Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Treat every connection like a potential employer or client

The best way to leverage your connections on Linkedin is to treat every person like as if he/she were a potential employer or client.

In other words, communicate ALL the information that is necessary for your connections to understand that you are the BEST person for a particular kind of job.

This requires that you develop a systematic methodology to FULLY CONVEY the ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that you are THE PERSON who is MOST QUALIFIED for and MOST MOTIVATED to do the job.

That's the secret that very, very few job seekers know.

Indeed, you should use your imagination and creativity to prove that you are the obviously correct choice for the job or contract.

For instance, imagine a company seeking a Proposal Writer. This person is in charge of managing the writing, editing and production of multimillion-dollar proposals which are submitted to executive buyers after a request for proposal (RFP).

Most candidates applying for such a job would typically send in a resume and cover letter.

The smart job seeker, however, sends in also the typical Proposal (in a neat binder) that he would do if he were really working as a Proposal Writer. In other words, he doesn't just send in "promises" (which is what a resume and cover letter really are), but actual "proof" that he CAN do the job and that he is (very) motivated to do the job.

Here's another metaphor that captures the same idea, so it can be understood clearly and so you can see its power and begin to let it work for you.

Imagine a beautiful woman being "pursued" by 5 males. 4 of them send her a love letter, including promises to do this or that for her. The fifth man encloses a piece of jewelry, with her name inscribed on it.

It's obvious who of the five males will be the lucky one!

The trick -- and this is a powerful trick -- is never to merely "apply for a job," but to "act like as if you had the job already."

Similarly, the trick is to treat EVERY one of your Linkedin connections like an employer or client. So do give them ALL the information they need to make the right decision (which is to hire you or contract you). Once they have ALL the relevant information, even if they are not in a position to hire you, they will at least be in a good position to recommend you to their connections.

What are you saying when you're saying nothing?

Every minute, our conscious brain is aware of 2,000 bits of information, while our unconscious brain is aware of 400 billion bits of information.

So the unconscious is really quite powerful! It regulates ALL the important activities of all important organs in our body.

Same thing with networking. Even when you're saying nothing to your network, you ARE saying something. So it's better to clearly clarify "what you're saying when you're saying nothing."

People who are political prime movers, have long mastered this art of saying something clearly without saying anything specific.

They use body language, gestures, insinuations, hints, facial expressions, choice of clothing, etc.

On Linkedin, it's much harder because everybody is "non-corporeal"!

One solution is to participate on Linkedin Answers by asking questions and providing answers. This is a great way for people to get to know you better.

You could also create a blog in order to share your knowledge, ideas, expertise, etc.

Being silent is definitely NOT recommended. If you are silent, then you simply do not exist in the Linkedin community. Even worse, others will view your silence as your unwillingness to be of service to them.

The solution is not difficult: just browse through the profiles of your connections, and ask them questions about their expertise or about anything that comes to your mind.

In other words, engage in conversation. That's the only way to show that you care, and that you are interested in exploring opportunities for win-win collaboration.