Very often, LinkedIn is disregarded as just another social network website. Rick Itzkowich’s talk with the members of EO, New Delhi, however, dispelled such notions. Amongst the many things that Rick established during his presentation was that LinkedIn is a serious portal for serious people looking to connect with a larger business network. In his words, “You don’t know, who all the people you know, know!!” Through LinkedIn, you can connect with not only your own business and social acquaintances but find common links with the people you hope to meet and request an introduction.
He explained that LinkedIn can be used for business development, recruiting executive talent, problem solving and best practice sharing over and above the networking. However, all of this is possible only if you have an effective profile which is as transparent as possible, a powerful network and active participation. He defined sufficient activity as 30 to 45 minutes a week, also saying that an assistant, if properly trained, could do the basics for the member.
Though the conservative would disregard virtual networking as frivolous, Rick’s explanation of what he described as the two currencies to be earned on LinkedIn made sense – Trust and Credibility, both of which can be gained by enabling meaningful introductions between people as well as by borrowing from the credibility of the people on your network. It seems no different from networking in the real world!
Interestingly, the demographics of the members of LinkedIn were very appealing. More than 50% of the members are Asian. The average adjusted household income of the members is $109,000 and 45% of the members are decision makers, which sounded like a pretty ideal target market for any Indian business. Through LinkedIn, the search for people can be very specific as the search filters include their positions in organisation, company size, revenue, industry etc.
During the Q&A though, it became clear that LinkedIn enables poaching of employees, an unpleasant but inevitable by-product of such a portal. On the flip side, it could be used to bypass head-hunters, saving their enormous fees. Rick also replied to a question saying that he would not recommend a paid membership to the portal unless the member was very active, since the drawback of the same was only fewer search filters.
A better understanding of this portal definitely opens up doors for another platform to widen our business networks.
From Rick’s Website: Rick Itzkowich, “The LinkedIn Guy” is a genuine people connector. He bridges the two worlds of face-to-face networking and online networking. He understands and practices networking like few others do. As a successful entrepreneur, Rick creates turnkey products that meet today’s demand for tools to increase your business. His informative and entertaining live presentations, along with articles, interviews, podcasts and blog messages on adding LinkedIn to your company’s marketing plan are in high demand.