I hear this question all the time, “Are you on LinkedIn?”
Often the reply is the same, “Yep, I have a LinkedIn profile.”
Having a LinkedIn profile is not much different than having a resume and a business card. We all have these.
Here is another question that I hear often, “Are you in any groups on LinkedIn?” Invariably the answer is, “yes, I am in dozens of groups on LinkedIn.”
Many of us join Networking groups, our local Chamber of Commerce and Civic Groups, this by it’self is of no real benefit to others.
However, when we Participate, we create value for ourselves and others. This is the real benefit of LinkedIn.
So how do you participate in LinkedIn?
It’s not hard and does not take a lot of time, but the benefits are significant.
When we share useful, relevant and transparent information thru LinkedIn we provide value to others.
I’m not referring to “hawking” our business to others on LinkedIn, I’m referring to posting links to useful articles or ideas that we find online, sharing other people’s posts that maybe our connections will find useful or sharing events that we think our connections could benefit from if they attend.
When we get involved in discussions that are relevant to our industries and or interest, we again provide value to others.
Again, I would not respond to a discussion with a link to a promotion from my business. I do suggest responding with additional information that can make the discussion grow. Respond with an alternative thought or even a question that can bring more views and perspectives to the discussion. Engage in the discussion online and show others that you are an authority on the subject and have views and ideas that could be beneficial knowing more about.
When we introduce our connections to others, we again create value for others.
This is a powerful way to show your LinkedIn community that you are there to help others as well as to make meaningful connections for yourself. When you introduce another business person to someone who can help solve a problem or create value for their business, you create a strong(er) relationship with them and they will help you when appropriate and beneficial.
Participating in LinkedIn, as well as any other Social Media Stream, is how you create value for others and show that you are an authority in relevant areas of your business as well as interest.
In conclusion, nobody really cares if you have a LinkedIn profile. We all do. Are you participating?
Polite Disclaimer for some – It’s OK if you have a business card and LinkedIn profile and don’t participate. You’re just not getting the value from LinkedIn that you would if you did participate.