be the catalyst that allows you to create a faster bond.
Yes, people do really use LinkedIn.
Is your profile informative? Are you using LinkedIn before your meetings?
Have A Great Day.