Network Size and Recommendations

January 8, 2009

Recommendations and network size are two completely different things. (Although the bigger your network, the more choice you have in asking for recommendations.)

I like recommendations for several reasons:

  • They differentiate you from your competitor.
  • They are rich fodder for building business testimonials (to transfer to your website).
  • They give your reader a sense of your abilities and diverse talents.
  • They can qualify you as an expert.

Now do you need a hundred testimonials all saying the same thing? God no. But enough recommendations from a diverse range of people for each position can’t hurt.

Onto networks. I’m a LION who understand the LaMB (check out my blog to see what I am talking about: https://linkedinexpert.wordpress.com/ ). The simple truth is, the bigger the network, the more access you have. And while not everyone in your network will be a diamond in your business tiara, you’ll have a wider range to pick from. And just because I have 4000 direct connections, doesn’t mean I don’t know 400 of those people well enough (strategically) to pick up the phone. But if I kept my network at 200 people, well – that’s all I’d have access too.

I know LIONs aren’t popular because some people really abuse the system and bulk email their list ad nauseum verging on SPAM. I agree that is an abuse of the LinkedIn system and I immediately block those folks in my Outlook filter. Being a LION, I have to be very careful and honorable with my list – using it strategically. I don’t do bulk mailings. I try not to infringe upon the privacy of a complete stranger.

I’m hoping that one day LinkedIn has a rating system that will allow us to grade our connections as friends or acquaintances – but until then, I’ll continue to be a LION that acts like a LaMB.

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How do you use your social networks?

January 7, 2009

Whether you are a wide-open networker, like Viveka or Mari, or a strategic networker, like Peggy, you’ve probably had to spend a little time deciding who you will befriend and who you will ignore on your various social networks.

Note: This blog jointly written by Viveka von Rosen, Mari Smith and Peggy Dolane and is an example of the power of social marketing.


Viveka von Rosen, @linkedinexpert

Viveka Von Rosen is the CSMO (Chief Social Media Officer) of Integrated Alliances, and the Social Media and Marketing Director for The Executive Center. A victim of expensive and ineffective traditional marketing, Viveka was able to double TEC’s business through social and F2F networking. It is now her passion in life to help others build their businesses through social media strategies.

I am what you might call a promiscuous networker. In fact, I never say no to anyone (on LinkedIn that is.) Folks like me are known in LinkedIn as LIONS (LinkedIn Open Networkers). And to be completely transparent, LinkedIn doesn’t like us much.

Since I am in the field of social media strategy and marketing, I feel I need a giant network as a service to my clients. In numbers this means I have 4200+ direct connections and 17+ million in my LinkedIn Network (and growing). Both my Twitter and Facebook networks are significantly smaller only because I am a late-comer to both. It has been my experience, that the larger the network, the bigger the portal into the LinkedIn world, and the more likely I am to find the diamond amongst the gravel that my clients are looking for. It’s true that I might not be able to give the warmest introduction to someone I don’t know well, (unless I do) but I am at least able to give an introduction. A large network is most useful for Job Seekers and people in Sales and Recruiting where it is a numbers game.

“C” level folks will probably want to remain “LaMBs” (“Look at My Buds”) LaMBs (like Peggy) know everyone in their network, and if you are lucky enough to connect with one, you will find their network much more useful than a LION network. LIONs love LaMBs. I can contact Peggy and I know she knows everyone in her network and could, should she choose, give me a very warm written, perhaps even verbal recommendation.

Mari Smith @marismith:

Mari Smith is a Relationship Marketing Specialist and Social Media Business Coach. Dubbed the Pied Piper of the Facebook by Fast Company, Mari helps entrepreneurs to grow their business profits using an integrated social marketing strategy.

For Facebook®, I would call myself a strategic networker more than an open networker. My strategy from the get go (July 2007) was to reach out to all the big name influential people I could find in my industry: authors, speakers, trainers, internet marketers, even celebrity actors, etc. If certain people were not yet on Facebook, I would find a way to contact them and help them get set up (which is why Fast Company calls me “the Pied Piper of Facebook®!”)

Then, what I endeavor to do consistently is what I call “Radical Strategic Visibility.” Because of the News Feed feature of Facebook®, by deliberately and strategically choosing all my activities, I can show up in the feeds of these highly influential friends to the point they contact me.

I like to say “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know… and *who knows you.*” Facebook® provides an unprecedented opportunity to position yourself consistently as THE go-to person in your niche/industry.

Peggy Dolane, @freerangemom

Peggy Dolane, principal at Provient Marketing, designs affordable marketing programs and writes engaging copy that turns your audience into customers.

My strategic network isn’t huge – it’s somewhere around 300 people. That includes about 100 people I follow closely on Twitter, about 100 LinkedIn contacts (all of whom I have worked with or know personally), about 100 Outlook contacts, and perhaps 50 friends on Facebook. I’m not counting the hundreds of families I know through my kid’s school, church or community service projects I’ve been involved in – but I probably should!

What it doesn’t have in numbers, it makes up in relationships. I define my strategic network as my community – people I know well enough to ask for a favor. My goal is to build relationships, not numbers of contacts. I don’t accept every invitation I get on LinkedIn, for example, because every one of my LinkedIn contacts are people I’d feel confident in recommending their work and having it reflect back on me. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t actively mine LinkedIn via participating in groups and answering questions as opportunities to connect to new people. (Just email me for free copy of my LinkedIn Marketing Checklist.)

