Saturday, July 21, 2012

Your Linkedin profile is KEY to your success!

The current issue of Forbes magazine has a feature story on Linkedin, and reveals the strategic thinking that led Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner to successfully develop the company in the last four years.

Surprisingly, the article seems to bash Facebook while glorifying Linkedin, and I was a bit surprised by the blatant lack of objectivity in comparing the two companies.

However, facts are facts, and the author did back up his argument by mentioning, for instance, that Linkedin's share value has risen by 61% this past year, and its gross profits have increased by 70 % (its net profits by 100%).

The article also points out that Facebook cannot make money if its users are not online and reading stuff, while Linkedin DOES make money even if Linkedin users are NOT on the Linkedin site.

This is because Linkedin has developed sophisticated algorithms to mine the data and information about users, so that corporate talent scouts can efficiently find the candidate they are looking for.

Apparently, corporate employers are willing to pay up to $8,000 a year to have access to the search capabilities of Linkedin.

All of this bodes well for corporate talent scouts and headhunters, especially since one can expect the Linkedin population to keep growing far into the future.

But what about you, the Linkedin user?

When I first started blogging about Linkedin in June 2005, my focus was -- and still is! -- about empowering Linkedin users.

That is, the hard-working professionals and managers who constitute the majority of the Linkedin population.

I certainly don't mind that headhunters and corporations are benefitting from Linkedin, and I don't mind that Linkedin shareholders are poised to benefit financially from the information provided by Linkedin users.

My focus is really to help Linkedin users like YOU to benefit professionally and financially from Linkedin.

You benefit professionally by learning about how to market yourself on Linkedin

You benefit financially by learning how to market your freelance services or your products/services (if you're an entrepreneur) on Linkedin.

I've given workshops to career advisors in universities and continuing education centres, and I must say that Linkedin has not yet caught on in academic circles or in colleges and universities.

Yet, Linkedin is a very, very, very powerful tool for managing one's career.

Here are, in my opinion, the 8 steps you need to learn before you can master the Linkedin game:

Unique Value Proposition (UVP) *****
Profile **
Engagement *
Communication ***
Cocreation **
Contracting ****

The number of stars (or asterisks) gives you an indication of how difficult the task is:

No * : Easy
* : Difficult
** : Fairly difficult
*** : Very difficult
**** : Really difficult!
***** : So difficult that you could use professional help!

You see, what most people don't realize is that what you do on Linkedin, REVEALS to potential clients and employers WHAT IS IN YOUR MIND.

And since Linkedin caters mostly to professionals (not workers in the retail sector or blue-collar jobs), then you might or might not get a job BECAUSE of what you write (or don't write) on Linkedin.

Linkedin, then, is a marketing tool.

And like most marketing tool (brochure, website, blog, TV spots, radio commercials, etc.), you need a good copywriter.

The copywriter is the skilled professional who captures your human capital and "translates" it into words that will grab the attention of potential clients, employers, collaborators, etc.

These words will also establish your credibility in the Linkedin world.

Take your Linkedin profile, for instance.

If it's well written, it will project the very best image of you (even while you're sleeping!).

If it's not written well, it will ruin your reputation online and severely jeopardize your chances for career advancement.

Friends, I'm not trying to alarm you, I'm simply saying that your profile must be PROFESSIONAL.

Indeed, if you can't even manage a few paragraphs to protect YOUR career interests, how can you possibly manage a real corporate job to protect the interests of the employer?

That's what employers are thinking when they read your profile.

Your profile gives people an indication of how serious you are about your career.

In the next few posts, I'll discuss the other 7 steps.

But for now, please feel free to email me your current Linkedin profile and I'll do a free makeover for you.