It wasn’t that long ago that I actually caught myself saying “LinkedIN is dead”. It’s true. I said that – and here’s why… because the only people that ever contacted me using LinkedIN were desperate people spamming their social networks looking for a new job. It was irritating and I would go months without ever logging in because I didn’t want to deal with all the junk mail. However, times have changed and I’m no longer a member of the dark side.
Those “crazies” are still out there but they’re spread across more social networks than I could count – which is good; and I’ve un-joined or ignored pretty much every group that would normally interest me. I’ve also been very, very careful with which invitations I accept and who I reach out to when adding people to my network.
The switch came for me when a close friend sent me a LinkedIN message asking if I would introduce them to one of my contacts because they needed their services. I was happy to help! It was an introduction I was thrilled to make, and instead of me blindly passing along a phone number or email address I crafted a short message with a personal note which gave my two contacts the assurance that I believed their future connection would be beneficial to each of them.
Now, when I want to send a referral or pass along a helpful note on behalf of a friend or collaborator, I include a link to their profile in an email and that’s that! It’s that simple (assuming of course their profile is up to-date). It points my contacts to their public/business profile first, which is a good impression-maker… Twitter and Facebook are not that hot in that regard.
So – it’s confession time here: I’m not a social media expert. Duh! I’m not a wizard at networking so I’ll leave you with an encouraging word and point you to someone who’s much smarter in this area. What pays the bills should not define you, your creative potential, or your creative contribution. Let your LinkedIN profile showcase your creative leadership and transferable skills and experiences – don’t think of it as an online resume, think of it like a first impression, like a bus ad.
The biggest mistake people make with their profile is excluding their non-work related experiences. If you belong to a local networking group or other affiliations, add them. The more experiences that you add, the easier it will be for LinkedIn to connect you with others within their network. - 16 Smarter Ways to Use LinkedIn to Build Your Business by Sean Jackson, Copyblogger.com.
Corwin Hiebert is a management and marketing consultant to creative entrepreneurs. He’s the co-publisher of Clamorate, and is the co-producer of CREATIVEMIX (Vancouver’s Ideation Conference). As an educator, speaker, and author, Corwin is a cheerleader for creative risk-takers. Corwin is passionate about helping creative people take action towards their dreams and their goals. He can be found on his blog and on Twitter. He lives in Vancouver, Canada and drinks very unhealthy amounts of expensive coffee.