A LinkedIn Journey From a 15-Year Veteran

LinkedIn, leveraging LinkedIn for networking opportunities

Over the past few articles, we’ve delved deep into the essence of emotional selling in our increasingly digital world. In ‘The Human Touch: Why Voiceover Artists Outshine AI Voices‘, we explored the irreplaceable authenticity of human narration. We further examined the profound impact of sentiments in ‘The Role of Feelings in Buying: A Look at Emotional Buying‘. As we conclude this insightful series, let’s embark on a journey through LinkedIn to discover how, even in the digital realms of networking, the human touch remains paramount. We also look at some practical ways of leveraging LinkedIn for networking opportunities.

Embarking on A LinkedIn Journey From a 15-Year Veteran offers unique insights, especially if you’re in the business realm with a LinkedIn profile. You might find that your profile isn’t harnessing its full potential. This perspective isn’t just plucked from thin air; it’s rooted in 15 years of hands-on experience on the platform, punctuated by innumerable conversations and hundreds of thousands of profile views.

A Difficult Start: My Early Days on LinkedIn

Rewind 15 years, and I was a novice on LinkedIn. The 2008 recession had just struck, costing me a lucrative job. At 48, I found myself navigating the job market, facing ageism at every turn. Traditional job-hunting methods were failing me. That’s when I discovered the power of networking and LinkedIn. These tools became my lifelines. They didn’t offer instant solutions, but they paved a path forward.

The Core Principle: Building Genuine Relationships

Over the years, I realised that networking and LinkedIn shared a core principle: building genuine relationships. It’s not about selling, though many miss this point. I’ve encountered numerous individuals, especially at in-person events, who are more interested in pitching their services than getting to know you. This aggressive approach is even more pronounced on LinkedIn, where sales pitches are often impersonal, automated messages.

The age-old adage, “People buy from people”, holds. Building a relationship, understanding the other person’s needs, and establishing trust are prerequisites to entering “business mode”. While I do believe that most of us network to sell, whether on LinkedIn or at events, it’s essential to understand the timing. You wouldn’t propose on the first date, would you?

The Purpose and Returns of Networking

Networking, whether online or offline, is an investment of time. Naturally, you’d expect returns. But it’s crucial to understand that these returns aren’t always immediate. While 80% of my clients on LinkedIn aim to generate leads that convert to revenue, others have different objectives. Some want to forge relationships, others are job hunting, and a few want to stay updated, ensuring their profiles reflect the latest trends.

Reflecting on the past 15 years, I’ve come a long way. From being a newcomer on LinkedIn to earning the nickname “the Implementor”, the journey has been transformative. It’s not just about who you know or what you know. It’s about the actions you take. My proactive approach led me to expand my network, both online and offline. I leveraged my LinkedIn expertise, even bartering it when funds were tight.

One crucial lesson I’ve imparted to many is that LinkedIn doesn’t come with a manual. Many users set up their profiles based on guesswork or fragmented advice. To add to the confusion, LinkedIn’s frequent updates come without clear communication. This gap presented an opportunity for me. I began conducting presentations, demystifying LinkedIn for many.

My career trajectory has been diverse. From working with a charity to being part of a large chamber of commerce, each experience enriched my perspective. Networking and LinkedIn played pivotal roles in these transitions. I took the entrepreneurial plunge six years ago, establishing my own company in 2018. Despite challenges, especially recently, I’ve persisted, assisting individuals and teams across various sectors.

The Four Pillars of LinkedIn Mastery

Today, when I network, it’s rare to meet someone not on LinkedIn. However, a cursory glance at their profiles reveals missed opportunities in leveraging LinkedIn for networking opportunities. This is where I step in, guiding them to harness LinkedIn’s full potential.

I often discuss the four pillars of LinkedIn:

Top Card: This is the first impression, comprising your banner, headshot, and headline. In today’s digital age, capturing attention within the first few seconds is crucial. It’s the starting point for leveraging LinkedIn for networking opportunities.
Optimisation: Like Google, LinkedIn is indexed. A well-optimised profile ranks higher, yielding better results. This optimisation is key to leveraging LinkedIn for networking opportunities.
Activities: Beyond just posts, this includes articles and other content forms. They’re the driving force behind LinkedIn, influenced significantly by its algorithm.
Search: The platform’s search feature has evolved, enabling precise, targeted searches. This feature is especially useful when leveraging LinkedIn for networking opportunities.

Mastering these pillars transforms LinkedIn from a mere networking tool to a powerful business ally. It can streamline your efforts, delivering impressive results in less time.

In conclusion, my journey from the challenges of 2008 to today has been marked by growth, learning, and transformation. Retirement isn’t on the horizon as I remain committed to empowering others to leverage LinkedIn, especially SMEs and small business owners, ensuring they don’t just navigate but thrive in the digital landscape.

Tony K Silver

Tony Silver LinkedIn Expert

My call out to all those of you who have read this article is to ask yourself how important to your business is LinkedIn? Do your ideal clients engage with the platform? What sort of increase in business could I get if I got my profile to work for me and when I posted, I got great reach, getting my message out to more people? If any of your answers lead you to the conclusion that it would benefit from using the platform proficiently, then I am Tony K Silver, and I am a LinkedIn Expert and Educator.

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