You’d need to have been living in a cave for the past few years not to have heard of LinkedIn. But is it just another Facebook? And how important actually is LinkedIn for business.
Well firstly, it’s necessary to know the rationale behind the website. And the word from those in the know – namely, Cliff Rosenburg, the Asia, Australia and New Zealand MD for LinkedIn themselves (oh yeah, we’re not adverse to a bit of name dropping when it’s deserved) – is that it’s a website for ‘professionals to network and connect with likeminded people in order to become more productive and successful.’
Okay, so we can all raise a glass to that!
But hang on a second. Without wishing to sound somewhat disrespectful, doesn’t that just make it a kind of ‘Facebook for businesses?’ And hasn’t that already been done?
Well, in our humble opinion, you should think like that at your peril. Because not only does LinkedIn connect the world’s largest network of professionals together, but it also allows you to present the ‘face’ you need to for your life as a professional and competent person and business.
Separate Business from Pleasure
Let’s face it, you might have hundreds (or thousands) of ‘friends’ on other social networking sites. Friends with whom you share jokes, controversial opinions and photos of crazy nights out or that baby picture of you naked in the bath.
But is that really the image you want to portray for your small business?
We think not, and that’s exactly where you can use the power of LinkedIn for business development.
Not only is your LinkedIn profile vital for raising that crucial business awareness, but it provides you with yet another valuable tool for that all important online marketing.
Can I be your Friend?
Another day, another LinkedIn connect request in your inbox. But should you blindly accept everyone who asks, or is it prudent to be a little more discerning about the professionals you connect with?
In case we haven’t yet made it clear enough, LinkedIn is NOT Facebook. And it’s certainly not about the number of connections you have. With LinkedIn it’s all about the quality.
To be brutal, if a connection isn’t a person who can either advance your business, career or might be a person that one day you need to talk to in order to achieve those, then why on earth would you need to connect with them? Harsh, maybe – but business is business, after all.
So to sum up, when it comes to utilizing the power of LinkedIn for business development, then any small business would be crazy not to take advantage of it. Yes, it takes time to develop a good profile, but in this world of information at our fingertips, it’d take a very brave (for brave, read stupid!) small business not to realize the power it yields.