Well, it may boast a membership of over 37 million users worldwide and the best quality of contacts available for your mouse click on any social media site (average member is an earner of USD 100, 000) – but the big question is this…
The answer was supplied to me by a very good friend of mine Rick Itzkowich who also happens to be one of the foremost experts on LinkedIn in the world.
Rick Itzkowich - the LinkedIn expert when he visited Dubai in 2010
Simply put – it’s about farming not hunting.
Due to the level of each member, they can’t be spammed, nor enticed into playing Farmville and they don’t really want to talk about much else than business.
It’s a conservative business network.
Just like BNI.
For anyone who has ever experienced attending a BNI (Business Networking International) meeting and realised that the true magic comes from the relationships formed through time and caring, you’ll have a headstart on how to use Linked In.
BNI was formed by Dr Ivan Misner as a way to get entrepreneurs to network more effectively on a regular basis. The mantra for BNI is ‘Givers Gain’ which means that if you do business for someone, they will feel obliged to return the favour and so ‘what comes around goes around’.
After +5 years as a BNI member, I can vouch that this truly does work.
But not for everyone.
Anyone who wants people to feed them now with no ‘giving’ will be shunned eventually.
Similarly the ‘givers gain’ philosophy is best extended to those who are
1) Of a mindset where giving should be mutual.
2) Have time to spare on looking for business for other people.
3) Have a network that can be of use for other people.
4) Want you to be successful too.
Without these points, it is all about ‘What’s In It For Me?’ which whilst natural damages networking.