Why LinkedIn is KingJune 9, 2012 | By: Sean Murray
This may be risky…but we’re doubling down on LinkedIn. The Los Angeles Times will disagree with us, since they recently embraced the radical view that LinkedIn is a big joke. Sure, LinkedIn recently got hacked and that’s a major security issue they’ll need to deal with, but for the haters that brag they haven’t logged into their accounts in years, they probably missed the point of this social media site. LinkedIn isn’t Facebook. They aren’t even competitors. If you want to share your funny photos and write witty updates about how you hate work, please by all means spare the rest of the business world from it. We’ve got some tips for those haters:
- If you view your job as a 9-5 that’s a burden to living your life, LinkedIn is not for you.
- If you’re employed in an entry level position and don’t care about climbing the corporate ladder, LinkedIn is not for you.
- If your goal is to make sure that you never get any kind of individual recognition in your field, LinkedIn is not for you.
- If you want to avoid talking about your line of work with other like-minded people in a way that can help you grow, LinkedIn is not for you.
- If you’re a business owner that has no desire to speak to other business owners, LinkedIn is not for you.
- If you LOL at the thought of networking, in person or online, LinkedIn is not for you.
- If you want to spam the Internet and submit updates that no one will ever read, go sign up for Google Plus.
LinkedIn isn’t a resumé site or a social network. It’s a cooperative movement to make the private sector vastly more efficient. We’ve heard grumblings from Merchant Cash Advance industry insiders that some of the most popular vBulletin-style forums are pretty much losing their value. The discussion is sporadic, many people hide behind a screen name, and there isn’t any way to validate the information being shared. At best, it’s an anonymous way to spread propaganda. Traditional web forums rely on users to visit the site and once there, go on a scavenger hunt to find new posts and discussions. If there are no new posts, then the time spent going to the forum is nothing more than a waste.
LinkedIn has groups, which are monitored and policed by the group owner much like a forum would be. The stakes are upped because everyone participating can view each other’s business credentials through their profiles. In a traditional web forum, you get situations like this all the time:
The individual offering to sell leads looks highly suspect. If only there were a way to find out who they really were, where they were located, how long they’ve been in the lead business for, what company they work for, who else they know in the industry, who has publicly recommended them, etc. Even if they had included a real company e-mail address and website in their post, there would still be much more information left to be desired. We believe it’s a lot harder to accomplish anything with anyone you don’t know via the inherent anonymity of traditional web forums. Sure, anyone can fake their credentials on LinkedIn but if you see they’re connected with a former colleague of yours, you can call that old colleague right up and get the scoop. The transparency leads to transactions that get closed faster and both parties can feel more confident in their decisions to do business with a stranger.
Is LinkedIn perfect? No, it’s not. But the results are incredible if you know how to use the site correctly. We’ll put it this way, in the month of May, LinkedIn brought 21% more visitors to our site than what came organically from the Bing search engine. If you LOL at that because Bing is notoriously smaller than Google, just think about how much money you or other people you know are spending on SEO experts to get traffic from search engines. So LOL it up because LinkedIn is free.
Those statistics also don’t count the relationships we’ve built purely through the site itself. You see, it’s not always about making a sale and the numbers of connections you have isn’t what we mean by relationships. You’re a lot better off reading the updates of a C-level executive on the ins and outs of Crowd Funding in a LinkedIn group than you would be from reading a sensationalist, empty opinion about it by the LA Times. Comment intelligently to that exec’s posts and you could find them wanting to connect with you to discuss further and possibly do some kind of business together.
Here are some of the industry groups we recommend you check out:
We cordially invite the haters described in the bullet point list above NOT to join. Not that we should really worry they will. If you actually visit the twitter accounts that the LA Times cites as proof of LinkedIn’s unpopularity, you’ll find that these people spend their time online talking about Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, and other useless crap. They read like play-by-play diaries of a junior high school girl. Hate away losers, they made twitter just for people like you.Last modified: June 9, 2012
Sean Murray is the founder of deBanked, an 11-year veteran of the merchant cash advance industry, a casual Lending Club and Prosper note investor, the co-founder of Daily Funder, an alternative lending speaker, consultant, writer, and enthusiast. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on twitter.