Is LinkedIn a Waste of Time?

Linked In

It still seems to be almost a week never goes by without an invitation to another networking / social networking/ connections platform that is going to be the next best thing since sliced bread or at least since Google +.

But how do you know if you should join or not?

Revisit (or start) with what communication objectives you have set for your personal brand. Just because someone in your network has invited you to join Ushi.com for example it may not have any relevance to what you are trying to achieve in connecting and networking. (Ushi.com by the way is for networking professionally in China).

Three things to determine before you sign up for the next network;

1. Who is your target audience? Get very, very clear on this and gather as much information as you can about who you want to reach. 

2. Spend some time on the network to see who is already on there. Do they fit the profile you drew up from Q1?

3. How many of your current network are on there already? There is nothing worse than getting the label of 'Johnny No Mates' by joining a new network and having 3 connections. Many of the better designed ones allow you immediately to download existing networks and databases or even make direct connections. That way you can connect with everyone you already know and make it appear you are in the know immediately. 

The key with any online networking is not a case of my list is bigger than your list, it's the value you offer to your network in terms of help and relevant information.

Better to have 200 targeted connections who are good prospects for business, referrals, resources etc than 2,000 social media gurus or online at home business experts!

Connect with me on LinkedIn if it's a fit http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulcopcutt

If you have any questions about LinkedIn please let me know in the comments below. I will find the answer for you and maybe even use it in an upcoming tip.

There are 22 key areas on your LinkedIn profile that you can edit and brand to stand out more. In fact a full personally branded LinkedIn profile can increase opportunities by up to 40 times according to LinkedIn. In our free report “5 Steps to Boosting Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn” you can get a head start – click here to access the free report. 

Here is what one recipient had to say: “I think it is fantastic and extremely relevant. As you pointed out, my role has changed – but unfortunately, my linked in profile has not. I will be trying to put in place some of the ideas that you have offered.”

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Good points, Paul. With Google+, the great value in it includes efficient and effective market segmentation (i.e. customized Profile Update messages & resource sharing) as well as videoconferencing (and of late, “trending” similar to twitter, on the right corner of your G+ Wall) that is currently not available on Facebook or Twitter.
    Consequently, because G+ offers capabilities that were non-existent when someone decided on how to communicate to your target audience (#1) AND the number of your audience on there already (G+ is so new that people are gradually getting on there).
    In addition to the valid points you make of importing your contacts and avoiding the ‘Johnny-no-mates’ reputation, I feel the best way — for G+ — is to be an early adopter (in this case) and encourage others to join, given the benefits…even if you are one of the few on it to date. Why not be a Leader? If people respect you, they may even think, “S/he is on to something; I better check this out!”
    Great points, given the ubiquitous, redundant, and fading social networks that are out there.
    Best,
    ~ Mike
    P.S. Little Chinese trivia on Social Networking in China: China’s other popular social networks include QQ & RenRen…

  • Thanks for the info Mike.
    Also just came across this blog post at Amex Open Forum about niche networking sites and ideas – some good suggestions – http://www.openforum.com/articles/niche-marketing-3-tools-that-will-help-you-reach-targeted-customers?cid=em-openf-SBweekly-20111129-03&extlink=em-openf-SBweekly-20111129-03