So I joined LinkedIn.
I received two invitations from two colleagues with whom I am working, but since I was meeting one for lunch today, I held off responding until I'd asked her about it.
Despite all the hype that surrounds LinkedIn, here is how I see it affecting my business.
I am struggling to work out what to do with 300 contacts, 200 of whom could be considered "weak", and I'm struggling to establish new contacts, better prospects, of whom I know nothing.
· LinkedIn is a catalyst mechanism that gets the conversation started.
Example 1: Gillian is one of my 200 "weak" contacts; she receives a card from me each Christmas, and I try to phone her once a year, but the bottom line is we have never gotten around to getting any business done, and I feel that either we should meet, or I should just politely drop her from my list.
For all I know my annual mailing is just more junk mail from her point of view.
But if she is on LinkedIn and if I send her an invitation to join, one of two things will happen.
(1) She says "No thanks" or ignores me; bye-bye Gillian.
(2) She says "Hi! What are you up to?" or similar, which gets the conversation started.
Example 2: Heather, John and Angus (not their real names) work for Global Conglobulations, a firm with apparently very deep pockets who have been spraying contracts and cash around like ….
If any of them are on LinkedIn and if I send them an invitation to join, one of two things will happen.
(1) They say "No thanks" or ignore me; maybe I should try direct mail, or a cold call.
(2) They say "Hi! What do you do?" or similar, which gets the conversation started.
It's worth a try.
(Cheryl Scoffield is on LinkedIn)