Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Alex DiPasquale's Favorite e-commerce book I'm on LinkedIn - Now What???

My favorite e-commerce book is I’m on LinkedIn – Now What ??? by Jason Alba because I put it to practical use. I’ve had a LinkedIn account for about a year and never used it. I’d been meaning to get serious about it but it seemed like a daunting task. Alba’s book made it easy. At 130 pages it is an easy read. I read through it in a few hours and began working on my account.
There’s a quote in the introduction that says Alba teaches a system to tap into the power of LinkedIn is. I don’t fully agree with that quote but it put me in the mindset that LinkedIn is not a passive tool.

The book is broken up into chapters that can stand alone so when I updated my profile I simply turned to chapter 3 and began updating my profile.
The greatest value that I got from the book is the idea of branding. Thinking of LinkedIn as a way to promote my brand influenced my decisions regarding my LinkedIn account. The LinkedIn profile is the first thing a recruiter, or a user, sees when looking for contacts, so this is where ones brand is created.

In the past I’d gotten invitations to join someone’s network and always got the canned, “I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network’ email. The chapter on connecting with others recommends not using the canned request to connect email provided by LinkedIn but rather to write a personal email that tells the potential contact, who I am, how I found you, and why we should connect. In my opinion, sending a personal email, instead of the canned one, adds to my brand.

The chapter on connecting was very helpful. The search tips not only made it easy for me to find people but they gave me ideas on how I could be found too. I ended up connecting with many people from my working past in Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Some of these people are good business contacts; in other cases I reconnected with friends. I ended up finding an old high school buddy, who I’ll see at my class reunion in July.

The section on groups was very beneficial to me. I would not have even considered joining a LinkedIn group before reading the chapter, now I am in six groups. As the book teaches, the advantages are I connect with people with whom I have a common bond. Every group that I am in gives me access to potential employers or referrals.

Since reading this book I have become the local motivational speaker, touting the advantage of LinkedIn.
I have mentored a few people and watched their networks grow. With everyone that I link to I find another contact to add to my network. Before I read this book I had 3 contacts which gave me access to 1,700 people. Today I have 39 contacts which gives me access to over 205,000 people!

I’m on LinkedIn – Now What ??? is a cross between a how to and a motivational book, it has a fair amount of administrative advice too. This is the type of book that, when the LinkedIn user becomes more comfortable with the website, he or she can reread the book and benefit again and again.

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