Yes there are parts of your LinkedIn activity that can be outsourced – but overall it’s worth making the time to do the bulk of it yourself – unless you can be specific with your outsourcing.
Before you totally disagree with me, let me share a recent experience. I met with a client regarding writing some articles for them and asked about their LinkedIn progress – her connections had increased significantly and she mentioned that she had outsourced her LinkedIn activity for the last few months at a considerable cost. And with respect to the organisation providing the service, the profile looked great, and there looked to be regular activity – and they were very good at providing a detailed report at what had been completed on her behalf.
Being the sticky beak (that I can be at times I asked for more details about specific report phrases, what does that mean? “That tells me that they have sent 142 recommendations on my behalf this month. I have actually been receiving all these messages from the people who received them, thanking me for my recommendations”.
That sounded like a great system, until I actually asked the question, “Do you actually know these 142 people or are they just random people you have been connected to?”
Unfortunately they were just random people – which seemed to me to be a waste of time and potential loss of her credibility. My suggestion of giving them a list of people that you want recommendations sent to fell on deaf ears, “that’s not how they do it”.
Outsourcing is great as long as you can specify what it is that you want the service provider to do for you.
LinkedIn is not a once size fits all system – you are building a group of connections potentially with a view to doing business, expanding your network and finding like minded people via groups and industries.
Next query was the number of endorsements for the month – again I asked a question already knowing the answer, “Are these endorsements random or do you give the list of who you want them to endorse?”
“Robyn, I told you that’s not how it works, they have a system that I tapped into. I am not in a position to dictate who they endorse or send recommendations to – that is not how their system works”.
Unfortunately outsourcing today is like any other purchase you make, sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. If you don’t understand that LinkedIn is not just about building random connections mindlessly, then you will not build connections with a purpose. Importantly, just because someone invites you to connect, does not mean that you have to say yes or accept their invitation.
By all means outsource your LinkedIn activity – you will end up hopefully with a great profile that reflects your career and business experience. And that alone will benefit your LinkedIn presence. However, when it comes to connections, endorsement and recommendations – surely you want to only use this activity for people whom you know – not just random strangers.
The more specific you are with your outsourcing, the more value you will get for your dollar. The more questions you ask, the more information you will receive and then you will be able to make a sound decision – not just accept ‘the offer’. And if you are not sure which questions to ask, get involved in Women’s Network Australia group activity on LinkedIn and finally ask for help before you need it.
LinkedIn is still in my opinion, the best online networking tool available and can be managed effectively in less that 10-15 minutes per day, at any time of day. Can’t spare 10 minutes per day, maybe you could track your time management for the day – lets save that post for 2017.
See you on LinkedIn or at a Women’s Network Australia live or online event.