LinkedIn launched in 2003 and has accumulated over 332 Million members globally, but what is it really? Here’s how LinkedIn see’s themselves:
“the world’s largest professional network with hundreds of millions of members, and growing rapidly. Our mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. We can help you: Establish your professional profile and control one of the top search results for your name.”
Can LinkedIn really make you more productive and successful? Yes – indeed it can. Speaking of indeed…sorry, you’re just a narrowly focused search engine. Conversely, LinkedIn is much more than a platform for recruiters and job seekers; it’s a place to learn, share ideas, and build a personal brand.
So, how can LinkedIn make you more productive and successful? You have to start looking at the platform in 3D!
The way I see it, the platform has 3 dimensions
Discover: to find something (or someone) unexpectedly or in the course of a search.
LinkedIn has eradicated the need for outdated contact lists on hoovers, or other lead generation lists. If you’re looking for someone, they’re probably on LinkedIn. The platform is also great at pointing you to other professionals with similar backgrounds, when you’re searching.
The other aspect of discovery is related to learning. No matter what profession you’re in, continuous learning will prepare you for success. LinkedIn enables you to customize a newsfeed so you see only what you’re interested in; it can be a single destination for news, industry analysis, articles, and company and personal updates.
Simply put, LinkedIn makes it easy to find things, so you can get back to your daily objectives.
Disseminate: spread or disperse (something, especially information) widely.
If you’re looking to get a message out, having access 1/3 of the US population is pretty exciting. LinkedIn gives people and organizations a platform to share information. Content is always going to be “king” and if you are associated with sharing great content others will take notice.
So what should be shared? I suggest you share only interesting things…in the mind of your target audience. What new insights can you broadcast throughout your network? By the way, if you share information, you should comment on why others should check it out.
Differentiate: recognize or ascertain what makes (someone or something) different.
How is your company better than “competitor name here?” Why should people talk to you? If you can answer those questions, you’re on your way to differentiating.
LinkedIn is a great place to build a brand and stand out from the crowd. If you’re listening to understand and then sharing thought provoking information that attracts others to you, you’ve just turned the LinkedIn platform into a productive means for achieving success.
Dan’s 3 D’s to Dodge
Disturb: don’t bother people. Just because you have access to contact information or inmails, don’t be a spammer. Take the time to DISCOVER, before you engage with a new contact.
Dump: if you share only content about how great your company is, or how great your new job opportunity is, you’re dumping. Unless you want to be known as a dumpster, stop it. Some experts say that for every 10 shares, only 2 should refer to your company, but I’d suggest only 10%. If a competitor likes, or shares your content, that’s how you know you’re not a dumpster.
Daydream: I can’t remember the point I wanted to make here… Oh yea, get in and get out. You could waste hours of your most productive time, surfing around LinkedIn, but don’t do it. For me, I allow 15 minutes to accomplish 3 simple daily goals on the site:
- Read 3 articles
- Find 3 new contacts
- Reconnect with 3 existing contacts
By setting parameters, you can focus on the 3 D’s of LinkedIn: Discover, Disseminate, Differentiate (without being distracted!)
Would you add any other “D” words to describe how LinkedIn makes us more productive and successful?