LinkedIn Is For Real (But You Already Knew That!)

In business circles, everywhere you turn, people are talking about LinkedIn. Although it remains as the most enigmatic and misunderstood of all the major social networking sites, interest in LinkedIn is at an all-time high, and curiosity on how to leverage the site to generate revenue is piqued. At this stage, any individual or company consciously choosing not to recognize LinkedIn, or explore its potential, is viewed as laggard. People are tired of hearing that they “should be” paying more attention to LinkedIn. They now want iron-clad proof that this thing really works before they invest their time, energy and money.

There is an abundance of online tutorials, blogs, white papers, eBooks and videos on creating and maximizing a LinkedIn presence. Much of the work is derivative, but look hard and you will unearth some solid, practical content. Whereas much can be gleaned from these sources, there is no substitute for learning LinkedIn through your own experience. As a LinkedIn speaker, consultant, and coach, I have developed a system for sharing LinkedIn best practices based on observational study. I have sat with thousands of professionals at the computer. I have questioned them about their Internet habits and attitudes toward social networking. I have discovered that people’s styles, routines and outcomes on LinkedIn are like snowflakes or fingerprints–that is, no two are alike. linkedin automation

Nowadays, I view my role as more of a field correspondent, breaking down LinkedIn features and processes as they emerge, isolating their benefits, and imparting strategies to my clients, students and colleagues in easy-to-digest installments. People now come to me more willing and receptive to learn the basics, or gain new insights that will advance their learning. They understand the value of the LinkedIn profile. They are taking ownership of what they know they know, and what they don’t know they don’t know regarding LinkedIn. Suddenly, they care.

But there are those who continue to doubt the legitimacy of social networking as an instrument of business growth. To them, I would like to declare that LinkedIn is alive and well. The time is right to ratchet up your level of commitment, move forward on the site and don’t look back.

Here is why LinkedIn should be taken very, very seriously:

The LinkedIn Metrics

Internet science has one chief and extremely reliable indicator-namely, metrics. At the time of this writing, LinkedIn has eclipsed the 225 million user mark, adding new members at the dizzying rate of two per second. Each month, LinkedIn breaks its own record for unique visitor traffic, averaging in excess of 50 million unique user visits per month (Source: Quantcast, January 2013). Studies further demonstrate that a person’s LinkedIn profile nets the greatest percentage of first clicks after a Google search by name. Given this trend, and the advantageous search engine position of the LinkedIn profile URL (at or near the top in the listings), people are finally waking up to the reality that their LinkedIn profiles need to be dressed for success.

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