Today I attended a networking luncheon for the newly formed Grand Rapids Entrepreneur’s Club. This fledgling organization was started by my colleague Cyndi Sullivan. Years ago, Cyndi and I were on the founding committee for a different networking group; I’ve come to admire her work ethic and positive, pay-it-forward approach to networking. The Grand Rapids chapter is part of a national organization called The Entrepreneur’s Club of America. What’s unique about the format is the guest speaker is a fellow entrepreneur who shares his/her experiences about what it’s like to run a small business.
The featured speaker was Rob Geer, Managing Partner at Management Business Solutions. Rob was a dynamic speaker. I took notes as he spoke and he gave me permission to share them with my readers. Many of his ideas were useful to me personally as an entrepreneur. Because this blog is about workplace dynamics, I want to highlight a specific comment that he made about the social media site Linked In. His comments have implications for how knowledge workers are perceived by their peers.
Rob mentioned that a Linked In profile has become a mainstay in American business and I agree. It’s almost as if the profile has become standard business issue. Would you try to do business without a phone or an email address? I believe that a LinkedIn profile is fast moving into that category. Rob says that before he goes to meet with a new client, he checks out their website and their Linked In profile. Google indexes LinkedIn, so it’s very easy to find someone either via Google or on the site itself.
Believe it or not, I still have colleagues who don’t use Linked In. And they are doing their professional credibility a disservice. If you know of colleague who isn’t on Linked In yet (or who has 2 connections and a sparse profile) please encourage him or her to do so. It only takes a few minutes and it will do wonders for their public “face”.