There are people in this world who do not use LinkedIn. This is not an April Fools joke. I have clients that do not know of or ever heard of Linkedin. As a person who has built a career around being a LinkedIn specialist, this baffles me. As odd as it may seem, these people do exist. Believe it or not, there are actually recruiters who have never heard of RecruitingTools either. #WaitWhat?
So how do you explain Linkedin to someone who has never heard of it before? This is my attempt.
Me: Today, I am going to explain LinkedIn.
Client: Great, can’t wait.
Me: Okay, first there are connections. You can send invitations and get connected to other people on LinkedIn.
Client: Invitations can be sent to anyone?
Me: No, only to people you know well.
Client: Like my Mom?
Me: No, not your Mom, this is a professional network
Client: Then why is there a math problem on the page in front of us?
Me: Don’t pay attention to that. No, you only connect with work people you know well already.
Client: Why would I want to do that? If I already know them well, why would I need to be connected with them on LinkedIn too?
Me: Well, you can send messages to each other.
Client: What’s wrong with email?
Me: Listen, just keep up here. Now, see on this page? Those are your second degree connections.
Client: Can I send them messages?
Client: Then why are they called “connections”?
Me: Because they just are. Next you have groups. You can join LinkedIn groups and be a group member.
Client: Can I send group members messages?
Me: Yes, up to 15 a month
Client: So they are more important than second connections?
Client: There’s a girl in a bikini on the front page now. Are you sure this is a business network?
Me: Just ignore her. Another thing you can do is follow people whose writing you like.
Client: If I follow them do I get notified when they write something?
Me: Well, sometimes you get notified and it’s easy to see and sometimes you get notified and it’s virtually impossible to see.
Client: Are you sure LinkedIn isn’t run by Monty Python?
Me: Shall we move on?
Client: I suppose so. We might as well find someone for me to connect with. Can you search New Jersey?
Client: Why not? The page here says “advanced search”
Me: If you want North New Jersey you have to search New York City, if you want South New Jersey you have to search Philadelphia.
Client: Do the people in New Jersey know about this?
Me: I hope not.
Client: If LinkedIn can’t find New Jersey, which part of the search is the “advanced” part? And who’s that gray guy?
Me: That person is anonymous.
Client: “Anonymous” ?? Okay let me summarize: You can only connect with people you know already, you can’t talk to “2’s”, when you sign up for notifications they only show up sometimes, and LinkedIn hates New Jersey. And to top it all off, there’s an anonymous zombie person wandering around. Are you sure this isn’t the anti-social network?
Me: He is not an “anonymous zombie person”, he just doesn’t want anyone to know who he is.
Client: Sounds good to me, I want to connect with him.
Client: Or the girl in the bikini.
Client: And the answer to that math problem was “6”.
Me: I think we’re done here.
Client: Yes, I agree. Well this has been very illuminating. Why don’t you just send me an invoice and I’ll “notify” you when I am ready to pay.
Anyone who uses LinkedIn often has had one or more of these experiences. This one’s for all of you.
About the Author: Bruce Johnston is sales coach and strategist specializing in LinkedIn. He believes LinkedIn is not all about your profile; it’s not all about being found. It is about being proactive. LinkedIn is a contact sport. He also trains a module on how to search LinkedIn effectively. If you would like to get in contact with him, feel free to reach out on LinkedIn, Twitter or via email brucejohnston115 [AT] gmail.com
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