Change may be both necessary and inevitable but not all change is good. Before blindly accepting the newest idea in the market as the next panacea for a problem, I need to be convinced with facts and not hype. And I can and have been wrong more often than I like to admit. The computer has always been a business tool for me and not a play toy. And that is especially true for Social Media including LinkedIn. I now stand corrected at least as to LinkedIn. I’ve long held the view that there is something inherently wrong with the concept that everyone or anyone cares what I’m wearing, where I went, or what show I’m going to go see. Maybe my Ego just isn’t big enough. But show me how to derive value from a business application like LinkedIn and I’m ready to change.
I’ve been a linked in member since about 2002 or so and but virtually ignored it all that time. About 3 weeks ago I found out by mistake that I was wrong. Between appointments I had about 30 minutes of unplanned time and had committed to exploring LinkedIn to see if it had any real business value. As I opened the connections drop down in LinkedIn I saw a listing of several email icons. But about the same time I realized that I had a few minutes of preparation I hadn’t done for my next meeting and closed out LinkedIn without actually doing anything. Or at least that’s what I thought. About 20 Minutes later I started getting notices that my invitation to join linked in had been accepted and was frankly flabbergasted. In just a few minutes I had 18 connections from people that claimed I had invited them who had accepted. Before I could find out how this could happen I met with my next appointment and when I was finished went back to linked into find out how this “mistake” could have happened. Much to my surprise I had another good sized batch of new connections. Over the next few days the acceptances kept coming in and most were from people I knew and was happy to have an acceptance from. It took a couple of days for someone to explain what I must have done to make this happen and it was one of the best mistakes I’ve made in some time. I apparently hadn’t read the instructions in my haste and had managed to upload or download or whatever my entire outlook contact list and invited them to join me. One of the connections was a business contact I had lost touch with who had also lost touch with me. We are now working with each other again to our mutual delight. My connections count has grown to over 300 valuable business partners in less than a month. I think the term I’m looking for to describe my results is “even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.”
Regardless of how good our product or service is, unless we can get it in front of a decision maker-which for me is almost always a principal or a C level executive, it takes a variety of approaches to maximize our chances and LinkedIn has proven to me that it belongs in my arsenal. The value of Twitter and Facebook for business to business still escapes me. But who knows when I might make another mistake that proves to be valuable with one of these or some other new application. Happy Linking to all. To learn how to get a $2,500 training seminar for free, contact Barney Kramer, 209.444.6549, or firstname.lastname@example.org.