LinkedIn invitations don’t add value

Linkedin conenctions do not add valueMonths ago I ended what had become one of my living nightmares over the past years: invitations to be connected in LinkedIn.

This has cost me months of procrastination and indecision.

The disquiet resulting from not being able to answer each and every one of these invitations has been such that I’ve even considered closing down my LinkedIn account. Yes, the account that provided 35% of my annual turnover in 2011 and 20% in 2012. How is it that I’d even consider annihilating something that is profitable for me? Very simple: right now, it only offers me hundreds of requests to be connected, taking up time that I’d rather dedicate to more important things for the people who are really in my reach and for myself, of course.

The pace ran me down

Everything was fine until summer 2012 when I started losing the pace on LinkedIn: the time taken by actively taking part in groups, taking an interest in my network and contacting six or seven people with whom I considered I should be connected every week. Also, the time dedicated to personally and humanly answer everyone who had invested their time in sending me a connection request, regardless of whether they had sent a ‘template’ message or whether they bothered answering back after that. I continued doing it. I believe in human relations as the basis for the social web.

The more you connect, the more multiple connections you get

More and more invitations kept coming. I tried to use the weekends to answer between 60 and 100 invites. However, the more I accepted, the more I answered, the more new invitations I’d receive. This is easy to explain: the more requests you accept, the more visible you become in each contact’s homepage, the more visible and exposed you are to further connections. This would be great if those connections added value. However, from my experience, barely 5% of my contact network is useful to the end result, or to help other people. It therefore becomes a huge drawback as the more people you accept, the more requests you get from other people; especially nowadays when it seems that connecting through LinkedIn has become a national sport.

Changing things to improve the result

Result: more than 4,100 requests to answer. The dilemma for me is that I’ve always wanted to answer every request personally. Unfortunately, I cannot face such a deluge. It would only involve a meaningless sacrifice that I’m unwilling to make. The use given to LinkedIn no longer adds value. It’s become saturated.

So, in order not to give up my LinkedIn account or the human touch I wish to maintain, from a few months to now on I will only respond personally to those people who explain the reason for contacting me and those who can benefit from connecting with me. All other invitations I will accept without answering back. I think this is a fair exchange: I’ll bother with people who bother. Anyone else, if they want or need anything in particular, make this clear; at the end of the day, it’s you who started any action, so the result will depend on how you start it. Any of the people whom I’ve contacted through LinkedIn knew my purpose right from the start.

LinkedIn invitations add no value; the value lies in the connection you’re trying to make.

Photo credit: Deb Nystorm.

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13 Quick Tips To Optimise your LinkedIn Profile

1. Set a personalised URL with your name. The same name you use with other profiles: your brand.

2. Create a unique extract. Can you summarise everything into a single sentence that makes you unique and special, something that sets you apart from everyone else? I bet you can!

3. End in a clear, direct and powerful way. End each section in your profile with something that really makes an impact on the reader; we always remember what we read last better than what we read first. It is quite common to start strong and end weak. Remember, go against the current! No one else does.

4. Achievements and tasks. One of the best profiles I’ve read lately has been the one set up by Víctor Ronco. His way of listing his achievements and the tasks he was in charge of is sensational. Of course, you do need to be a doer and a tryer for that!

5. Media. You can create a media section showing all your appearances in the media in a Presentation/PDF (slideshare plugin).

6. Skills and expertise. Don’t mention your management, business and consulting skills only. Include also something more personal: your human skills, abilities and characteristics… as it happens, this side of things is mainly what’s missing in our environment right now and rarities have an added value. Think about what you’re like as a human being, that’s the key!

7. Interests are key words through which you may be found. Catch the drift?

8. A blog makes your profile much more attractive and powerful.

9. Recommendations. Ask for recommendations from people who may have something interesting to say about you which is valuable.

10. Have you taken any courses that expand, improve and prove what you can do? Include them!

11. Move forward! This involves taking part in groups, setting up your own blog –did I mention that earlier?- and reviewing your profile for 10 minutes every week to streamline it.

12. Show what else you do. Do you have online presentations? Are you showing them?

13. Header. The header is the best opportunity available to position yourself. There are already too many experts in social media, senior community managers and marketing directors. If you’re doing what everyone else does, in what way are you standing out for me?

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The LinkedIn Manifesto – Part 1

You are probably already aware that LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 70 million members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.

With LinkedIn you will be able to:

  • Set up you personal profile
  • Stay connected with colleagues and friends
  • Find answers to your job field related questions and sometimes solutions for your business problems
  • Start networking and exchange insights and approaches with experts and professionals in your own work field
  • Explore and find opportunities such as jobs, partnerships, projects or future customers

LinkedIn is and will be of greater importance for netwrokers, brands and the market. The questions are: How do you enter into this “world” of dialogue? How do you present yourself  in a digital-professional culture where traditional methods doesn’t work? How do you engage your audience and transform this engagement into human relationships and business  for your or your brand? Could “The LinkedIn Manifesto” be the key to unlocking the potential of this professional social network?

