Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We're LinkedIn... are you?

Naturally a healthy online profile is important for any business and this is probably why I originally joined LinkedIn sometime last year... and then did absolutely nothing with it. With sites like this blog and our own website achieving a good profile within Google searches it was easy to dismiss what seemed to be facebook without the annoyance.

However, over recent weeks LinkedIn has hit the headlines repeatedly and more and more people were pinging me to ask if I would 'join their professional network in LinkedIn.

Perhaps most significantly the LinkedIn raised $53 million for a sliver of the business and promptly valued it at $1bn. Which sounds crazy, but this is no internet start up. The website boasts 23 million members and is growing by 1.2 million new members each month.

So I have been devoting a set time each day to building my profile and believe it is now really rather respectable, with a growing number of recommendations from clients and business partners and a healthy number of connections. What is fascinating though is the momentum that has built with relatively little effort and that continues to build my profile.

And don't dismiss LinkedIn as another MySpace or facebook, it is a business tool beyond its networking facade and allows for company searches. You can profile staff, establish churn and of course get introduced to the online movers and shakers within companies through your own burgeoning network. It is clever stuff.

Then there is Google, which has been invited to crawl LinkedIn and now happily returns my profile among the various hits when people search for 'public relations, newbury' and suchlike.

Freely offering expertise to the myriad of questions that are posted on the site is another excellent way to boost your profile and follows the same abundance model that we employ offline.

I have heard about the companies on LinkedIn who encourage their staff to spend a specified amount on time on the site every day, to ensure their business stays at the forefront of searches. I can see why.

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