Catalog/Multichannel Industry Networking in the 21st Century Via the LinkedIn Network
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a number of hours on the business networking Web site, www.LinkedIn.com. I’ve mentioned the network in my last three articles, so I’m hoping many of you have signed up and tried it for yourselves. Thanks to all of you who did and who linked to me. It’s nice to meet you! If you haven’t, join and link to me at www.LinkedIn.com/in/jimwgilbert . The following is my report.
Immediately after joining and building my profile (more about that below), I chose the option to use my AOL and Outlook address books to begin building my network. Although I had some problems using this feature on my Mac, when I tried to upload my AOL contacts on a PC it worked successfully. For Outlook, you need to have the most recent software version; otherwise the automatic upload doesn’t talk to your address book.
That said, once I added my contacts, I quickly was rewarded by having many people join my network. I got instant gratification. But I was surprised to see how many people were already using LinkedIn, too.
I now have 131 people in my network. To me there are three main networking goals with this system:
Goal 1: Build a great profile that will attract others to link to you and network with you,
Goal 2: Use your profile as sort of an online resume of sorts, and
Goal 3: Use the network to meet others who are connected to your connections (think of the movie “Six Degrees of Separation”; the network works like that — you can connect and meet others who are a few degrees away from you).
From the 131 connections I have, more than 7,500 people are connected to my connections and another 700,000 are a third degree away.