Why You Might Want To Link In 1 Of 6
May 18, 2009
B2B CFO®, is a national CFO Services firm focused on emerging and mid market companies, that has grown from a handful of partners in 2004, to nearly 120 partners today. During that time the partners have built their individual client bases, and today we have total client revenue of over $3 billion. We have done all his through effective networking - and that is how you will land your next position.
Whether you are looking for a job or looking for clients for a consulting business, there's really no question about the best approach: Networking. As Matt Bud has been known to say, "Networking is my life!"
LinkedIn is a "social media" site that was developed specifically to help professionals and business people make connections. It has grown rapidly to have over 38 million members - mostly high income professionals and business people. Will it solve all of life's problems, bring you unsolicited job offers and improve your social life? Maybe. But it's just a tool..and you must learn how to use it to make things happen. What can you use LinkedIn for? Here's my ever growing list:
- Enhance and Expand your current networking
- Use it to establish and enhance credibility
- Catalog your testimonials and references
- Research potential employers, partners or clients
- Find a new job or new employee
- Be found - LinkedIn profiles get high Google ranks
- Share knowledge and expertise
- Introduce connections
- Cheaper marketing efforts
- Business Development through Alliances and Partnerships
- Develop your Thought Leadership Status
The nice thing is that it does not have to happen overnight. LinkedIn is like a Wiki about YOU. You can work it whenever you have some spare time, and it will continue to grow. In the darkest night of self-doubt you can blow away the cob-webs and be pro-active about building contact lists, researching companies, finding resources.
So how do you use LinkedIn to find that next position? One of the best pieces of career advice I ever received was, "Stop looking for a job. Start looking to meet people."
- Leverage your new contacts. For each new person you meet, ask, "Can you please suggest at least two other people who could be helpful to me?" Help them to think by suggesting: employer, trusted advisor, friend etc. Because most people want to be helpful, they will almost always share at least one additional contact - and it's much easier for people to respond to a job search this way.
- Bring Offline to Online Worlds. Search for people on LinkedIn that you meet. Read about them, find them at conferences and seminars and try and set up LinkedIn contact. Each new contact will bring a wealth of additional possibilities.
- Network using Groups. Join groups, create groups and find out which groups your preferred contacts are in. Go offline and shake hands with real people.
- Build your Reputation: Use Questions and Answers and recommendations to establish yourself as an expert. Really set yourself apart from the generic 50-something CFO resume.
- Stay in touch. Invite offline contacts to join you on LinkedIn. Explain the benefits to new users. Post frequent updates on LinkedIn, including links to people you've met, companies you've discovered, or new products or services you find along the way. Your contacts will be able to see your updates and it gives them a reason to stay in touch. And of course, when you land a project or job, send out a big note of thanks and an update on your coordinates to the people who have been helpful to you.
In future articles we will discuss Profiles, Building your Reputation, Linkedin for Job Hunting, Using Groups and Searches, and the science of LinkedIn Domination.