What is LinkedIn and Why Should You Join?

What is LinkedIn and Why Should You Join?

As my children are now of the high school age, and they themselves are starting to create their own LinkedIn profiles, I continue to be surprised by the very few number of people that are on the platform. While I don’t expect every student to be on LinkedIn, having a LinkedIn profile is so important from a professional branding perspective, I still sometimes have to answer this question of what is LinkedIn and why one should join the platform.

I originally wrote this post for a different audience, local social media friends who I met from Twitter back in the day who were hyper active on Twitter but not at all on LinkedIn.  Many saw the latter as just being a site for “professionals” or really didn’t know what to do with it. 

In order to really explain what is the value of spending time on LinkedIn to those that are new to it or do not fully understand it, I think it is best to ask what it is in the first place and elaborate some reasons why everyone (and I mean everyone from GenZ and high school students to Gen Y and Millenial college students to Baby Boomers) should be utilizing it.

What is LinkedIn?

what is a _____?

LinkedIn is really a huge database of professionals. Twitter lacks profile depth, Facebook is all over the place demographically and is also hard to find people. LinkedIn standardizes information entered by users into predefined “Profile Headline”, “Summary”, “Education”, “Company”, etc. categories. In addition to this huge database of information, the platform also provides an awesome search tool to allow you to pinpoint the person you are looking for depending on a number of very specific factors (i.e. LinkedIn for nonprofits, for professionals, for businesses, etc).

On the other hand, the more connections you have, the closer you will appear to more people – and the closer others that you might want to contact will appear to you.

So What is LinkedIn? Here’s how LinkedIn defines itself:

YouTube video

And this is how I define LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is the place to find other professionals and be found by other professionals.

How is LinkedIn Different as a Social Network?

As a social network, LinkedIn just differs from others because it is targeted entirely as a professional network. Although there are public profiles just as there are with any other social network, LinkedIn is specifically designed to match potential employers with potential employees and provide a place for online resumes and networking, in order to build a network of potential clients, connections, and business associates. In essence, LinkedIn is designed to maximize career opportunities, rather than acting as a place to casually chat, share images or thoughts, and generally socialize from your email address book (although that has changed over the last few years…). From landing your dream job to building connections with professionals in your field, LinkedIn is made for professionals and aspiring professionals. 

What are LinkedIn’s Main Features?

While most people are familiar with the basic features of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, fewer are certain how to use LinkedIn for personal branding, or what components of LinkedIn are actually designed to use and maximize reach. There are several important aspects of LinkedIn and LinkedIn marketing solutions that should not be overlooked. These include:  

1. Your Professional Profile

Like the profiles you’ll create on most of your social media sites, expanding your LinkedIn network starts with your profile. While profiles on other sites might focus on personality, your professional profile is used to separate yourself from the countless other internet users on LinkedIn chasing professional connections and exposure. The professional profile attached to user IDs provides LinkedIn’s user base with a platform from which to share their professional achievements, their previous positions, and their current interests. 

Here’s a video offering you some profile advice for both students AND professionals:

YouTube video

Further Reading: 12 Killer LinkedIn Profile Examples to Inspire You to Update Your Own

2. Professional Search Engine

The professional search engine is the LinkedIn tool used to find and connect with other LinkedIn users based on their professional interests, previous positions and current positions, and more. User searches can be utilized to locate and develop second-degree connections, third-degree connections, and more from LI’s user base, and can even be used to see how others in your field are utilizing the platform. Business professionals can use the search function to identify prospective employees, while hopeful job-seekers can develop business relationships and put themselves out there for any new opportunities that may arise. Far more than a social networking tool, this search engine tool can help expand your networking reach. 

3. In-App Messaging (Emails)

There is something of a LinkedIn learning curve, especially when it comes to messaging. Business owners, burgeoning entrepreneurs, recruiters, and job-seekers alike can connect with people via in-app messaging, which essentially functions like email–with one notable exception: public profiles and private profiles are equal in terms of how messaging works. You cannot send or see messages with those who are not first-degree connections or group members, unless you are seeking an audience, and send another type of message to try to make a connection. The LinkedIn learning curve here can be steep, as you learn the ins and outs of messaging etiquette.  