The LinkedIn Manifesto focuses on the role of an advice and recommendations made by great, experienced and serious LinkedIn networkers about LinkedIn and how users can use its power to improve their abilities, skills and thus, building a better professional network. It argues for a model where every of those LinkedIn professional networkers give you their best guidance through this process for discuss business issues freely,  create solid business networks, build their reputations and eventually hook up for business ventures and possible job opportunities.

Here you have the recommendations, advice and insights that experienced and professional LinkedIn networker give you:

Tamar Weinberg

Social Media Marketing Consultant, Community Director, Author of The New Community Rules

  1. Fill out your profile in its entirety – don’t let the progress bar tell you that there’s still more left to do. The more complete your profile, the more qualified the leads are that get sent to your address.
  2. Build your network by looking at friends’ friends. It’s surprising how many colleagues I found who were just a few degrees away from a first degree contact!
  3. Take advantage of LinkedIn Answers. In my opinion, it’s the most “noiseless” Q&A site out there. That’s because job professionals vie for business *and* attention and need to be on their best behavior

Steve Washburn

Managing Partner, Expectations Plus One, Management Consulting to professional services companies

  • Repeat sales pitches are especially annoying. Got a great idea? Fine. Happy with it? No sweat. Just don’t hit me with the same sales routine over and over again. I can watch network TV for that. 95 discussions with the same topic is obnoxious.
  • Off-topic discussion entries should be avoided. When the topic is, “How do I handle a problem like ____?”; “Buy my PMI prep course” is a lousy answer.
  • Think twice (at least) before sending your email message directly to people you do not know. Put it into a discussion so that people can opt-in and not have to cut the message.
  • If you have a message for a single person in the thread that has no value or interest to the rest of the group, please reply privately.
  • Even if there are many entries, read through earlier posts before entering a new one unless you are sure that your contribution brings something new to the table.
  • When you are “done” with a topic, just drop out (stop following). No need to announce your departure or chide those who are still interested enough to continue reading or adding to the discussion.
  • In a long thread, there is benefit in someone taking the time to try and sum up the discussion to date. Optimally this is the originator, but if you have time and willingness, privately ask permission from the one who started the thread. In any case, every effort must be taken to represent all positions .
  • Treat everyone with respect, even if they have not earned it. Bad days and bad ideas happen, even to good people. The obnoxious’ll be exposed anyway because “Time wounds all heels.”
  • Remember that your entries are public and will stay open to prospective employers and clients. Take a moment if you are feeling a wave of rage.

Lance Lloyd

Business Development Executive at Fixed Fee I.T

There are definitely needed rules for proper housekeeping with using Linked in. Additionally there needs being guidance on how to use it for its intended purpose – a way to network, to make connections using technolgy. Even though the media is different, the rules of making valuable connections hasn’t changed. This is a passive marketing medium and aggressive behavior will get you deleted, banned or just plain ignored quickly.

remember first and foremost DON’T SELL – share. LinkedIn (networking) is passive and not about what can I get, but what can I give. If that’s remembered then it will come back in due time.

Also, LinkedIn isn’t about getting the most “connections” whether you know them or not. It’s not about fulfilling your own personal psycological needs, it’s about making meaningful connections that is dilluted when you treat it like collecting marbles. Here are a couple of axioms that have helped me in my journey:

  • Bring something that may be of value to your network (that doesn’t means a features and benefits pitch)
  • Do what you say, especially when you don’t need anything in return.
  • Remember you’re cultivating relationships.
  • Everyone is on LinkedIn to better themselves, be ready to better someone else.

I could add more, but hopefully this can spark more conversation about how others have found success.

Mario Belmonte

CEO Nioma Executive Search

Are you looking for a job? Do you know how to use traditional channels? What about the real channels such as LinkedIn, Xing or Twitter?

Recruitment process has turned around 360º due to the economic downturn. What you did for a living 5 years ago now it’s not working anymore, because before it was from 20 to 40 candidates for a job position and now its over a thousand candidates that come to sign up for one offer each day.

  • Do you think that your Resume is adapted to the crisis?
  • Does nobody call you for an interview? Have you ever wondered why?
  • Do you have lots of interviews, but at the end no one hires you?

The best solution is putting yourself in the hands of an expert in social networking 2.0, coaching, outplacement and especially staff with extensive experience in recruitment and headhunting.

Should you want to find a new project, you may want to know, in this precise moment, how can it be achieved.

There’s no point to apply in every offer you see. It doesn’t work neither just join the network, but you should know how to take advantage of it…

Carra Riley

Owner of Carra Riley Inc. Small Business and Real Estate Consultant, Writer and Speaker

Linked in is the place where business networks. Wear your business attire and give from the heart. There really is an A list in life and sincerely helping one another will always keep you on that list! Giving, giving and more giving is the key to success and what we do at linkedin.

