Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Promote your work, not yourself, Part 2

I wrote previously that one should promote one's work, not oneself, on Linkedin. The key to doing that is to capture your knowledge into a physical or digital medium, like a book, an ebook, a podcast, a blog, etc.

That's what I did at http://realtimesuccesssecrets.blogspot.com, http://superparentsnetwork.wordpress.com, etc.

Indeed, make no mistake: Linkedin is mostly a business tool; people want to know what value you offer. They care less about who you are as a person. They care a little bit more about you as a professional. But ultimately, they care the most about you as a business person.

In short, they constantly ask themselves, "What is the value that this person (you) will or could bring me? Can I do business with this person?"

The only way for them to get a satisfactory answer is if you share your work samples or knowledge products that you've created in the past, such as a technical article, a white paper, a seminar, a podcast, a blog, an ebook, a published book, etc.

In other words, promote your work when you network. Don't promote yourself. There are over 18 million users on Linkedin, and the ONLY way to distinguish yourself is to create a knowledge product that effectively establishes you as an expert.

Indeed, if you tell people that you are an expert, they may or may not believe it. Personally, I instantly doubt all such claims.

However, if you give people an ebook you wrote, then that will make it easier for them to believe that you are indeed an authority in your field -- that is, an expert who can be trusted.

In other words, whatever you say to your Linkedin connections, ultimately, is just a promise. But what you've written in the form of a blog, ebook, article, etc. is a performance -- not a promise.

People believe performances, not promises.