I am an open networker on StumbleUpon, Digg, and BizNik. I use these networks to reaching out to new and broader audiences. Frankly, I’m still growing into my open network strategy. I believe open networking has great value, but I’m still cautiously opening my network doors. I’m fairly open on Twitter – following back nearly anyone who looks like I have something in common with and who isn’t just amassing followers.

People to Follow

One of the great things about networking is meeting new people. With that in mind we thought we’d introduce our readers to people we think you might be interested in following:

Twitter:

LinkedIn:

Digg:

  • Mike Witt, http://digg.com/users/wittmc — Mike’s passion is helping people grow their at-home businesses. He’s got a network of 750+ friends on Digg that he uses judiciously, without spamming.

Facebook:

Next month
We plan to explore how we grow our networks. But in the meantime, what type of networker are you? Lion, Lamb or something else all together?

We hope you’ll leave a comment here about your networking style, then join us LIVE on Twitter on Wednesday, January, 14, 2009, 8 – 9 p.m. Eastern Time to explore more about the pros and cons of open vs. strategic networking. You’ll have a chance to meet a great group of people, and who knows, even learn something!


LinkedIn seems to be combining and deleteing profiles…

January 6, 2009

I have heard now from two clients who say that LinkedIn has taken it upon themselves to combine profiles.  One client – admittedly – had two profiles up – one directed as a personal profile and one for her business.  LinkedIn doesn’t like that much.  It appears that they have deleted her personal profile and have only her business’s profile active.

My other client’s story is worse:  apparently LinkedIn deleted her profile, but gave her access to another person’s profile.  Same name – different person.  They changed the other person’s password so my client could access that profile.

It has been several weeks and they are both still exchanging emails with customer service.

So – IF you have two profiles up – or have a common name, may I make these suggestions:

Make a word doc copy of your entire profile.  To do this simply “view profile”,  select all, than copy to a word doc.  You should always have a copy of your profile anyway, as if mkaes it much easier to create profiles in other social media platforms.

The other thing you will want to do on a weekly basis is download your contacts list.  That way if LinkedIn should ever “lose” your profile (or shut you down which they might do to me after I write this blog) you can simply create your new profile using your word doc and upload your contact list and re-invite everyone.  (of course – this works only if you have less than 3000 first contacts).  Make sure you personalize your invitation explaining that “you used to be contected on LinekdIn, but due to a LinekdIn glitch,I must re-invite all my contacts.  Please re-accept my invitation (and archive this message if you no longer want to be connected). ”

So – this might be a pain in  the ass, and a couple hours more of work,  but trust me, it’s better than several weeks of dealing with customer service and/or being out of touch with your LinkedIn connections.

Once you have your new profile up and running, make sure to add all your email addresses under accounts/setting!

IF YOU HAVE ANY MORE QUESTIONS – FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME.


Is it the size of your network or what you do with it?

December 22, 2008

Is it the size of your network or what you do with it?

I am what you might call a promiscuous networker. In fact, I never say no to anyone (in LinkedIn that is.) Folks like me are known in LinkedIn as LIONS (LinkedIn Open Networkers). And to be completely transparent, LinkedIn doesn’t like us much. Nonetheless, since I am in the field of social media strategy and marketing – working with both  corporations and individuals –  I find I need a giant network as a service to my clients. The larger the network, the bigger the portal into the LinkedIn world, and the more likely you are to find the diamond amongst the gravel. A large network is very useful for people in Sales and Recruiting where it is a numbers game. It’s awfully hard to connect to someone who is not a first or second connection. Never mind those not in your network at all.

Those “C” level folks will want to remain “LaMBs”(“Look at My Buds” – coined my Laurie Macomber Of Blue Skies Marketing.) LaMBs know everyone in their network, and if you are lucky enough to connect to one, you will find their network much more useful than a LION network. LIONs love LaMBs. I can contact Laurie and I know she knows everyone in her network and could, should she choose to, give me a very warm written, perhaps even verbal recommendation.

For those wanting top grow a LION network, let me throw out a few caveats. Firstly, LinkedIn only allows you 3000 invitations, so don’t go inviting everyone in your 4000 person database. (You can accept as many invitations as you want). When you do invite someone, make sure you let them know how they know you and why you want to connect. Be aware of the IDK. (I Don’t Know). Get even one IDK now and LinkedIn will limit the functionality of your profile. When inviting someone to connect with you, ask them to archive your invitation if they do not want to accept it. Most people are not aware the penalties LinkedIn enforces as a result of an IDK.

For most people, the ideal network lies between the LION and the LaMB. If you want to strategically grow your network beyond people you know, but don’t want to be completely promiscuous, I suggest going to TopLinked.com’s top 50 list and inviting all of those folks. They will say yes, open your network to about 10 million, while keeping your first connections close at hand. And of course, invite me to Link In with you!


What a long hard Tweet it’s been

December 18, 2008

I’m so happy…  this is a great ending to a bad day.  Thanks Hubspot and Twitter Grader for making this possible!

It's taken awhile...

It's taken awhile...


So many cool new options for the business owner and entrepreneur

December 11, 2008

How did we use to do it before the internet and social media?  You can’t shut me up these days about Twitter, WordPress and LinkedIn.  I even find it bleeding into my  sessions with my life coaching clients.  It’s so easy.  One client, an avid  , is going to create a wiki that his family can all add their memories and pictures to.  Another client wanted to let people know about her conscious cooking program, and we are creating a WordPress site for her.  Another client is considering writing a blog rather than a book about her life – because it’s faster, easier, and not as daunting.  And she can get feedback.  The list goes on and on.  How are you using social media in your life?


Elements of a Good LinkedIn Recommendation

November 17, 2008

Elements of a Good LinkedIn Recommendation

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