Making Some Sense Out of LinkedIn and MeetUp
Think of LinkedIn as Facebook for professionals.
Someone said that if anyone depended on making connections for a living, they need to be on LinkedIn. I might be tempted to quit there but there is much more. I’m not saying connections are unimportant, they are life and death. But LinkedIn and its partnerships can be – is meant to be – an incredible resource for the SBO.
How to use LinkedIn:
- Once you’ve begun building your network and have a few valuable connections, start learning about them. Spend some time cyber-stalking. Yes! You read that right. The customers, vendors, strategic partners and employees you may need are sometimes an open book if you know where to look. (That’s for another post.)
- Letting people know who you are and what you do in such a way that you are not always selling will keep their interest giving you time to develop an online relationship.
- People you are interested in can be reached through second- or even third-degree connections. Remember, a little ingenuity goes a long way.
- Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates.
- Users can follow different companies.
- Users can “like” and “congratulate” each other’s updates and new employments. A great tool for staying in touch.
- Users can see who has visited their profile page.
Now a few tips:
- Set up a professional profile. The site has a great little gage to help you know what you’ve got to do to have a profile that is ready to be used.
- Don’t forget about past jobs held/businesses owned. What you have become has been influenced by these. You certainly have skills that have come from doing those jobs.
- Strategically connect with others only once your profile is complete. Don’t jump the gun. Finish your profile, then look for those customers, vendors, strategic partners and employees you may need.
- Stay active on the site. Do something every day. Organize the time you spend. For instance, just work on lining up connections today and tomorrow work on connecting. The next day could be just new connections followed by a day that you set up strategically approaching candidates for business.
LinkedIn has been incredible with regard to the resources made available to its members. It could be something like user created groups or groups organized by LinkedIn experts. Or it can be informal partnerships like the one LinkedIn struck with American Express OPEN. Whatever the case, LinkedIn is looking to be an advocate for business.
I PROMISED YOU A SUPRISE!!
We Are What We Do
Meetup is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings. Meetup brings people together in thousands of cities to do more of what they want to do in life. There are 28.55 million members, 262,395 groups and 619,171 monthly meetings.
It is organized around one simple idea: when we get together and do the things that matter to us, we’re at our best.
Now, before we go any further. This app, and I hesitate to call it that, can be seen from a professional standpoint or a recreational one. How many SBO are getting the R&R they need. If you were getting a diversion in an area you enjoyed, with people you liked, it might make it easier for you to get away. Just sayin.
Recreationally – Meetup allows members to find and join groups unified by a common interest, such as politics, books, games, movies, health, pets, careers or hobbies.
Is technology your thing? In our area, we have a software developers group, a big data group, web developers, women in tech, a dotNET group and much more.
Is technology holding you back at work? There are groups for cloud computing, WordPress, iOS and Android users. SalesForce, Office 365 and generic technology groups also can keep you going.
Here’s how it works:
• Users enter their city or their postal code and tag the topic they want to meet about.
• The website/app helps them locate a group to arrange a place and time to meet.
• Topic listings are also available for users who only enter a location.
• The service is free of charge to individuals who log in as members.
• They can join different groups as defined by the rules of the individual groups themselves.
• Meetup receives revenue by charging fees to organizers of groups. Currently $9.99/month for their basic plan.
• Organizers can customize the Meetup website by selecting from a variety of templates for the overall appearance of their site
• They can also create customized pages within the group’s Meetup site.
Site group functions include:
• Schedule meetings and automate notices to members for the same topics
• The ability to monetize groups, accept and track membership and/or meeting payments through WePay
• A drive on Meetup’s server for group documents
• Photo libraries of event
• Polling tools
• A messaging platform
I see Meetup as an excellent tool for picking up skills, networking, sharing skills/knowledge that you may have and getting a kick-start for event marketing – a subject not even mentioned yet in this series. Expect an entire post or two on it.
Next up : Going Traditional