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LinkedIn Open Networkers: marketing mistake

could being a L.I.O.N. hurt your career?
Posted by on February 9, 2014

 

Day 11 of 30-day blog challenge. Read day 10 “Controlling creativity: 5 tips to managing inspiration”

 

could being a L.I.O.N. hurt your career?

 

I’ve made a more concerted effort lately to use my LinkedIn account for networking, and as a place to engage with others in my industry (I join groups about marketing, social media and journalism. I’m a top contributor in a group called Brand Journalism). And while I’ve had the account for a few years, I haven’t added just anyone.

 

Over the years I’ve accumulated more than 500 connections, but I’ve been cautious to only add people in my local area as well as people who work in the same fields that I want to work. I’ve kept my eye on a few companies and followed some thought leaders.

 

One thing that really irritated me (and even caused me to disconnect from a LinkedIn associate) is the LinkedIn Open Networkers groups. L.I.O.N.s, as they refer to themselves, make it publicly known that they will openly connect with anyone from any industry. While I understand the concept of networks and Venn Diagrams, the idea of a social networking site dedicated as a form of online resume means to me that I would want to limit my associations. I want to be seen as part of a particular field.

 

I saw a LinkedIn connection broadcasting her L.I.O.N status and streams of email comments from any and everybody followed. My stomach turned. Don’t we have enough spam and “investment opportunities” come through our email addresses?

 

This blog is just a short pet peeve kind of stream of consciousness, but the central idea links back to how I believe people should use social media networks. Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages.

 

When it comes to developing your personal brand, you want to first know what your mission is. How do you define yourself and your business? Are you an illustrator or a dry cleaning business owner? Whatever you “are” is what you need to keep in mind when socializing personally online as well as professionally.

 

The advantages to an open approach to networking exist, and opportunities can arise, but as a general rule you want to start with a solid sense of yourself and your business. From that “mission statement,” begin thinking of how to position yourself. When do you want people to think about you and your services? A nutritionist who posts pictures of fried food dinners probably won’t get the calls for advice that a nutritionist who posts healthy choice recipes.

 

Everything in personal branding comes down to implementing your vision of yourself and your business. Set goals to connect with others in your industry or to widen your reach. Just keep your vision in mind with each connection you make and each post you publish.

 

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