LinkedIn is not about the connections but the engagements and relationships you can build with other professionals and businesses. This episode will change your perspective on LinkedIn for the better.
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welcome to maximize your social actionable 10 minute advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now the host of Maximize Your Social Social Media Author, speaker, consultant and founder of Maximize Social Business Meals. Schaefer Hey, this is Neal Schaefer. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Social. Ah, lot of you probably know that before I blogged at Maximize social business, I had a block called windmill Networking, and before that block at Windmill Networking, I actually had a wordpress dot com blawg that was called expert answers to your linked in questions that was actually launched through linked in when they used to support applications. One of those applications being wordpress dot com And in fact, the 1st 2 books I wrote on Social Media before my most recent Maximize your Social, which is obviously the name of this podcast. My brand we're on linked in so a lot of you, and maybe some of you listen to this podcast. No, me a sort of like the linked in person, and I've never wanted to become a one trick pony, which is why I don't necessarily consider myself like the linked in person. But because I've written two books on the subject. I often get e mails from past readers, fans, and whenever I publish, are linked in or publish something about linked in. I seem to get a lot of support from the community. So if you're one of those people that has stuck with me through the years and while it's been actually it's been six years since I started my block, that's pretty amazing. So I want to thank you for support. You know, I still get these really, really interesting questions quite randomly in terms of frequency. But I wanted to give you one question that I got today, and I really want you to think a little bit different about engaging a LinkedIn. And that's really what the subject that this podcast is gonna be in response to this person's email. So, Neil, I've been passionate since I joined Lincoln in 2007 and reading your book he's been promoting linked in to his database throughout Asia, which is larger than his personal into network and building his own network. This person, you know, I don't know what his exact objective is in building a Lincoln network. I'm assuming that sort of sales marketing biz Dev So today I received this email from Lincoln that my account is permanently restricted toe on Lee connect by email. I've been restricted before, but never permanently. I'm shocked by this. Do you have any wisdom from me on what to do now? The short answer to what I said, I said Lincoln has always changing the rules right, And that's social media is always changing. Every single platform is always changing the way that they do business. But I want to give you some background. This one now I also was what you would call an open networker or a lion linked in open networker. And there were tactical reasons that if you were an open networker at one time, the more connections you had, the higher you appeared in Lincoln Search results. This is obviously no longer the case, but still, you know, everybody should have a robust network multiplayer age by 10. That's the number of linking connections you should have. That's the number of new people you should be meeting on the annual basis that you can add to your Lincoln Network, and it really gives you more visibility. Other people. You become more visible. Other people, so you have more second degree connections. So there's only really one degree away from being contact or having others contact use of their advantages. But obviously you don't need to have as many connections as I do. In fact, I've sort of part down on my connections, and I am really critical now as to if I accept people inviting me. If I find out there's something fishy about the profile or I just don't know why they sent me an invite and I know a lot of you probably share that same sentiment, But you know, there's some of you that still are aggressively inviting others to your network. I stop doing this back in, I don't know, 2010 probably. But, you know, at the time linked in hate, you're only supposed to connect with people that you know. And there comes a point when people hit and I wrote about this in windmill networking, understanding, leveraging and maximizing Lincoln back in 2009 that if you start inviting a bunch of people that you don't really know and they reply or you know after they get the invitation. They telling them that I don't know this person or what we call an I. D. K. Your account starts to get restricted. It used to be that if you had five of those after the 1st 3 or the 1st 2 there'll be a little thing that would pop up when you want to send out an invite. Hey, be careful. Ah, lot of people said they don't know you. We remind you that if you send in the invitations people you don't know you're in violation of policy. And what would happen is, after doing that a few times and getting a few, I don't knows your account would be restricted to only those people that you know the email address for. And then you'd have to go back to lengthen and apologize and get the restriction taken off. And I know that I did that multiple times, and I think a lot of people did as well as this person who contacted me. Now, obviously from what he is saying in his email is that the rules have changed and now permanently, he has to enter an email address in order to connect with someone. So I realize I'm gonna give you my own home. Oh, my own epiphany when it when it comes to LinkedIn is you know, what sort of value are you trying to derive out of the network? If you think of adding it connection as putting someone in your marketing funnel, then you obviously have it all wrong. You know, linked in is where the professionals are. It's about making relationships, connections, and people do business with people that they know, like in trust. So just the art of connecting always said was just establishing a virtual connection in a database, right, a virtual data point for lack of a better word. And what happened to me is I realized, wow, when I search for my name or when I searched for women networking, I'm appearing like, last or next to last in search results. And I did a