I enjoy LinkedIn. Having reached 500 connections a few weeks ago (after this your profile just shows 500+), I thought I would write about reasons to get LinkedIn.
1. People will find you on the internet
Ok, let’s start with the biggest positive (and negative) of LinkedIn. People will find you on the internet.
To me (an extrovert, with a blog), this isn’t a big deal. But some people don’t want to be found and I totally understand that.
I think the positives of being LinkedIn outweigh the negatives. And also, with or without LinkedIn, there is a chance you will be found on the internet anyway. If you are on Facebook there is a good chance people will find your profile.
2. You can use LinkedIn to get a new job
Ok, this is false – LinkedIn won’t get you a job. But LinkedIn could be a step for you to get your foot in the door to get an interview (after that you are on your own!).
3. You can use LinkedIn to stay in contact with old workmates and acquaintances
Facebook is a great way to see when people have personal milestones (it is exciting to see when Facebook friends have gotten engaged, married or pregnant).
But there might be more people, whom you have worked with, that you would be interested to stay in contact with but you might not want as Facebook friends. Enter LinkedIn.
4. You can stay connected without showing off your wild Friday nights (like on Facebook)
If you are a bit private (like me), then you probably don’t want to share everything with everyone. LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch without people seeing your personal information.
5. You can use LinkedIn to gain new customers/clients
Your potential customers and clients search the internet. If you meet someone in a work context, there is a chance they may search you on LinkedIn (or at least Google).
If you have a LinkedIn profile with four connections, versus your competitor who has 500+ connections and five glowing recommendations – well…who would you pick?
6. You can talk to someone working in your dream industry
You might not know that a mate from footy is doing your dream job or works for a company that you have always wanted to work for. An informal chat can be great to find out what they do day to day and how much they like the company they work for.
7. Your 2nd network – your potential new client might have worked with a friend of yours
Having something in common (such as a mutual connection or friend) is a great way to break down barriers. If you can see that your prospective client has a few mutual friends, then that is a great way to get in touch.
I have had a few LinkedIn invites from people I didn’t previously know who asked to be added to my network because they knew Friend 1 and Friend 2.
After doing the appropriate research, I am happy to add these people due to the social proof of other LinkedIn contacts.
8. Your 2nd network – meeting like-minded people
Another great benefit of LinkedIn is finding like-minded people. Of course, you would never say to your cool mate who works in IT, “Who out of your friends should I meet?” but with LinkedIn, you can easily find potentially like-minded people through your connections.