linkedin or left out?

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Even if your tolerance on the social networking scale is low, you’ve likely heard of and may have even set up a free account with LinkedIn.

If you do have a LinkedIn profile, I hope you’ll take a moment to include me in your network.

View Peter O'Connell's profile on LinkedIn

Should you need to know more about LinkedIn or how to take better advantage of it as a tool, here are some valuable resources.

Christopher S. Penn on Using Linked In to Build Your Personal Network

Jan Visser on 3 Reasons LinkedIn Won’t Help You Sell

Linked Intelligence on 100+ Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn

Jill Konrath’s e-book “Can LinkedIn Increase Your Sales?”

For those of you unfamiliar with LinkedIn, it is an online, primarily business-based social networking hub – you create your personal profile with employment history, education and you start “linking” to people on the site that you know.

It’s that last part, “people on the site that you know” that frustrates me a bit.

When it comes to social situations, I err on the side of being outgoing. I introduce myself and ask question about other people’s lives, businesses etc. because I am interested.

If it’s a business networking situation, I want to know if there’s an opportunity for a business networking opportunity…in EITHER direction…I’m always willing to help a quality concept with connections even if there’s no business in it for me.

But I will dive head first into a group of people with whom I am unfamiliar. In fact, I prefer it.

LinkedIn pretty much wants you to stay with people you know, getting introduced to new folks only via the people you already know. They feel a lead like that will be more effective and less obnoxious than going in cold.

I agree with all of that…to a point.

Far be it from me to want to be seen as a spammer or someone who wants to connect with everybody on LinkedIn. I want only quality connections but sometimes the only way into that quality connection is the direct way.

Some folks don’t like that direct way, they are shy or private or reserved or suspicious or too darn busy to be dealing with strangers. I respect and honor their right to be one, some or all of those things and it’s not my desire to break down that wall if that’s not what the recipient wants.

My intent doesn’t always translate on the internet. LinkedIn got mad at me once a while back for my direct way as some people said they didn’t know me. Yes, I said, that was my point but the system is set up to honor the subtler approach. I try and be more respectful of the system even though I know there are many people who are direct like me (that’s how they’ve gotten thousands of connections…I don’t want that).

If you’ve ever participated in a social media meet up, which is like a networking event only with people who are all involved in one particular channel of social media, you know how valuable the connections you make there can be. You start the event knowing a few people from your network maybe but leave knowing 10. It is a welcoming environment in the very way social media should always be. But my way is not always the right way nor is it for everyone. I get that.

It just seems that there should be a way for LinkedIn participants who are open to more direct connections to indicate that in their profile so that the shy or private or reserved or suspicious or too darn busy folks aren’t bothered by the rest of us who want to make direct and quality connections.

That all said, I think LinkedIn is a great tool.

Thanks for reading.

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