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LinkedIn, professionally speaking your best choice!

how to use linkedin - isra garcia

Social media descended from heaven and bless us with one of his most prized possessions, LinkedIn… professionally speaking your best choice!

What LinkedIn is?

LinkedIn simply is a social networking site for business that allows its users to keep up a permanent contact with a list of people they know or can trust when doing business. You can invite to join your network any user, it doesn’t matter whether they’re or not in LinkedIn to join.

Another interesting feature is that you can find people with who have studied or worked and get in touch again through LinkedIn.

Here you have some interesting points that make LinkedIn more appealing:

  • The average LinkedIn profiles working at Google is 47%.
  • The average number of Harvard Business School graduates is 58%.
  • People with more than 20 contacts have 34 times more chance of being contacted for a job that a person who has less than 5 contacts.
  • All companies in the Fortune 500 are represented in LinkedIn. In fact 499 of them are represented by director-level upwards.

Beyond a purpose

Most people use LinkedIn to either get someone to do business, attract potential customers or find a job. It works well because it is an online network of more than 9 million experienced professionals from around the world representing 130 industries. However it is still greatly under used tool. It’s believed that is LinkedIn is working at 70% of its capability…
If you are on LinkedIn or want to belong to the networking world’s largest, are some ways you could use:

Increase your visibility. Adding contacts, you can increase the likelihood that people will see your profile when looking for someone for a job or business.

Improve the possibility of being contacted. The majority of users put only their current company in their profile. By doing so, we’re severely constrained to connect with people. I recommend putting all the relevant information related to your career, from companies  you’ve worked in the past to educational institutions you’ve attended even uploading your own presentations or sharing your reading list...Also affiliations and activities.  You could also embed a link with your LinkedIn profile as part of the signature in your email.

Improving your Google Page Rank. Your information is found on a website and allows your LinkedIn profile is available on search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN, which is a good way to influence what people see when they search and you came as part of that. To carry out this task, create a public profile and select “Full View”. Also, instead of using the URL you are given by definition, use your real name as part of the URL of your public profile. To strengthen the visibility of your profile in the page search engine results, interconnect your LinkedIn profile to social media (Twitter, Facebook, Ping.Fm, your blog, website,etc.) and put a link to your profile on several Internet sites. For example, when you make comments in blogs, forums, reviews of products or services.

Improve the results of your websites in search engines. Besides your name, you can promote your blog or website using the spaces for your favourite links in your profile.

Look for advice. AnswersLinkedIn A new product that lets you ask questions related to business or of opinion to find a guide to what you know or venture.

LinkedIn groups can be a powerful way to connect with other business people in a meaningful way. People are just discovering the potential, and there aren’t a lot of guides to group management on , so I’m working on some tips that would be useful for beginning community managers as well as experienced ones just learning the ins and outs of LinkedIn groups. Remember, creating the group is only the first step. It won’t thrive if you don’t nurture it.

Going deeper

Do not forget that LinkedIn is designed to manage contacts between non-corporate purposes.  Surprisingly there are still people who think “quantity before quality.” If management means more or less regular contact via text messages, share info, face-to-face, etc … I’ve just done with 20 or 30. And when you have visibility, or take part in discussions and threads can not help to receive more invitations. What are you doing? Delete contacts when you reach the top of your ability? Some users have it clear, the more contacts, the better.
I prefer to keep a balance … when I talk to my clients I tell them that “depend on your goals.” If you want to manage with “love” a limited network is the solution. If you take the networks and what seems being a great channel of communication, the more people know you exist, the better. So in that scenario touches you connect with people who have many connections. Unfortunately, many people in the networks are passing through. They come, they are active a while, reaches its target and leave. They’re not to share …

I’ve realized that networks are now overlapping. Facebook is no longer just a network to share photos and meet up with friends as there are many professionals promoting their services. And LinkedIn is no longer only to manage your professional contacts, is to achieve your corporate goals. And both work.
That’s Social Media, I think. The key is simply to add value. The rest is almost entirely permissible. As in any platform it is essential to know what the goal / strategy to carry out on that network/ what going to say about all social media. In my view, if one has no clear vision of the goal all the effort / time / money invested will be in vain

My personal experience

From my point of view, LinkedIn could be considered an effective weapon depending you aim, either find a job, expand your networking, make yourself known as a professional in other markets or consecrate as an expert in your career field or finding new opportunities…I started using linked in to build a trustworthy and firmly network in the States, because  I was planning to enrol in a  scholarship exchange program extension for my master degree in UCA (USA) next January. Consequently, I needed start making contacts to first work  part-time during the program and after full-time when it finishes. The fact is, I began with this strategy on February 2009 and by now I’ve arranged 6 interviews when I get there and a I’ve met admirable and outstanding professionals, but above all they’re magnificent persons, some of which have offered their kind help and guidance and have done all their best to guarantee my satisfaction.

Certainly, LinkedIn is – professionally speaking – your best choice! Are you in?

And you? What do you enjoy the most about Linked In? Which is you best choice?

Let’s connect on LinkedIn!

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