little experiment, asked all these people in my network some first degree, some second degree, some from the United States, some from outside of the country. And they confirmed that for some reason I was not appearing in Lincoln search results. You have to go to the very end in order to find my name even for search results like my own name or keywords, I should say of my own name or of my company name, which is really bizarre. So it hit me that, huh? Maybe these are things that Lincoln does to tweak their search results, and for some reason, maybe because I was flagged for doing something way back when? I don't know. But that was the reality. And when I realized that this is a few years ago, I realized, Wow, if I'm not showing up in Lincoln search results, the only way I'm gonna get found my irrelevant audience is to engage, right? And, you know, the avenues for engagement were many in linked in in the past. You know, you are cos all these different APs Addington today. It's a little bit limited now, but I'll tell you, it's been very interesting. I think a lot of people have poo pooed linked in groups. They realize they were great. Maybe you or two ago and then maybe they've sort of thought there was a lot of spam and they disconnected. But just over the past week, I've really been making a concentrated efforts of spending more time in groups of responding to people's questions, engaging with people, not just dropping links right of authentically using linking groups as a source of content curation as a source of inspiration for my own social media. And what happens when you start a conversation in a Lincoln group is that often leads to a connection. And when you connect with someone where you looked at their background, you have a common affinity of common interest cause you're in the same Lincoln group. That connection is obviously gonna be extremely valuable now. Not everybody isn't linked in groups. If you're in sales and business, having you're trying to touch the untouchables, there's a whole different strategy. But if you're looking to build up a network of like minded people of peers that you can call upon in the future or bounce ideas off of which I think Lincoln is really all about, you need to be engaging. And I think Lincoln groups when you're trying to develop business or whether you're trying to, you know, find appears that have common interests infinities, it really is one of the best places on the Internet to engage, and if It's gonna take a little bit more time than just uploaded a database or clicking one the one on profiles. But I think it's gonna allow you to more authentically and increase the quality of those connections that you make. I'm thinkin so that when you want to ask for an introduction, don't actually do it for you because you already have report with them, right? So that's sort of been my philosophy ever since a few years ago. And now if you're at the point where you have to put a knee email address, you almost have to be doing this in order to expand your network. And maybe Lincoln is doing that for that reason. And, you know, the interesting thing is, in terms of engagement opportunities outside of groups, the choices that you have are few and far between right now, because Lincoln has really simplified their platform and they do not offer all these other APs. That that used to even linked in events was a great way to meet people, right. But what victim does have is they've opened up the publishing platform, and what you can do is you can openly follow people that you may want to connect with follow their publishing and when they published post like them, comment on them and from their build that report on a person by person basis. Now, obviously those that are really looking for email addresses. There's a lot of ways of doing Boolean searches on Google. What have you There are ways of finding out people's email addresses if you want to go that route. But I would rather have you authentically engage with those people that you want to be affiliated with, and you want to have them as part of your network because you can establish that relationship with them. So don't think about linked in terms of number connections. If you multiply arranged by 10 and you get into a habit of regularly inviting new people that you meet and regularly, maybe every three months, searching the database for old colleagues or classmates that join linked in your fine, that's all the connections you need. It's not about the connections, right, what you gonna do with them, and I've always said I have all these connections, but I really don't use them unless I have a need for them and that's only when I have a specific objective and I go into Advanced People Search and I find that there is some hidden connectivity between one of my connections and someone that I want to reach out to that I've discovered. And then I reach out to them. Which doesn't happen very often in all honesty. So Lincoln is not about the connections, and obviously it's not about the resume. It's about the engagement. Think about it very, very differently. And I also say this because I'm in the middle of writing an e book. Some of you may have downloaded my 30 minutes to maximizing Linden, which was this free e book that I created back in 2012. It's been two years Lincoln's change off change. My business has changed. I'm in the process of creating a new e book and even meatier and beef here and up to date, you know, linked in for 2015 type of e book, really excited to release that. And I hope to really get it out in the next week or two, along with another exciting announcement which, obviously, since you're listening to my podcasts, you'll be the first to hear. So that's it for today. I hope this changed your mind a little bit about the way that you look at Lincoln and the way that you can think of using it in the future. And, as always, if you have any questions about this or hey, if you want me to cover something not only in the podcast but in the E book on, think, then feel free to reach out to me. I'm always here to listen to you and thanks for being a listener. Wherever you're all in the world today. Make it a great social day by everybody. Thanks for listening. To maximize your social. We appreciate your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on this show or recommend content, please contact meal Schaffer at Neil at Maximize Your social dot com. Make it a social day.