LinkedIn will be an important social platform for many years to come but each month it is moving away from being the place to launch and build business and it is moving back to its roots – a Rolodex on steroids!
The problem with LinkedIn is that its success has watered down its value. At one time a LinkedIn, group with a compelling theme, could be launched and attract tens of thousands of members there are now too many groups – millions! Where once you could post a blog or a news release on a few group discussion boards and generate hundreds of hits they are now so overly spammed that nobody participates!
Everybody is talking and nobody is listening!
Two years ago I spent an hour a day on LinkedIn, getting involved with group discussions, building relationships and the result was that I generated a significant income directly from LinkedIn. Now it is a Rolodex, a great Rolodex, and a Rolodex on steroids but just a Rolodex. LinkedIn’s value as a sales tool is quickly diminishing.
The same has happened with live business networking groups. Early successes attracted abuse and now networking groups stuffed with sellers with no money or intention to buy and valuable contacts to share. Even the concept of ‘not selling to those in the room’ is past because the attendees are so hungry, so low on the totem pole that their networks are all but worthless.
LinkedIn is still valuable as a search tool – I even pay for premium membership. In fact, with everyone now on LinkedIn is use as a research and recruiting tool is higher than ever. I do not now, however, spend time ‘networking’ on LinkedIn. I make connections and then quickly move them to the real world.
I have done the same with live networking events. I attend one or two a month just to ‘get out there’ but I make my ‘real’ business connections through cold calling and pitching directly to businesses that can gain value from my services.
Social media has become, for the most part wallpaper – noise in the background! It has value but should only a part of a business development mix – the core of any sales process is selling!
Nothing really changes! People are people and if you want to connect then direct is the best approach. LinkedIn was a powerful business development site two years ago but, like every great trend, once everyone gets involved the real value passes.
This is probably a good time for those who market LinkedIn classes as the late adopters and Luddites are finally noticing LinkedIn and will need to learn how to navigate. They will pay to understand what they have finally noticed. That being said, the smarter marketers are already removing ‘Linked” from their business names and searching for the next new marketing wave to ride – they know that LinkedIn is fading.
Personally, after a couple of years of being seduced by the friendly, cooperative, supportive promises of live networking and social media I have come to my senses and have gone back to what really works and what has always worked – selling!
I make hundreds of cold calls every week to promote my business and the businesses of my client’s; I speak at events all over London and directly promote my business everyday. I still add social media into the mix.
The result? My business has never been so successful and it is growing at an unprecedented rate.