Thursday, January 04, 2007

Using Linkedin for business purposes

The above map shows the vision I've had since the beginning, in co-founding Talentelle ( with my sister Zoonie.

Linkedin is about to play a major role in our search for Country Managers to rapidly deploy our e-learning infrastructure.

This strategic use of Linkedin for business purposes is often missed by employees, who merely see Linkedin as a way to have access to a greater pool of job opportunities.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with that, if being an employee is what you are aiming for.

However, nobody ever got rich by working for someone else.

This is why I began to write this blogzine: to introduce the idea that Linkedin can be used most strategically for liberating oneself economically and financially.

The very first step in building one's business network, is to look at oneself and ask: "What is it that is so special about me that other people, especially the people I want to network with, will WANT to meet me and get to know me?"

Unfortunately, most of the Linkedin profiles I've read so far show a lack of professional purpose. Nobody writes down their career objective, or their mission, or anything that would show that the person seriously thought about the critical career question: "What do you want to contribute?"

This question is the one Peter Drucker asked of people who came to him for career advice. I find it to be a simple, yet poignant, frank and direct question.

You can have 500 connections on Linkedin, yet it won't help much if you don't know what it is that you are trying to do in your career.

Clarifying one's career objective is not that difficult. At first, you start with a basic sentence like: "I would like to become a marketing professional."

Then, you refine it further: "To become a marketing communications professional working in the IT industry, and use my creativity, leadership and project management skills to ensure the long-term success of my clients."

Once it is clear to you, and to everyone you know, what your career is all about, it then becomes easier to network since you are operating from a solid foundation of self-honesty and vocational clarity.

From then on, it is also easier to develop business contacts if you are running a business on the side, or have plans to launch a business in the future.