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I'm offering my professional services as a copywriter free of charge to any LinkedIn user who would like to receive a professional audit of his / her LinkedIn profile.To benefit from this service free of charge (value of $200), please contact me BEFORE February 3, 2006 at email@example.com.My LinkedIn profile HERE.
LinkedIn for shy people
Networking doesn't come naturally. After all, as kids, we were constantly reminded by Mom and Dad never to speak to strangers. Yet, when you think about it, all the friends you now have, were once strangers. How did that happen? Well, most likely, you learned more and more about them, and vice versa.LinkedIn allows people to do just that. By reading someone's profile, you can get to know the essence of the other person. Then, you can decide to connect or not with that person (by sending him / her a properly written email clearly describing areas or topics of mutual interest).LinkedIn is especially good for people who might be shy about talking to strangers, yet want to network for professional or business reasons.
Master knowledge to network more effectively
Dave Pollard did a great job of capturing the 12 important knowledge activities in the diagram above (full article HERE).
I would say there are 3 major knowledge-related activities: Learn, Master & Share.
LinkedIn is a networking tool, so obviously, it's more about sharing information and knowledge. ---> Blue boxes.
However, it seems difficult (but still doable, for those who are determined) to use LinkedIn effectively and profitably, unless one has expended a fair amount of effort in processing and mastering a certain area of knowledge. ---> Black boxes.
After all, if a person has not mastered a certain area of knowledge, then how useful can such a person be to others? Of course, I'm strictly referring to "intellectual usefulness," since every person can be useful and appreciated for his /her friendship, support, concern and care.
I think the greatest challenge for LinkedIn users will be to think about and determine, after careful and sober analysis, what their most valuable knowledge and experience happen to be. Then, they should clearly mention them on their LinkedIn profile so others can know what it is that they can learn if they connect with the person.
Favorville (www.favorville.com) is a site worth visiting. It's where people offer to help, or ask for help.
It's very specific, that's why it seems to work.
It's quite different from LinkedIn in that it's not about who you are, your credentials, how many endorsements or connections you have. It's simply about what you can do to help another person who is humble enough (therefore quite smart) to ask for help.
Linkedin helps people usually about big things, like getting a job or employees or developing business. Favorville helps people about little things -- favors.
Both complement one another quite nicely.
Can't rely on family and friends
It may sound counterintuitive, but in a very important sense, one can seldom rely on friends and family today for career or business purposes.That's because career management or business development are so technical and require specialized knowledge. For example, would you rely on a friend or relative if you had a tooth ache? More likely, you would go to a professionally trained dentist.Since there so many challenges in today's competitive economy, it seems strategic, therefore, to build a network of experts, guides, teachers and trainers to help one achieve professional or business goals.(Of course, one should still rely on, and show appreciation for, close friends and family in the case of sudden catastrophes or moments of deep emotional distress).
Is society cheating you?
The Economics of Innocent Fraud, by John K. Galbraith, is a good book I highly recommend, especially to parents who want to teach their kids about how society REALLY works.One of the main lessons of the book is that mass institutions will do anything to manage public response to their advantage. Call it mass advertising, political propaganda, PR spin, educational system, etc. -- the result is the same: the citizen's mind is seized, controlled and made to conform to societal standards.Erich Fromm, in 1976, said the same thing: that the socioeconomic structure of society shapes people's thinking and social character so that they WANT to do what they HAVE to do.Billionaire Charlie Munger also says the same thing: that there are so many errors of judgment out there, and most of them are reinforced by societal institutions.I believe that only by networking with one another can we truly inform one another of what is true and what is false. Only then can we empower ourselves, and take charge of our lives.
Honesty is (once again) the best policy
It seems a person can benefit the most from his/her Linkedin connections by simply telling them what he/she needs, and what he/she can offer.For example, you might want to list the kinds of information you are looking for, and might want to list the kinds of information you currently have (bookmarks, white papers, articles, etc.) so that your connections can more easily "trade" with you.You might also want to state your career goal, and gently/politely ask people to forward information to you that might help you get closer to that career goal.Last but not least, you can provide examples of how you were able to help people in the past, so that your connections know what you are able and willing to do for them.