Linking Up Your Network for 2009

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Linking Up Your Network for 2009

In the past couple of months, I’ve had a number of people ask me about LinkedIn and whether it’s worth it. Usually they are business people in their late forties or fifties who wonder if they are missing anything, and usually they think they aren’t.

I describe my own experience—I maintain a profile and use it to meet people and find contacts, but I don’t spend a lot of time on it. To gain a more systematic perspective, I called Chris Rollyson, managing director of CSRA, a management consultancy specializing in social media and Web 2.0 strategy and programs.

“LinkedIn should be a trusted network of people,” he said. “It should be a group of people you draw around you that you can ask for help to get done what’s important to you.”

During the Business Marketing Association (BMA) Chicago‘s November Marketing Masters Luncheon Seminar, Patrick Crane, LinkedIn’s vice president of marketing, said “[LinkedIn founder] Reid Hoffman had this vision that there could be a new global medium for how business gets done. . . for professionals to help each other, to find one another, connect with one another . . .  and to help each other along the way,” he said. “The whole idea was it’s not just the people you know; it’s the people they know. That’s the foundation; that’s why we came to be.”

BMA Chicago hosted two speakers from LinkedIn for its November program. With a crowd of more than 400, it was one of the best attended BMA Chicago luncheons. Click here to download a podcast of the presentation.

“The key is to build your network with purpose,” Rollyson said. Few people do. Most are reactive, either accepting or rejecting every invitation that comes their way.

Watch for Networking Using LinkedIn Part 2.