LinkedIn is for professionals to help one another be more successful. In my mind, this is not up for debate. If you disagree with that point, too bad, stop reading. What I am about to say will only anger you more. For the life of me, I cannot understand why people slink around in the shadows on LinkedIn, what is it they hope to accomplish for themselves? Let's talk about some of the "ghosting" I see on LinkedIn. Full disclosure, I am sure many people do some of these things unintentionally. If that is the case, you get a pass. But it is important that you make those changes quickly and come out of the shadows. If you need help, let me know, I will be glad to help you.
ITEM NUMBER 1: THE "ANONYMOUS" GHOST
I frequently check who is looking at my profile. Not because I am vain, but because it can prompt a great business opportunity. If I notice that a C level executive from a target client looked at my profile in the last hour and then I call that person, the likelihood of getting a meeting goes up dramatically. However, there are many people that want to look at my profile as "anonymous." I am not sure what you are hiding Mr. Ghost, but change that setting now, you are not helping yourself.
ITEM NUMBER 2: SHARED CONNECTIONS ONLY
I find it very amusing when I look at someone's profile and the only connections I can see are the ones we share. Again, the purpose of LinkedIn is to help one another. If I cannot see who you are connected to, I cannot ask for help. If you could not see my connections, you would not know to ask me for help. The immediate argument I get is "yeah well, what if a competitor wants to steal your customers and you now gave them direct access to that person?" Okay, stop that "non-argument" right there. I have not given that person access to anything. I am connected to hundreds of people whom I would consider a competitor and I don't see a single scenario where they call my customer and say " Hi, I'm a friend of Mike Shelah and I want to do business with you." If it were that easy, people would steal customers from each other left and right. Also, if that is how you feel, you have very little confidence in your relationship with your customers. That... Is a YOU problem.
ITEM NUMBER 3: INTRODUCTIONS
I know people, you know people, why shouldn't we help one another meet the people that we need to connect with? I cannot tell you how may times I have asked someone to make an introduction for me and they have given me the "well, I don't really know them that well, so I don't think my introduction would help." Well, you know them better than I do! Or even better "well Mike, I could not recommend you because I have not used your service and don't know anything about it." So why did we connect? Why am I in your network? What is it exactly that you use LinkedIn for? The WHOLE point of LinkedIn is to build a network, a legitimate network of real people. We all start out, not knowing anyone and then other people "introduce" us. Here is an idea. If you are not willing to introduce me to someone, then get out of my network. Go ahead, you won't hurt my feelings. It looks like we won't be doing any business together any way. I don't connect with people to "pad my stats." I connect because I want to build. I help you and one day, you will be able to help me, it really is very simple.
ARE YOU ANGRY? EXCITED? MOTIVATED? CURIOUS? GOOD, IT WORKED
I really do hope this post kicks off hundreds of conversations, debates and arguments. I hope some of you tell me that you love it and others challenge me to tell me I am crazy (or worse). Let's hear what you have to say! If you disagree with me, articulate your position. Don't just tell me I am wrong. We can grow through healthy debate. Feel free to share this with your networks too and get them fired up! As always, thank you for taking the time to read this. I sincerely did mean my earlier statement, if you need help making these changes, contact me, I will be glad to help you.