Thursday, May 30, 2013

S.U.R.F. model for using Linkedin properly

I had an insight yesterday about how to use Linkedin optimally and strategically. I call it the S.U.R.F. framework:

Useful (as in "be useful to others")
Fun, freedom, fortune

Linkedin is primarily for networking and building relationships, right?

But how do you do that? Especially if you haven't met a lot of your connections in real life?

That's where my little SURF framework comes into play.


You first have to SHARE something that might interest them.

If you don't know what might interest them, go join a Linkedin Group where it's obvious what they're interested in, like the Job Seekers group or the Marketing Professionals group, etc.

In my case, I share past workshops I've given on career management or marketing or entrepreneurship (I share the PowerPoint slides, for example, or videos I created using FastStone Capture -- cool little app that costs only $20!).


Next, if they liked what you share (you'll get a Thank You note or something like that), you can move to the next logical step, which is trying to be USEFUL to them.

Offer a service, a product, etc. You might decide to charge or not, it's up to you.

But at some point, you'll want to offer them a product or service for which you'll charge a reasonable amount.


Next comes the the relationship building.

As we all know, it takes some time and effort to build relationships.

Luckily, we're talking about career and business relationshiops here, not romantic relationships! LOL

So just keep sharing and keep proposing useful services and products to your connections.

You can even propose or suggest or recommend products and services from your connections (whether you get paid or compensated for this promotional activity, is entirely between you and the friend/connection you're promoting).


Last but not least, and certainly this is what we should all aim at, is the fun you get from participating like this on Linkedin.

If you're in business, you might even build a nice income that way from selling to Linkedin users.

And if you like to communicate with people online like I do, playing the Linkedin game the way I suggest in this post might even produce "flow" for you -- "flow" is defined as a state of creative activity you enjoy and are so lost into it that you lose the sense of time (which is my convenient excuse for often being late for my appointments!).

So friends, remember S.U.R.F. as you learn to navigate Linkedin and build your career or business on it.

If you have questions or comments or money you don't know what to do with, communicate with me at :)