Growing the network (LinkedIn case study)

I hit a dead end on the recording front after the studio software developed some problems. Apparently it could take months to fix the problems and so there will probably be no significant developments on that end for some time. I was very much looking forward to the studio experience and the setback could not have come at a worse time. However, it’s just temporary and it will only give me more time to prepare.  I will probably start working on the book in the meantime.

I have been helping some of my contacts with their own networking using LinkedIn ( My reasoning is that if my contacts expand their network, that will also enhance my own network.  In the first case I have been looking at contacts who would like to expand their network but currently have very few contacts on LinkedIn. I have encouraged them to add more details to their profiles to give more complete information.  Security concerns  still a sticky issue but one has to do decide how much information they would like to disclose online. Simply putting the name and current job is not enough. One has to try and populate all the fields on their profile, including information on their value proposition to their network, past employment and academic. Once there is more information it is much easier to introduce these contacts to fellow members of my network.

In the second  case my contacts had limited online presence with little to medium usage of other social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace etc.

The process I followed in expanding the network  is as follows: I requested a detailed cv with a comprehensive information about professional and academic background. I then had to get the email and password details from my contacts to create a LinkedIn account for them which I could log into. Generally the sharing of passwords in NEVER advised and I would not recommend it. However, there were very few options in this particular case.

Using the information from the cv I then used it to populate the profile on LinkedIn, in some cases summarising the information on the cv. After putting in all the revelant dates, jobs and educational information, the next stage was to start growing the actual network on LinkedIn. This was done by importing contacts from the webmail address book such as yahoo, gmail or whatever the case maybe and sending invitations to join the LinkedIn contacts. A note accompanying the invitation can also be helpful.

In one instance, there was only one address in the address book.  I then had to go through the emails and save the addresses of senders before more invitations could be sent. Fortunately the webmail was quite easy to use and it was not long before I had saved several email addresses.

It’s now a case of wait and see. I will send and introduce the new LinkedIn profiles to connections in my own LinkedIn network. This will not be done randomly but only after assessing where there is likely to be mutual benefit from the interaction of the parties in question.

From here I reckon my contacts can continue on their own on LinkedIn. They will really have to play around on the website to find out what it’s all about. Sometimes there is no way to find out except to try it out for yourself.  Going forward I will be assessing periodically to see if there is any value add from the whole process. – BTM

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