Do You Really Need A Profile On LinkedIn®?

As an executive or business professional, do you really need to maintain a profile in LinkedIn®?  The example that follows answers that question and should provide plenty of motivation to get your profile built now.

I was talking with a CEO of a technology hardware company in Colorado two weeks ago about providing services for his management and sales teams.  During the meeting I asked the CEO if he had a profile on LinkedIn®. Now I already knew that he did not because I always check this out before any business meeting with a prospective client, but that is for another post on another day.  The CEO said no, he thought that those type of sites are for “kids”.  He didn’t have the time or interest in LinkedIn®.  We went on to other topics and established some follow up tasks for both of us to accomplish before the next conversation.

Late this week, I received a phone call from the same CEO, telling me to forget everything that he had said about LinkedIn®, and he wanted to set up a LinkedIn® training session for himself, his executive team as well as his entire sales team to help them get their profiles built and photos taken.  With my curiosity high, I asked why the change of heart.  His response is an excellent example of why every professional needs to be on LinkedIn®, at a minimum.

His company was in a competitive situation as one of two finalists to provide products and services to a promising new customer.  Part of the final evaluation process was for the customer to do their own due diligence about the two companies and the executive leadership of each.  During this activity the customer went to LinkedIn® to check the profiles and recommendations for each finalist.   They found only one profile listed for my CEO’s company, that of one of their administrative assistants, with a photo that was not representative of the company or it’s business (let’s just say it was from a college event). Nothing else of value came up using search engines on the web other than the company website.  The other finalist was listed in LinkedIn® and several other Networking sites, and primarily because of their extensive profiles and listings showed up with significant Google results when searched.  They also had many recommendations for various employees located within their individual profiles.

My customer lost this possible sale to their competition, and one of the reasons that they were given is that they did not compare favorably in recommendations and overall position in the business community or their industry on the web.

Think about it.  With tools like LinkedIn®, you are in control of the content and image being presented to the world.  You select the recommendations and the images being portrayed about you and your company.  It is worth doing this right.

  1. Your profile is your introduction
  2. Your profile is your first impression
  3. Your profile is your resume
  4. Your profile is your invitation to connect to others
  5. Your profile is your press kit

Your profile is your online asset to manage.  How are you managing yours?

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