Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Value of LinkedIn

It's interesting the things that I've discovered so far on this 'starting my own business' journey. One simple yet impactful one is the usefulness of LinkedIn.

As a creative professional that's no stranger to networking in the industry, I really never understood why I needed a LinkedIn account. Mind you, I had one, but never saw the value. The main reason being that most of my professional LinkedIn connections are also my Facebook friends. I spend waaaay more time on Facebook keeping up with folks than LinkedIn — particularly since both have similar news feed/status updating capabilities.

Discussing the purpose of this professional social network with friends, colleagues and clients, I've come to realize the value of LinkedIn is not to connect you with your friends/acquaintances (Facebook does a better job of keeping people in touch, in my opinion), but to connect you with potential clients who are connected to your friends/clients/acquaintances/etc.

It's a safe way and convenient way for potential clients to see your living resumé/portfolio — following where you've been professionally and what you're doing right now by reading your blog through a LinkedIn app. They can get a much better sense of your personality and capabilities than one could ever get from a one-page static resumé (which you can also post on your LinkedIn page for those die-hard HR individuals).

It's the little realizations and epiphanies that are making this transitional time of my life so enjoyable and interesting.

1 comment:

  1. I'd agree with your initial impression of LinkedIn; I have an account, update it sometimes but don't really see the value in it. I get what you're saying about the potential for new clients or partners via connections of your connections but, probably because I have yet to get a single lead or inquiry via my LinkedIn account, I still have a hard time seeing any real potential to turn friends' friends into profitable business.

    Maybe that will change when I re-launch my site in the near future and update my portfolio/skill set/LinkedIn profile to re-position myself and my services.

    To me, LinkedIn feels cold and impersonal when the whole premise of it is forming a network and reputation based on people you know or have worked with directly. Maybe it's just me.