In today’s busy world, are you guilty of making it hard for people to find you on LinkedIn?
This week I had an interesting conversation with Lynette Palmen, the Founder and Director of Women’s Network Australia (WNA). I was desperately looking for a web designer for a NFP client from another state, who had been badly let down by their current web service provider. When they could not source a local person, I offered to find a web designer that could fill the brief.
My first step was to look at my network and go directly to the WNA Members Directory and search for Web Designer – WHAT no listing anywhere in Australia!!. That can’t be right, I thought, so I tried searching under Web Services and found one person. Surely there must be more than one person in the entire WNA membership base who can build a website. I phoned the Member that was listed and not surprisingly found that she was way too busy to take on another client.
In desperation, I decided to phone Lynette and ask her the question, who are the web designers within WNA’s membership? She rattled off a stack of Members who could provide that service however, it seemed the key words they had used to be found in the WNA Member Directory were listed under other classifications ranging from eMarketing services, Copy writers to Online marketing. The good news was, that by calling Lynette I was able to make contact with a WNA Member who is now preparing a quote for my client based on our discussion about exactly what was needed.
This got me thinking – was I also guilty of using words that were confusing and unclear for anyone looking for my services? And as a Member of WNA was I also making this mistake on my WNA Member Directory Profile?
GUILTY AS CHARGED!
This revelation got me also thinking about my LinkedIn profile.
On LinkedIn I describe myself as a ‘Networking Strategist’, but what is a networking strategist? Well, I know what I do – I work with individuals or organisations ranging from small businesses to multi-nationals and come up with a networking strategy or plan for them after conducting a networking audit with the key players. This often involves keynote presentations or workshops on different aspects of networking ranging from identifying which networks will have the most prospects for them, what will attendance at those networks cost through to actually attending those events and the importance of follow up and building a network of prospects and contacts. We create a short and long term networking plan based on their desired outcomes.
Am I guilty of wanting to describe myself as something a little bit different from the other people who speak and write about networking? Yes definitely, I want to stand out from the crowd. But does anyone really know what a ‘Networking Strategist’ is before I explain the term to them? I am guessing the answer would be – not many people know or for that matter care. Am I missing potential business opportunities because of my confusing LinkedIn description? Yikes, more than likely, I am. I know I definitely attract ghost writing opportunities from LinkedIn and even that term requires tightening up in hindsight.
May I suggest that you consider doing the same, particularly if you are in the online space, where the language and jargon is constantly changing. No doubt you have sat in an audience just as I have where the IT speaker is using jargon way above my comprehension and pay grade. I often wonder if that is their marketing strategy – make it confusing so I will engage them to simplify it for me. And I know that strategy definitely works for some people, but not for me.
What I know for sure is that if a person does not understand the work you do – how will they ever know that they need your services?
To quote a question from Gregg Braden “Resilience from the Heart – How can your knowledge, skills and passions be used to fill the needs of today?” The first step in answering this question is to make sure that our prospects and connections know exactly what it is that we do.
Have fun networking until next time and as always, if I am not currently connected to you on LinkedIn, please send me an invitation to connect?