It’s a Journey, not a Race

Teddy Burriss - Balloon in sky Journey

I’m seeing more and more advertisements for ‘instant’, ‘rapid’ and ‘easy’ automation methods or processes around using LinkedIn.

Even though these plugins, applications, extensions, services, etc may automate and speed up the use of some areas of LinkedIn, this is fact; they are all doomed to fail like a house of cards.

And, if you are not capable of running your business without these automation tools, your business could fail as well.

I make this bold statement based on two facts.

#1 – LinkedIn’s Terms of Service very clearly states you are not allowed to use any 3rd party application to automate any of the LinkedIn processes within the application. Read Section 8 of the Terms of Services completely.

#2 – LinkedIn is the 800# Gorilla who owns the application and access to the data. (You may own your LinkedIn data, just not the application that accesses it.)

None of these businesses creating these ‘unauthorized’ crawlers, browser plugins and add-ons, or any other technology, can sustain the application changes they have to keep making as LinkedIn counters their ‘attacks’ on the data and LinkedIn application.

It may cost LinkedIn lots of money to keep fending off the violators to their terms of services, however, LinkedIn’s pockets and determination are greater than the businesses who are violating LinkedIn’s terms of service.

I strongly feel it is not wise to build a business or allow my employees to build business processes using these 3rd party tools and ignoring these two points.

One of the reasons these 3rd party applications exists is as a society we seek ‘instant gratification‘.

There are many things in my life where I expect instant gratification. Turn on the water, turn on a light, fire up Apple Music, Netflix or the coffee pot.

However, getting instant results from LinkedIn is not something I expect or want. It’s not sustainable.

LinkedIn is a professional networking tool and plays an important role in relationship development when you use LinkedIn appropriately.

Networking and relationship development is a journey, not a race.

Here are 5 reasons I look at using LinkedIn as a journey, not a race.

  1. I’m a relationship sales professional. I have some level of relationship with all of my clients. I like this style of business.
  2. I like to research my Most Important Viewers in my LinkedIn network and discover more about them so I can best engage with them using words and ideas they understand. This produces some of the richest conversations for me and them.
  3. Being organic in my use of LinkedIn allows me to find new processes, tactics, and styles that fit who I am and my business. This allows me to be different than others who have automated the basic steps of LinkedIn with less personality or uniqueness.
  4. For me, it would be devastating to use an automation tool that purports instant gratification and be discovered as less than sincere, honest, or real. See point #1 again.
  5. Getting into open conversations with my LinkedIn Network has created a huge advantage for me. This takes time and has uncovered new ideas that have had a positive impact on my life and/or business.
  6. I truly enjoy fulfilling this edict every day; “Networking is finding, developing and nurturing relationships that mutually move people forward through life.”

Again, networking and relationship development is a journey, not a race. The magic is in the journey. The rewards are in the conversations I get to have along the way. The benefits are mutual when I listen and get permission to share after I discover what is important to the other person.

My last point regarding using ‘unauthorized’ applications with LinkedIn is this; I believe I have built a fantastic LinkedIn Network, one that I am blessed to have. I also have created a strong reputation across LinkedIn in regards to the work I do and it makes my phone ring.

There is no way in the world I would jeopardize this and lose access to my LinkedIn account because I want instant gratification.

Teddy

15 Best Practices of LinkedIn Networking

Networking on LinkedIn is an important practice and must be done correctly and consistently in order to create real business results.

It all starts with knowing who you want to connect with. Who, in what companies, industries, and regions?

As you connect on LinkedIn you’ll create opportunities to connect with even more people you want to connect with.

I love the old adage, “6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.” This is so old school. Today it’s “3 degrees of separation from anyone who connects with purpose and intention on LinkedIn.”

I ‘preach’ this regularly and am obliged to do so again here:

“There are two people you need to connect with on LinkedIn, those you can help and those who can help you.
Consider the invites from those you can help, as you purposefully send invites to those who can help you in your business or career.”

 

  1. As you connect on LinkedIn remember to smile and be friendly. You’re networking with other real people.
  2. Follow the Dale Carnegie principle; ‘make the conversation all about the other person.”
  3. I’ve added a spin to this philosophy in my Networking for Mutual Benefit; “Make the conversation all about the other person until you get permission to talk about yourself or your business.”
  4. As you connect you never know who knows who, and who can introduce you to who. This could be considered mysterious, however, for me, it’s one of the coolest things about networking.
  5. Keep connecting, and as long as you are doing it correctly, with purpose and intention, focused on your goals, trust the magic of networking will work.
  6. Don’t just network on LinkedIn, find opportunities to meet in person or have a Skype or Phone conversation. “Digital Face to Face is better than never face to face.”
  7. People want to do business with people they trust, respect and like. Get into open conversations, this can help you achieve greater trust, respect, and relationships.
  8. Listen to what your connections say or ask. Don’t listen to respond, but rather, listen to understand first and foremost.
  9. Remember to Give to your LinkedIn Network. When you give ideas, information and/or new philosophies that are relevant to your target audience, this adds to the trust, respect, and relationship.
  10. Don’t confuse barfing out brochures and case studies as a form of Giving. Give your target audience what they want, need, & are interested in, even if it’s not about your business.
  11. Help your LinkedIn Network, including your target audience, to connect with others who can help each other. Do this with no expectations of anything in return.
  12. Pay attention to your LinkedIn Network as you continue to grow your network. Show empathy and bolster their self-esteem when and where you can. You will always be remembered for caring for your network.
  13. If you lead with Give and care for your network, they will be acceptable to introduce you to others who you need meet. Ask for introductions when you can.
  14. Pay attention to who your network is connected to, and to whom they can introduce you to. Again, as you get permission, ask for appropriate introductions.
  15. Networking is a life style, not something you do once a week or when an urgent need arises.

I discovered years ago that my Network is my most important asset in life. This includes my LinkedIn Network.

Never disrespect your LinkedIn Network, continuously build your LinkedIn Network, develop a diverse LinkedIn Network, help your LinkedIn Network, care for your LinkedIn Network, share your LinkedIn Network and Give to your LinkedIn Network with no expectations.

It’ll return great dividends if you do.

Read more of my articles about Networking on LinkedIn on my blog

If I can help you and/or your team with your LinkedIn Networking practices, let’s talk.

/Teddy

336-283-6121