4. Your Newsfeed

Like most social media platforms, your newsfeed is where you will stay up-to-date on the latest information, including career opportunities, from your connections and people in your network and the networks of your first-degree connections and further out. Your newsfeed will contain information from businesses you follow, the people you are connected with, people and things that might interest you, potential employers, and more. Your newsfeed may contain items from the LinkedIn blog that are relevant to your interests, may provide advice and information from LinkedIn top companies, and more, all designed to keep you in the loop and connected with LinkedIn in order to maintain engagement and keep your network growing beyond your first degree connections and even your second and third degree connections. 

5. Your Content

The content you post can function as an advertisement, of sorts, for who you are and what you are about, but can also function in a similar way to an email platform, in that it can help you publish content that is relevant to what is going on with you professionally. From your profile, you can publish status updates, blog posts, and newsletters (for those who have Creator Mode). Although the content you publish should not be terribly personal in nature, as this is still a professional social network, it can be used to publish content you’ve posted elsewhere (think guest posts and links to other sites to increase your profile views), update others on your current professional endeavors, and more. Your content is where you are able to show a bit of who you are and what you’re capable of, to set yourself apart from other business professionals–and to set you apart from the fake profiles that are so prolific on social media as a whole. 

6. Job Boards

linkedin job boards

As the name suggests, job boards are a source of business insider posting and recruitment efforts. LinkedIn job boards have a possible advantage over other job postings, as there are professional networking opportunities built into LinkedIn job boards, while other boards do not have this same opportunity. There is also the advantage of built-in contact invitations that do not exist on job boards that are not also social networking tools, and perusing LinkedIn’s job boards can be beneficial for both business owners and prospective employees. 

Further Reading: LinkedIn Invitations: All of Your Questions Answered

7. LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn groups can be groups who exist within the same industry categories to connect and share experiences, but can also be useful ways to connect future employers with prospective employees. From a group within the cottage industry used to connect different builders and specialists, to groups for realtors, LinkedIn groups are an excellent way to increase your networking efforts, connect job candidates to their target company, and provide a consistent space for people to engage with others in their field. Groups can help connect volunteer opportunities to volunteers, introduce one aficionado to another, and even connect people across disparate fields through shared interests. 

8. LinkedIn Learning

linkedin learning

LinkedIn Learning is a resource unique to the platform, as it provides users with a way to source projects, courses, and classes to make sure they acquire the skills they need to succeed. Classes are technically presented by the LInkedIn corporation, but LinkedIn corp is not the only source of information; instead, learning resources can come from numerous different LinkedIn users, covering everything from online resumes and how to effectively craft them, to how to use LinkedIn to maximize your time and effort spent there, to fulfilling a niche requirement for Excel sheets. From completing a course to successfully function with technical skills in a startup in San Francisco, to technical skills requested within a specific industry, we’ve got you covered. 

4 Reasons Why You Should Use LinkedIn Regularly

Here are the 4 biggest reasons you should be more active on LinkedIn for those who are still not sure as to how much time they want to spend on the networking platform

1) Getting Back in Touch (Finding & Being Found)

Yes, Classmates.com and Facebook also allow you to get back in touch. But because of the search functionality that LinkedIn has, I am finding people there that I can’t find on the other social networking sites. And because it is easier to be found on LI, many are finding me too! You can find people primarily from where you both went to school as well as where you’ve worked.

2) Career Management (and Personal Branding)

Social Networking is career Insurance that you can never have enough of.

The advice is the same whether you are looking for a job or are happily employed: a network should be your insurance for your future career growth. Companies are organic entities whose needs change and do not and cannot promise you a guarantee that your job will be there 10 years from now, next year, or even next month. That is why you need to be on LinkedIn so that you can both find potential companies and recruiters as well as be found by them. Even if you are happy in your job, it can’t hurt to have a minimal profile on LinkedIn and receive contacts from recruiters in your industry or specialty who may be able to help you out in the future, can it? LinkedIn is free career insurance! BUY INTO IT with a profile in correspondence regularly with others in your field!

Want to really rev up your personal branding on LinkedIn? Do these things:

  1. Turn Creator Mode ON
  2. List the 5 hashtags that you want your personal brand to be known by
  3. List the up to 50 Skills that best describe your professional experience to increase profile views and make it clear that you are not a fake profile

Further Reading: 15 Killer LinkedIn Headline Examples to Inspire Your Personal Branding

3) Engage in Sales and Marketing to an Influential Business Audience

LinkedIn is the social networking tool for businesses and those in search of business opportunities, so naturally, it makes sense for business professionals to utilize LinkedIn as a source of sales and marketing. This can be achieved through direct application of tech skills and creating ads within LinkedIn, but it can also mean simply reaching out and connecting with others in authentic, genuine ways, prior to making a pitch or suggesting a product or service. Sales and marketing on LinkedIn will target the more tech- savvy individuals, and does not target the way that Instagram, Facebook, and other social sites do. 

Further Reading: 5 LinkedIn Summary Examples (and 7 Tips) to Help You Attract More Leads

4) Network with and Recruit Your Next Superstar Employee (or Executive or Business Partner)

As its name suggests, LinkedIn is about linking to others, particularly those who exist in your sphere of influence in your work. If you are a journalist, for instance, you might want to orbit around the Washington Post, the New Yorker, and other journalist-heavy publications. If you are in search of a place to show your tech skills, you’ll want to hover near connections and groups that discuss technical skills. Whether you’re seeking tech skills or you’re looking to drum up some email conversations with potential candidates for a job, LinkedIn has professional networking opportunities for you.

What is the Difference Between a Free and Paid Account (LinkedIn Premium)?

LinkedIn Premium offers several features that go above and beyond standard, free LinkedIn membership. The most significant of these features include: 

  • Access to LinkedIn learning
  • Increased search features
  • Additional communication abilities, to connect with others not in your network and fuel contact sales 
  • Profile viewing analytics tools
  • Job and salary insights

All of these functions together can help companies and laypersons alike leverage this social networking tool to increase contact invitations, place emphasis on a target field or company, and increase the likelihood of encountering a future employer or potential candidate for a job, all for significantly less than $12 per month. 

Further Reading: These are the Best 11 LinkedIn Premium Features You Should Check Out

In Conclusion

If you still don’t understand what LinkedIn is and its value and why you should join and leverage LinkedIn , I have not done my job as a blogger and LinkedIn advocate. If you are still confused, please comment and let me know how I can help you see the light! Better yet, download the free ebook below for even more free advice to help you get the most from LinkedIn!

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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83 Comments

  1. I am using Linkedin since last year. And I have good connection. But I never get any useful things there.

  2. i’ve been on linkedin since 2010, but it never worked for me, Although i’m quite active with my profile, skills and daily updates.

  3. Thanx Neal for share it. You are absolutely right. Linkedin is a powerful platform to boost carrier. We can linked from many expertise which are relevant to our carrier field.

  4. I may be missing out on something or truly do not understand but I do not know how hearing about what someone else does for a living helps me. I have been a member of Linkedin for over a year and even though I have noticed plenty of people that I know and know me on there, it has not helped me to find better employment which is why I joined in the first place. People who know me and are in positions where they can help are not rushing to reach out even though they may know about my professionalism and the quality of my work. How does this type of NETWORKING help.

    • William, with all respect, it’s all about who you know. and LinkedIn helps you stay in better touch and connected to those who you do know. What do you with it from there is up to you, whether it’s using LinkedIn’s Advanced People search tool to map out organizations where you want to work and find which of your connections can make an introduction for you or browsing through your connections’ connections to see who it might lead you to.

  5. hi neal I have a ? I work with multilevel network com. what good is linkedin for me? what can it do for me?

    • LinkedIn is full of people that you can network with Ricardo … I assume that would provide you some value, no?

  6. Is LinkedIn a site that would be beneficial for a blue collar worker wanting to move to a western state?

    • Yes. How would you know 1) where to look for a job and 2) how to promote yourself when there are so many companies that are active on LinkedIn looking for employees? While there are definitely more white collar jobs being posted on LinkedIn, the same decision makers are on there, so even just to set up a nice profile to promote your personal brand would be a good investment of time in my personal opinion.

  7. when I accepted an “invitation” from a friend to join LinkedIn, I didn’t know what I was getting into. Apparently, all my contacts are being “contacted” requesting (from me) an invitation to join. I am not exactly thrilled about this. There are people I don’t want to hear from again accepting. Some business contacts of mine are upset about my “invitation” & I don’t know how to go about releasing them from LinkedIn. How has this happened?? AND what can I do to remedy this situation & informing people that I did not offer up any invitations to join.

    • I have heard many people make this same complaint, and I am not 100% sure of the source of the problem. But, if you upload your contact database and send invitations to all of them, those that are on LinkedIn will receive the standard LinkedIn invite while those not on LinkedIn will be invited to join LinkedIn from you. The only way to remedy the situation is to go back and see who you might have sent invitations to by re-uploading your email database and contacting them one by one.

      If you never authorized LinkedIn to access your contact database, then this is a bigger issue and you should be in direct contact with LinkedIn.

      Hope the information helps.

  8. I would like through you getting held to be in connact with Mr Rajiv shah he met me in DRcongo but I did no
    t get time to talk to him.

      • I have no business, I do not work. I am on disability. What, if any, benefits will I get from joining? I still dont even understand what LinkedIn is or is about. I got an invite from someone I know and dont know if there is any real point in joining.

        • If you don’t want to get back in touch with people, reach out and network with new people, or read business and career information, LinkedIn might have limited value to you Trey.

  9. I noticed your 30 September reply to Gloria and, since I am a bit further along “in the boat” at age 77 and no longer in the work force, devoting most of my time instead to volunteer activities, I truly doubt that any benefits can be accrued if this old engineer and sailor were to join LinkedIn. I do no social networking at all and really have no intention to start in at this point in the boat — someone else can man the oars. So, my question is: how can I politely decline invitations from other septuagenarians to join them in LinkedIn? Is there a “button” I can press on your site which states “Thanks, but no thanks!” in a kinder manner? Thank you!

    • Hi John, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. While I do think there is a way to use LinkedIn to help enhance your volunteer experience, I won’t go that route and instead focus on answering your question ;-)

      My recommendation would be to either 1) reply without accepting and creating a message that you could copy and paste explaining that you won’t be accepting their invitation or 2) simply press the “ignore” button. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any follow up questions.

  10. I have been contacted by some friends to join. I am 66 yrs old, retired & see no value in joining. Some of my friends are much younger & professions but others are in the same boat of retirement. Why should I join?

    • Hi Gloria, if you have no reason to join than you shouldn’t. If you are using social media to help keep in touch with friends, Facebook might be your best bet. However, there might be some people that you have worked with or went to school with that you might not find on Facebook but might be present on LinkedIn. For that reason alone I think there is value in opening up an account and connecting with long-lost friends… Just one idea for your consideration.

  11. So what’s your take on those that are now semi retired? I left my job of 30+ years, it had become a miserable situation and my Wife is now our sole income generator. I am not officially retired but have no interest or need at this time to find employment, it would be something totally different anyway so my current LI profile really isn’t relative. I hesitate to walk completely away from it but it’s really just a snapshot of where I was when I left last year.

    Your thoughts?

    • Social media all comes down to your objective. If, by staying on the site, you’re able to keep in touch with old colleagues and friends also be searchable by them, doesn’t that in itself have value? Would love your thoughts vis a vis your objective and my idea. Thanks!

  12. I still don’t see much advantage. The only people that can view my profile are LI members (or is there some way that is not immediately obvious)?. Other people would have to sign up, but will probably just move on to googleing (or even the phone book) professionals in my area like I am about to do. Yes maybe I could have signed up by now instead responding to this blog but i still don’t know how a profile is even presented let alone what chance I have of finding the skills i’m looking for. If I could view the profiles of freelance mastering engineers & then contact them without being a member then I could see the point & I would be more inclined to use it. It’s much quicker to pick up a phone, talk to a human, & come up with a plan. No blogs, emails, or digital sheep involved !

    • LinkedIn has 200 million+ users. If you want to be found – or find others – that represent that community, there are benefits in joining. But if you don’t see any benefits in joining, there is no reason to join! It all comes down to your objective more than anything else in my opinion.

  13. As is so typical of many of the supposedly brilliant websites out there, I have found LindedIn impossible to contact to straighten out my problem.  It claims that my e-mail address is already in use.  Oh, really? Then why has it worked on other sites all these years, and in hotmail as well, without any notice of duplication?  Never mind the run-around I’m getting by trying to rectify the situation. You’re the closest I’ve been able to get to a contact.    

    • You bring up a very good point. There is one post on this blog that has garnered a number of comments from users in a similar situation to you with complaints where LinkedIn doesn’t seem to be listening. Definitely not good for their PR. Hopefully your situation will rectify itself soon, but please do keep us posted!

  14. So when u get an invite from a professional friend or relative and you are not a professional why would I want to join? Also should I even be on LI then ??

  15. I am a CPA looking to re-enter the workforce after 20 years.  I lived overseas 14 of those years and did volunteer work at the kid’s school, etc. Would LinkedIn benefit me? I do not have a job now and am in the process of updating my technical and computer skills. 

    • Clarice, LinkedIn benefits any and every networker because it’s where hiring managers are, your professional network is, and other professionals from whom you can learn from. Please give it a try – you won’t be sorry!

  16. I”m doing a research paper on LinkedIn and need the following information. Company background, Mission of this site, membership info and membership stats

  17. Hi Krizia,

    LinkedIn can help you get back in touch with colleagues and classmates that you might not have found on Facebook and Classmates.com. More importantly, you can now use LinkedIn’s search to see who your connections might connect you with for your future career or even networking needs. Finally LinkedIn Groups and Answers also give you the ability to ask questions, answer questions, and learn a great deal of information that can help you in your career. Hope this helps…

  18. Hi Wally,

    Thanks so much for your comment. My retired father is in his 80’s, signed up to LinkedIn, and has been able to get back in touch with many people that he is worked with in his professional life that he lost touch with over the years. He has been able to meet some of them and have phone conversations with them as well. So, for retirees, LinkedIn (as well as Facebook) could help you get back in touch with those you might have lost touch with. If this is something you are seriously interested in, you should take advantage of the opportunity.

    The other way in which LinkedIn might interest you is to stay on top of news in your industry or whatever interests you in the business world.

    Finally, you could use LinkedIn to meet new people in your area by joining local LinkedIn Groups as well as looking for local networking events in the Events application.

    So reasons for using LinkedIn are only limited by what your potential objectives might be. If you’re looking for photos, games, and funny jokes, Facebook will be a funner experience. But LinkedIn can also help enrich your daily life in many ways.

    Hope that this explanation made sense. Feel free to respond back if you have any follow up questions.

    Neal Schaffer

  19. So, I am retired or try to be at least.  So what connection should I have to Lindedin or Linkedin to me?  As a retiree how do I contribute  Do I have anything to contribute?  Of what value is it for me to be connected to Linked in?  I had no knowledge of Linked in until a friend invited me to be connected a few days ago. Perhaps you could give me some insight into some of the questions I have asked.

    Wally Collett

  20. Why would I refer someone who’s on LinkedIn if I haven’t used their services.   And why would I use someone just because they’re on LinkedIn.  Am I going to tell people “hey, use this guy for your carpet cleaning.  I have no clue who he is and I’ve never used his services, or anyone I know, but hey, he’s on LinkedIn.”  I’ve had friends try to refer me to someone they had dinner with, or stood in line at Starbucks with, but know nothing about them.”  I’ve had people from LinkedIn ask if we could have a mutual referral agreement.  If I refer someone it’s going to be because I’ve seen their work, or a friend has really seen their work.  Not just because they picked up the person’s business card somewhere.  I want someone to prove their abilities before I refer them.

  21. Hi Christine,

    Thanks for the comment and question! Your question is one that I receive often, so here is how I answer everyone:

    LinkedIn is a platform for social networking among professionals. So, imagine you went to a Chamber of Commerce meeting. Would you, after arriving, take a megaphone and announce to the crowd at maximum value about the services your company offers? You wouldn't right? You would first get to know the people around you, ask what they do, and maybe, slowly, start to introduce what you do without unbalanced self-promotion.

    Does this make sense? LinkedIn is no different. Start blasting new connections and LinkedIn Groups with self-promoting messages and you will be ignored. Start asking how you can help others and become a good listener and you may have a chance to have people help you find business.

    Promoting on LinkedIn isn't any easier than promoting at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. it is the same scenario: it is people-centric, so you need to have good people skills in order to succeed.

    That being said, if you want to “promote” your company in the old-fashioned way, you have the option of:

    – LinkedIn Direct Ads advertising (like Google AdWords)
    – Creating a LinkedIn Company Profile (search my blog for the post I wrote on this)

    Remember Christine, social media was made for people, not businesses. In order to succeed you must be a good networker. And I believe my book, and the concept of Windmill Networking, shall give you some good advice on how to succeed not just in LinkedIn but any other social networking website.

    Hope all of this makes sense to you. Good luck…and do let us know how you do!

