While taking an impromptu blogging break last week, I did decide to spend some time with both LinkedIn and MyBlogLog. Both services/sites seem like they have 'some potential', I'm just not sure what it is.
And it's funny because almost everyone I talk to about LinkedIn says that very thing. That they think there is SOMETHING to LinkedIn, but they aren't sure what that 'something' is, or how to utilize it. In my case, I see where some of my contacts have 500+ contacts, and I think that they must know something I don't, and stick with it.
I did go through and add several people I know online to my contacts list last week, and will continue to do that. But I noticed that you have the ability to 'recommend' people that you have worked with. So I thought that it only makes sense to go through my contact list and leave recommendations for the bloggers that I know and admire their work. Kinda hard to know exactly what to say sometimes so that you hit on your contact's high points and make sure you detail their strengths to others. I'm going to keep trying to add more contacts and recommendations this week, and I wanted to specifically thank Toby and Lewis for recommending me over the break!
And I definitely need to overhaul my profile, so I won't even get into that yet. I did notice that some people had set up links within their profiles, and I tried to do the same with simple HTML coding, but couldn't get it to work.
I also see potential for MyBlogLog, but aren't sure how to tap it either. I absolutely LOVE that it puts a human face to your blog's visitors! That alone is worth learning more about the service. And I noticed that they have added your blog's feed to it's page. For example, here's the page for The Viral Garden. It shows the blog's feed, community members, newest members, and who has visited the blog recently. I don't see an area for members to leave comments, or maybe I just don't have any yet. Then again, there are messages on my profile page, so maybe that's the only place to leave them.
So here's what I need from you:
1 - If you have figured out how to tap into the potential of LinkedIn, please explain to me what I am missing. What are your tips for writing better profiles, and what benefits have you seen from your presence on the site?
2 - If you have figured out how to tap into the potential of MyBlogLog, please explain to me what I am missing. Do I need to be joining more communities? Leaving more comments? What are you doing to use MyBlogLog to grow your own community?
That's it, and I think you can really help the rest of us that are asking these same questions, because I can see great community-building elements to both sites.
UPDATE: Mario posts at LinkedIn's blog about how consultants can use LinkedIn to grow their business. Perfect!
Tags:The Viral Garden, Marketing
I am a heavy user of MyBlogLog. Search for "One Penny Project" and you will find my community. I have over 300 members in my community and almost 6,000 contacts.
I will be putting a post on my site later tonight about social networking success.
But in a nutshell, get as many contacts as you can. The ones that contact you outside of the network are worth keeping in your "True" list. More on that tonight.
Hi Mack. Re: LinkedIn, its value depends on who you are and how you want to use it. E.g. sales = lead generation, prospecting. recruiters = name development, background checks. job hunters = contacts, referrals. research/press = information, interviews. And for some people, it's an ego game where they try to connect as many connections as possible. I had a few of these in my network who never responded to requests, so I pruned my whole network...http://www.beingpeterkim.com/2006/07/pruning_the_lin.html
To be honest, LinkedIn has provided me with lots of contacts that I can reach out to, but I haven't done so except to get recommendations, which I also place on my marketing collaterals when appropriate. That is a plus.
LinkedIn offers job notices, but I'm not looking.
I keep thinking that I may get contract work, but so far nothing.
At the end of the day, I think that if I worked LinkedIn as hard as I work my blog and my website, something tangible may come of it. I can't do both, so my focus remains on my blog and website for marketing and brand building purposes.
Mack - first off, thanks for writing a recommendation - the first any of my contacts/colleagues have written. And you did a darn fine job in a few short sentences. This may surprise some but I've never been noted for my networking skills. So LinkedIn and MyBlogLog have been good in that respect - as well as keeping up with the blog. Its a piece of challenging personal growth and life long learning. In addition, the entire concept of building relationships in a virtual realm. So far as the best use? Who knows? Keep questioning and I'll keep reading.
Mack - I use both of them, and here's how:
a) Use the questions features to ask smart questions of my network (I learn a lot from the people smarter than me)
b) Use my connections so when friends are looking for a job, they can look through my contacts to see if I know anyone in a specific company and ask me to introduce them.
c) Another brand strategy, as it allows for unedited recommendations and thus looks a lot more credible (to some) than other references.
a) Put a face behind your visitors, even when they don't leave a comment, if you have a MyBlogLog acocunt, I can see your smiling face
b) Stats for Pro package - allows you to see what people click
c) Another way for folks to keep up with what's going on as they keep my RSS feed up to date and if people are using it, I'll keep it
d) Another brand strategy.
Hope that helps a bit. Let me know if you need more.
Mack, I use Linkedin to connect and re connect with prospects or clients. Since now, I have to admit that it had generated to me the chance to make some presentation that can eventually turn in assignement. So far, so good.
Michael, but what is the benefit of getting as many contacts as you can on MyBlogLog? Dumb it down for me...
Lewis, good point about the recommendations with LinkedIn.
Bob, I was glad to do it!
Phil thanks for the advice about the questions on LinkedIn, I'll have to try that.
G congrats on the presentation!
I'm a heavy LinkedIn user. So far, it's been an excellent business tool.
My biggest client found me through my profile there and now my profile is in the top 10 on Google if someone searches for me (having the same name as a kid in a famous news story, this is good). I've found a couple of good freelancers to work with as well.
I hunt through the Answers area to find companies that have a need for my firm's services, and use my expertise to start a conversation. I've seen some good leads grow from this as well.
Thanks Kristian, sounds like I definitely need to spend more time with the Answers section on LinkedIn. See I knew you guys would know what to do!
By no means is Linkedin intuitive. 2 years ago I started a discussion group called My Linkedin Power Forum because many of my local contacts were asking similar questions. Though Linkedin was the best business networking platform even back then, it didn't have several key features that have been recently added such as Linkedin Answers, etc.
With Linkedin Answers, not only do you get to ask questions which may be useful to you and your business networking missions, you can also benefit from answering questions which interest you. Questions asked on Linkedin Answers are closed after about a week. Once closed, the answers are ranked. Accumulating best answers helps your visibility/authority, etc.
In addition to Answers, another favorite area is Linkedin Groups. I run a fairly large one in support of my Linkedin discussion group. You can join groups and network more comfortably with people you may have gone to school with, share work history with, etc.
There's LOTS more great stuff worth discovering on Linkedin - my group have generated over 25,000 posts on the subject - but, I'll leave you with a pointer to Guy Kawasaki's excellent post at: http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/01/ten_ways_to_use.html
As for My Blog Log: WOW! I LOVE it! If I were a younger man, I'd probably spend too much time on it! As it is: I've already joined over 2,000 communities. Not to spam them but, it's just a great smörgåsbord of all manner of great blogs and sites. My Blog Log is a wonderful starting point to find great blogs everyday. Actually, I'm posting this on your blog because of My Blog Log.
My Blog Log, Linkedin, and the blogosphere are a perfect match - even if it IS a threesome! ;-)
I think the "questions" feature is a powerful tool on LinkedIn. One person on my network sent a question out to everyone asking if they had a company they wanted to nominate for a professional award at a business conference.
Along with sending an email to everyone in the network, it posts on LinkedIn.
Another person wrote a book and wanted to know the best way to promote it. They had 24 answers, most of which were really great.
It's like being able to ask all your trusted buddies a quick question
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