Often-overlooked ways to get value from LinkedIn

A couple of months ago I asked a question on LinkedIn’s Small Business Online Community group.

 Is there anybody here, I wondered, who isn’t simply trying to pitch their services to an audience of entrepreneurs who aren’t here? In other words, to those who are too busy out in the real world building their businesses to bother spending time in our LinkedIn group.

Sales Pitch Overload

Like many, I was getting frustrated by the amount of spam in most LinkedIn groups. As someone about to launch a podcast to help small and mid-sized businesses, I had been hoping to learn more from that group’s discussions about what real-world, non-consulting businesses perceive they need help with.

As of today there have been 113 comments, and they are still coming in.

Most are pretty defensive reactions. A “No, not me! I’m not here to spam! I just want to help you. And if you follow my link or e-mail me privately I’ll change your life for the better” sort of thing.

But several also made good points and even some excellent suggestions.

Use LinkedIn Profiles More Effectively

I particularly a tidbit from John E. Harmer. He suggests that we look at a person’s profile page on LinkedIn before answering a question or comment they’ve made. That gives you more insight about their probable needs and how your response could help them.

He also noted that he had modeled his own profile on that of someone with over 30,000 LinkedIn connections. See what the successful folks are doing and learn from it. Unless it turns out that 80% of those 30,000 connections are just spammy “you like me and I’ll like you” connections. Remember, it’s not always size that counts! 🙂

I also liked Harold Mansfield‘s comment:   I’m just here for the free coffee

Have you found your Linked In groups to be helpful? How? Please comment below.

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