    @NealSchaffer

  22. Hi Neal –
    Your book looks like it will be very helpful…Thank you!
    A quick question for now…
    Do I just introduce myself to business people on Linked In and tell them about my great service that I have to offer them? Or do I chat and have a signature file?
    Or do I post info about my service somewhere?
    How exactly do I promote my service on LinkedIn?

    Thanks for your help!!!!

  23. Hi Christine,

    Thanks for the comment and question! Your question is one that I receive often, so here is how I answer everyone:

    LinkedIn is a platform for social networking among professionals. So, imagine you went to a Chamber of Commerce meeting. Would you, after arriving, take a megaphone and announce to the crowd at maximum value about the services your company offers? You wouldn't right? You would first get to know the people around you, ask what they do, and maybe, slowly, start to introduce what you do without unbalanced self-promotion.

    Does this make sense? LinkedIn is no different. Start blasting new connections and LinkedIn Groups with self-promoting messages and you will be ignored. Start asking how you can help others and become a good listener and you may have a chance to have people help you find business.

    Promoting on LinkedIn isn't any easier than promoting at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. it is the same scenario: it is people-centric, so you need to have good people skills in order to succeed.

    That being said, if you want to “promote” your company in the old-fashioned way, you have the option of:

    – LinkedIn Direct Ads advertising (like Google AdWords)
    – Creating a LinkedIn Company Profile (search my blog for the post I wrote on this)

    Remember Christine, social media was made for people, not businesses. In order to succeed you must be a good networker. And I believe my book, and the concept of Windmill Networking, shall give you some good advice on how to succeed not just in LinkedIn but any other social networking website.

    Hope all of this makes sense to you. Good luck…and do let us know how you do!

    @NealSchaffer

  24. Hi Neal –
    Your book looks like it will be very helpful…Thank you!
    A quick question for now…
    Do I just introduce myself to business people on Linked In and tell them about my great service that I have to offer them? Or do I chat and have a signature file?
    Or do I post info about my service somewhere?
    How exactly do I promote my service on LinkedIn?

    Thanks for your help!!!!

  25. Hey Alejandro,

    Thanks for the comment. I agree 100% that I would love to be able to meet all of my contacts in LinkedIn….however, my opinion is that if I were to do that I would be limiting myself to the potential of connecting with people with whom I could create a mutually beneficial relationship. I also only send out invitations to people who I have something in common with as well.

    On the other hand, the definition of a LinkedIn LION is someone who accepts all invitations that they receive. Even if you don't advertise yourself as a LION, if you accept all invitations you are an “Open Networker” in my book.

    @NealSchaffer

  26. I believe people must meet their contacts in LinkedIn, or at least, to share something in common to be in contact.

    But on the other hand, I accept all the invitations I get, but I don´t ask to be in contact to someone without a good reason.

    Am I a LION, a panther, a leopard o a CAT?

    Best Regards

    Alejandro

    • Good morning Neal, I just started my home base Avon business and I’m trying to build my customers on line. I built my web site as well as a page on face book. My question for you is, how would LinkedIn benefit my business?

      Mary

  27. This is a very clear explanation of Linkedin and its benefits. Let me join immediately
    Kalisa Fred, Rwanda , Africa

  28. It really depends on the demographic. Something tells me that Twitter catches on faster in urban areas, but I have yet to confirm this. Needless to say, for professionals, LinkedIn is the place where you HAVE to be. I think that Twitter is a place where all professionals SHOULD be…

  29. I did a LinkedIn presentation last week for about 100 people and I asked how many LinkedIn users also had a Twitter account? Five hands raised, but they all had LinkedIn accounts! Just the opposite of what you were talking about in your article. Must have something to do with geography, they don't use Twitter in the MW.

  30. George,

    Sorry if my comment made no sense to me. What I am talking about is the wording in your resume headline or professional headline on LinkedIn, which appears just before your name. The keywords or language that you you use here will decide how others perceive you. I could write “Social Media Book Author”, “President, Windmills Marketing”, or “Social Media Strategist”, and depending on which I choose that is how people will form opinions about me. That is why you want to try to find language that showcases your strengths and that differentiates you. If you just put a company name there, that is not a personal brand but a company brand. What did you do at that company which would give someone a reason to hire you? That's what you want to try to hint at in your Professional Headline.

