Fundamental Principle of Networking 4: Quality versus Diversity

September 30, 2009

There are always many discussions about what is most important in networking: quality or quantity. In “Let’s Connect!” I wrote about this discussion. Since it is pretty fundamental I repeat it here and then discuss the strength of weak links.

Actually the discussion is about a “wrong” topic. It is not quantity that is important, but diversity. The consequence, however, is that the more diverse your network is, the more people will be in it.

Let’s look at both quality and diversity a little bit closer.

The Importance of Quality

Let me start by asking you a question: what is quality? How do you define it?

Many people perceive people with a high position in a large and well-known company as “high quality”. Let’s call such a person Mr. Big Shot. And they do everything they can to come into contact with her when they see her at an event. But when they get a few minutes of this person’s attention they don’t know what to say and focus on exchanging business cards. Afterwards they send emails and start calling Mr. Big Shot, only to be blocked by her secretary. And then they are disappointed in Mr. Big Shot, the event where they attended and in networking in general.

Do you recognize this situation? From your own experience or from someone you know? Then it might be a good idea to look differently at “quality”.
For me “quality” can only be measured when compared to your goals. A person is of “high quality” if she (or her network) can help you to reach your goals better and faster. Mr. Big Shot could be high quality, but he is also very busy. So it might be a good idea to look for other people of equal quality that are easier to approach and who have more time for you.

So quality is definitely important in networking. But so is diversity. Why?

There are 4 reasons:

1. Your goals change over time: someone who is now of “low quality” to you might be of very high quality three years down the road.
2. More opportunities
3. Value for your network: someone might not be of “high quality” to you for the moment, but might be of very high quality for someone of your network.
4. Diversity creates a larger safety net when circumstances change: the more diverse your network the more opportunities when you need a new job.

Since both quality and diversity are important, key is to find your own balance between them.

To your success !

Jan

PS: this is an excerpt from the book How to REALLY use LinkedIn (of in het Nederlands: Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken). Make sure you download your FREE light version.

Advertisements

Hoe LinkedIn Gebruiken om een Nieuwe Baan te Vinden (MindMap)

September 23, 2009

Apologies for the English readers of this blog, exceptionally this post is in Dutch.

Ben je zelf op zoek naar een nieuwe baan of wil iemand uit je omgeving een nieuwe job of nieuw werk vinden, dan is deze Mindmap “Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken om een nieuwe baan te vinden” een handige tool.

Succes !

Jan

Auteur van de netwerk boeken Let’s Connect en Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken (van beide is er een gratis light versie beschikbaar)


LinkedIn Myth: I’m Happy With My Current Situation So I Don’t Need To Build A Network on LinkedIn

September 16, 2009

Time for busting another LinkedIn (or networking in general) myth: I am happy with my current professional situation, I don’t need to build a network on LinkedIn (or elsewhere).

Let me start by answering you don’t have to do anything. All the tips in “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” are suggestions and tips that are derived from my experience with giving hundreds of training courses and presentations about networking or referrals and from using LinkedIn myself.

So why build a network on LinkedIn? For starters almost everybody needs some expert advice once in a while or new connections inside or outside a company. LinkedIn helps you to find these experts and the people who can introduce you to them. So that is one reason.

The second and maybe even more important reason is that I see too many people only start building their network when it is too late. People who got unexpectedly fired and needed to find a new job suddenly realized they needed a network to help them. Then they get on LinkedIn and start building their network, which takes time. Many times time they don’t have.

The same applies to entrepreneurs. I meet so many people who have a great idea, leave their job, start a company, invest a lot of money and after a few months they realize they also need customers. And a lot. And fast. Why? Because the monthly costs and investments are high. Then they realize they need to start building their network while they should have done that months ago.

In these two examples they start building the network when they NEED it URGENTLY. This creates an energy of despair, which turns people off instead of making them interested to help you.

So start building your network before you actually need it. You can then interact in a normal way with the networking attitude of sharing without expecting anything immediately in return.

To your success !

Jan

PS: this is an excerpt from the book How to REALLY use LinkedIn (of in het Nederlands: Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken). Make sure you download your FREE light version.


14 Ways How LinkedIn Can Help Recruiters

September 9, 2009

If you are a recruiter or are responsible for hiring new employees, these are the benefits LinkedIn can bring you:

1. Identifying the right people (finding their profile)

2. Receiving introductions or referrals to potential employees (via the introductions tool or outside LinkedIn)

3. Discovering the relationships between potential employees and other contacts (see the connections in their profiles)

4. Discovering the relationships between your colleagues from the same and other departments and potential employees (see the connections in their profiles)

5. Discovering information about potential employees which makes the conversations online and offline easier (reading their profile)

6. Maintaining relationship with potential employees (Personal contacts, Discussions in Groups and answering questions in Answers)

7. Visibility for you as recruiter and for your organisation and personal branding (your profile not only on LinkedIn, but also in the Search Engines like Google, contributions in Answers and in Discussions)

8. Make yourself be perceived as an expert (contributions in Answers and in Discussions and Expert points)

9. Word of mouth publicity (receiving recommendations and people telling about you in Discussions, mention you as the expert in Answers or talking about you outside of LinkedIn)

10. Getting recommendations which are visible to potential employees (recommendations written by other people which can’t be modified by you which makes them stronger)

11. Finding the right groups and organisations to be member of, both online and offline (via the profiles of people from your network)

12. Picking up trends in the marketplace (Discussions in the groups of your peers and in the groups of people with the profile you are looking for)

13. Getting notifications when someone changes something in their profile, this is a trigger to see if a contact who didn’t qualify for a job in the past, might be a good candidate now (network updates)

14. LinkedIn has also special tools for recruiting

To your success !

Jan

PS: this is an excerpt from the book How to REALLY use LinkedIn (of in het Nederlands: Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken). Make sure you download your FREE light version.


Interview with Networking Expert Scott Ginsberg

September 5, 2009

In this episode of “Interviews with networking experts from all around the world” series I interviewed approachability expert Scott Ginsberg at the NSA convention in Phoenix, USA.

Scott is the author of several books like Hello my name is Scott and the two-books-in one Stick Yourself Out There / Get Them to Come to You.

Listen to this interview with networking expert Scott Ginsberg by Jan Vermeiren. (10 min 15 sec)

Have a great networking day !

Jan

Author of Let’s Connect! and How to REALLY use LinkedIn.


%d bloggers like this: