Last month, Mohawk Paper asked me to write a blog
and share some thoughts for printers about networking on LinkedIn. I want to expand on that a little further and touch upon the importance of making your professional presence more personal.
EVERYONE loves a good back-story whether it’s a rag-to-riches journey, or overcoming the hardships, struggles and obstacles of an unwinnable situation. These archetypal scenarios touch upon our collective consciousness and emotionally connect us to people, and sometimes events as well (Chilean Miners anyone?).
We have professional back-stories too. Most of us have had to face some adversity or overcome obstacles in our careers whether on specific projects or during our climb up the ladder. It’s something we collectively have in common that links us together. If you want to create some real connections on LinkedIn, it might be time to start sharing yours.
My Print Production Professionals
group has grown to over 50,000 members. The topics posted are mostly on point, and there is a good amount of people asking for help producing projects, and for advice on products and services.
If you see one of those topics, give us some back-story!
How many times have you worked on a project like the one posted about or used the product or service? Can you suggest some things to watch out for EVEN if you don’t get anything out of it? How can your experience be valuable to the project? What sort of training do you have on that machine or with that software? Have you overcome impossible odds to make things happen that pertain to the matter at hand?People don’t do business with things...they do business with people!
I read a lot of advice about how to use LinkedIn for sales, and I think most of it offers a superficial approach from my view as a group manager and a customer. To me, a sale is a byproduct of a need, and a relationship. Printers have the control on LinkedIn to steer the relationship towards their company (my shop can do that, look at our Website), or towards themselves (I have worked on projects like this for the last 10 years and this is what I have learned, and here’s why I can help you get this done).
Next time you are about to quickly respond to a request for help on LinkedIn, take a minute to really “connect” and allow us to get to know you on a deeper level. Take the opportunity to create long-term relationships with people who will follow you throughout your career because they are fans, not simply followers. Always remember for every person participating in a discussion or asking for help, there is an exponential amount reading that you have the opportunity to connect with, if you give us a reason to.
As I wrote in my blog for Mohawk, there is WORK in networking. If you are willing to do a little more, it will go a long way and separate you from the other 63 responses in the thread.