    I am trying to be as clear as I can in my explanation…hope this makes sense.

    – Neal

  31. Hi George –

    Well my LinkedIn Book goes into details about your personal brand on LinkedIn, which I call your “LinkedIn Brand.” A brand is how people perceive you. Whether you like it or not, you are being googled and people are looking at your profile without having personally met you. They are already perceiving you in a certain way based on what you have (or don't have) on your LinkedIn Profile, for instance. Your Professional Headline, the area below your name, is the most powerful part of your profile and should be heavily branded, or seeded with content proactively that 1) shows off your strengths and 2) differentiates you. Hope this makes sense…for a further detailed read, I really do recommend you invest in my book. I think it will be a convincing and informative read for you.

    Best regards,
    Neal Schaffer

  32. Hi Neal, Thanks for your response. This is the first I have hear about your book so I plan on looking for it. You wrote,

    Your Professional Headline, the area below your name,
    > is the most powerful part of your profile and should be heavily branded, or
    > seeded with content proactively that 1) shows off your strengths and 2)
    > differentiates you.

    To be quite honest what you wrote makes no sense to me. Sorry, there are just no specifics to what you write.

    Thanks for your help,
    George

  33. In your article 10 LinkedIn Mistakes You Shouldn't Make –2. LinkedIn Profile Headline is Not Branded Enough.
    Could you please explain what to put in your profile headline? Underneath my name is the name of my company, is that correct? Could you also explain “brand” as you use it quite a bit. Oreo, Clorox, IBM are my examples of a brand. How does brand refer to me?

  34. Good analogy about career insurance. LinkedIn sits on the professional end of the social media spectrum, so many people write it off. You do a good job of describing the benefits of joining.

    Michael

  35. LinkedIn is a professional network. By signing up for it, you can now search for and be found by other professionals. You can join groups with other like-minded professionals, search for long-lost colleagues, and even find Answers to business problems. It is not what the benefit of LinkedIn is to you: it is more like what is your objective in using social media? If you have an objective with a professional-related reason, I am sure there is a LinkedIn benefit for you!

    – Neal

  36. Can you crarify me if someone wants me to sign for the linkedIN WHAT IS THE BENEFIT TO BE ON IT. One of my brother ask me to add with his professional network. I DONT UNDERSTAND WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

    Please answer my question before I agree.

  37. Hey Travis,

    Well, since you're commenting on my blog, you're now one of us ;-) That being said, I agree that online networking is only one type of networking and that meeting people in real life should be the most valuable type of networking.

    – Neal

  38. why dont you all get a REAL LIFE and get off the internet and go meet people in real life like everyone used to do!! dont rely on Social Networking just on the internet!! my god people have we lost touch with reality??!!

  39. LinkedIn is free Rita! I wrote my LinkedIn book based on the free version so no need to pay any money unless you start using it and want to get additional value out of it!

  40. What does it cost to join Linkedin? I was invited to join as a contact from someone I know but they didn't mention the fee

  41. OK, I get what you are saying … but how do I keep from getting bogged down with “constant contacting”. I'd like to join LinkedIn as a professional, but I already spend enough time with email and I don't want to be chatting and having mundane interactions with people just because they want to boost their LinkedIn profile, or whatever. I also don't want to get so inundated with contacts that it takes up the better part of a day better spent getting real work done.

    I've already received more Facebook invites than I can think about … and I don't even belong to Facebook!
    It seems like it can get out of hand, can LinkedIn be tightly managed and how do you keep it under control?

    • I CONCUR WITH THE COMMENTS FROM DON ON SEPTEMBER 23RD, 2009.
      AS AN EXAMPLE, I DO NOT HAVE AN ACTIVE ACCOUNT WITH FACEBOOK YET THEY CONSTANTLY NAG ME WITH EMAILS VIA MY GMAIL. HOW IS LINKEDIN BETTER IN THAT REGARD? WILL I BE SUBJECT TO COMMERCIAL BOMBARDMENT?

  42. You hit it right on the nail again Neal, I have myself used the insurance image many times to illustrate social networking, networking in general and LinkedIN. When I am told it takes too much time, my answer is “like insurance, it's always too expensive….until you need it” and you do not buy a policy after you have an accident. Networking is all the time, not just when you have lost your job or are looking for new business opportunities. Networking is the work you do now to shorten or eliminate transition time.

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