I opened my email account the other day and what did I see, mail from LinkedIn that my profile was in the 1% of profiles viewed last year as they scrambled across the 200 million user mark. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I first got on LinkedIn, the IPad was still 5 years from hitting the market!
LinkedIn: The Early Years
In the immortal words of David Byrne and Talking Heads, “This is not my beautiful house, or my beautiful car, HOW DID I GET HERE??”
When I signed up for LinkedIn, I was in the first 400 thousand people to sign up. Actually, when they hit 100 million in 2010, I received a nice e-mail stating how great it was that I was a user in the first 500 thousand to join up. At that time, I could see the viability of using the internet to link like-minded people together in various work enterprises, but the number of people on the site made it impossible to really get to the potential that we see today…
Even after I joined, I really did not do anything with my profile until 5 years later, when one of my staff sent me an invite to connect. It was an odd occurrence, because I had forgotten I had the profile in the first place, but an e-mail showed up and she wanted to connect with me. Once this event occurred, I knew that there was something to this “Social Networking Phenomenon”. I linked with a few work associates, but still did not grasp the full potential of where this would end up going.
LinkedIn: The “Bridge” Years
Next, I started to look for groups of publishing professionals. At first, the associations that I belonged to like Book Industry Guild of New York and PubWest, were behind the curve on getting pages set up on LinkedIn. One of my associates at my current job suggested that I start my own group. I thought this might not be a bad idea, so I formed the “Denver Publishing Professionals Group” in 2007. At this particular point in time there are 396 people in the group as of today. By the way, anyone reading this blog can join the group, it is not bound by geographic location just as publishing in the electronic/digital age is not bound by any geographic location…
LinkedIn: The Frantic/Frenetic Years
As the years 2008 rolled into 2009 and then 2010, the wind of change within the publishing community made it very clear that tough economic times were going to force everyone into a branding schema for self-preservation purposes. The time to build a high-profile network was at hand. Since I was still in school, it was harder to start the process, but once school ended last year, the invitations flew out to publishing pros across the board. This is the spot to make your mark. Get the profile up to speed as your living resume to the world, and work the hell out of it. The numerical logistics are staggering; right now I have 1,911 first tier connections, with over 500 invitations outstanding. I have targeted individuals in all groups that I have joined, and I am gaining more and more visibility with my blog each day.
It does take time and effort, but I set a goal of having 2000 first tier LinkedIn connections by the end of 2012. I did not quite make it, but I am on course to have 3000 by the end of 2013.
Use the tools you have to get visibility in your field. Join groups, place posts on group discussion boards, and build your visibility right now. Link your LinkedIn to your Facebook page, and get your name in front of the movers and shakers in your career field. You may think you are over hyping yourself, but think of it more as personal branding. You are the product, and it is up to you to build the following of people who will look to you as the expert. I promise you, this can only help you. Sometime in the future you will get a fantastic opportunity, and at that point I want to hear from you. Heck, I want to hear from you now, so send me an invite on LinkedIn and let’s continue the networking process. Same as it ever was, Same as it ever was, Same as it ever was…