I surveyed the attendees at a recent three hour workshop I led for SCORE Chicago on December 11, 2012. I asked attendees to select three to five most important benefits from a list of 24 I listed for either their business or personal networking goals on LinkedIn. You may find the entire list at LinkedIn Tips (Scroll down to: “Select Your Target 3-5…”) although I am going to pare it down somewhat and publish the new abbreviated list shortly.
This is their top five, in priority with most important first, as displayed on the Infographic:
#1. Establish your personal brand. That is what describes your credibility and professionalism. What exactly makes you a subject matter expert whom others would be willing to pay for your knowledge or expertise?
#2. Be sought out, that is found, for your expertise. Think of this as a micro-Google (can be via an advanced) search within LinkedIn.
#3. Enhance being found on Google and other search engines search results, or a larger search outside of LinkedIn. I would think for both personally as well as for business.
There was a tie:
#4. Source leads, fill sales funnels and pipelines, or the sales and marketing goal.
#5. Target market or identify potential prospects to seek out or establish some sort of deeper relationship.
These surprised me as not making the top five within this group:
- Gain knowledge – find answers to business questions or challenges.
- Keep current in your field.
However, the biggest surprise was the relatively low ranking of the following:
- Checking references.
- Spying on your competition.
- Learning more about individuals and companies.
- Checking our sales and marketing appointments (people and companies) – I meant ahead of time.
Perhaps as a former sales professional, I look at LinkedIn from another view point. Of all the possibilities, the last “Checking out…” currently is probably the most important benefit for me.
But that’s what is so beneficial to LinkedIn, you can gain a myriad of benefits. You merely have to set your goals and implement it.
What do you think? Please leave your comment below. I always respond to comments unless they are spam.
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