I have been talking to several other LinkedIn Aficionados of late and what has come up every time is how we are all eternally surprised by how a lot businesses do not really understand LinkedIn (from our perspectives).
It's actually worse than that, because I have encountered first hand how getting LinkedIn wrong can not only damage businesses, it can actually damaging people. Really. I would like to present two anecdotes for your consideration.
The first is what prompted me to write this very post. Someone contacted me for help after reading one of my posts and then looking at my profile. They clearly identified with this in the summary part of my profile at that time:
"How are you going to stand out from this crowd? By doing the same as everyone else? Are you using LinkedIn for your business or is it using you?"
[It is perhaps worth noting that this lead, from my perspective, generated from a post and profile, does demonstrate that strategic use of LinkedIn can still work].
The correspondent indicated that they were desperate and had been spending many hours a day trying to get LinkedIn to work for them and, after a year at it, they now felt "burned out". Unfortunately, the predicament is reflected in their profile and company page. "Trying too hard" is just as damaging on LinkedIn as not putting the time in regularly, because people will see straight through it. Desperation doesn't sell. Confidence in yourself or your business, a deep knowledge and a passion for it is what sells, in my view. Interest and curiosity generation.
This reminded me of another encounter earlier in the year. I met with someone who wanted help precisely because they felt their LinkedIn activity was out of control. Unfortunately, the only help they wanted was how to increase views on their posts. They felt it would make their time investment more worthwhile. They too were trapped in a rut of investing hours into a LinkedIn strategy that wasn't working, despite admitting that this was having implications for home life and despite the fact that they felt they had no control over it.
Indeed, when it comes to LinkedIn use, I have seen many become victim of the "myth of invested time" - that false feeling that when you have invested a lot of time into something which isn't working, the only way out is to keep investing more and more time it until it works. When the real answer is to stop, think and go back to the drawing board.
But rip it up and start again strategies hold so much fear for people, that often no amount of logical argument can dissuade them from their course. This can be made worse when at some time in the past LinkedIn had generated one big sale. Then faith that eventually something must give again tends to become unshakeable. Just because you've won the lottery once, does not mean it is likely to happen again.
My advice is this. If you are investing more than half an hour a day on LinkedIn activity and you are not seeing significant and regular returns for this, then stop and go back to that drawing board. If you are spending more than an hour a day and not getting contracts or jobs, then stop and seek advice.
That wise fellow Albert Einstein might advise you in somewhat stronger terms.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Originally published on http://bluedogscientific.blogspot.co.uk