Real Leaders

Will You be LinkedIn or LinkedOut?

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: The LinkedIn app logo is displayed on an iPhone on August 3, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

In my book, Tactical LinkedIn Secrets: Rantings from a Superconnector, I coin the phrase, “Will you be LinkedIn or LinkedOut?” The LinkedIn platform is the ‘go to’ for the seeker, the creator, and the already arrived. Life and business are often much alike in the strategies needed to succeed. And success means you need to know the tactical details and become a true tactician of your trade or any of your passions for that matter.

The value of LinkedIn? Superconnecting.  

When you have the access to connect at all echelons, and with various cultures, backgrounds, and people, you have uncovered opportunity. If you are a fundraiser for social change, you will find a niche.  If you are a purveyor of leadership principles, you will find a niche.  If you are keen to find purpose and make a difference, you will be in good company as you connect on LinkedIn.  

Your only limitation in the use of LinkedIn is not using it. If you don’t have a decent LinkedIn profile you will look like a dinosaur. And become fossilized. Dinosaur is not tantamount to the reptilian or aged, but reflective of basically being outdated – or left in the dust – LinkedOut. 

The ultimate indication of fossilization is a skeleton profile—a missing or antiquated picture, empty bio, no endorsements or posts. It will T-wreck your personal digital resume (PDR) and is worse than being a ghost. Those in the B2B segment who operate in the 20th Century, like it’s 1999, well, you won’t be the prince – that Prince was in that era.  

Facebook or facsimile? PDF or paper?

Deep dive or devoid of competitive knowledge?

Retargeted niche marketing or recruiter?

Real Estate Trends. Climate Change. Health. Education. Economics. Pandemonium in pandemic.  

Each topic, and many more are given attention, through the consortium of people on LinkedIn. There are those who challenge, offer insight, and who are advocating and assessing a better way and a better place.  It’s a premium space to play. 

Allow me to leave you with three tips to arm your digital quiver. In your quiver are the tools that will make your intentions fly – personal or professional:

1. Manage your Perpetual Digital Résumé (Your PDR)

You do have a PDR, and your colleagues, clients, co-workers and competitors are paying attention. Your PDR is vital to the health and wellness of your reputation — online and real world.

A word of advice: Approach the digital waters cautiously, deliberately and tactically. Digital tides will sweep out inconsequential posts, self-promotion and bland content. Avoid the dilemma of lack of preparation for online success. Corporate, philanthropic or individual, your digital legacy matters.

2. Set your notifications and Superconnect

Your notification settings are an especially useful tool for prospecting your competitors’ leads. Pick executives at your top five competing companies and set your notification to anytime.  It is also useful in finding funding sources, event sponsors, career and job information. It’s all about staying connected to the relationships. It is worth the investment in LinkedIn Premium to enable ease of connection and communication. 

A word of advice: Approach your content and contribution from a generous frame of mind. Don’t ration your passion — share your knowledge. And above all, don’t be fake. Authenticity and specialized problem solving are a key tactical secret to your success. Also, a picture is worth 1,000 words. A video is worth 1,000 pictures.

3. Communicate (and Advocate)

Since the dawn of the printing press nothing has been more influential than the written word. In your marketing and outreach, whatever your cause or intention may be, you must have a strategy and plan to communicate and engage. This may differ for your client, customer, employee, candidate, community, or funding source. 

A word of advice: Communication and the frequency and relevance of it are fast paced. Address: What will you write? How will you write it? How do you unleash your creativity? When do you deliver your messages? How do you make an impact? You must have tangible, dynamic and eye-popping marketing assets (e.g., video, interviews, commercials, social marketing posts, blogs, infographics, and newsletters).

In sum, the new LinkedIn theater of competition is enabling small and medium-sized organizations to not only compete at a different level, but to outmaneuver and outperform larger, established, cumbersome organizations through nimble creativity. Size doesn’t matter.  Relevance does.  No matter your current state – or your industry.

Don’t be LinkedOut.  It is an impediment to intel. LinkedIn is your new first impression, news source, publishing forum and networking tool—the novel handshake is digital, along with the information and follow up. An arrow you must have in your relationship building quiver.

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