Something happened earlier today that made me realize that many people are spending time on LinkedIn without getting any real benefit or business growth. Some people are chalking it up to the not knowing how to navigate the new User Interface, others, to the features that LinkedIn and Microsoft have taken away from the free version.

Here is the real truth – it is you! It is your own fault. Take ownership and make a change to create business growth.

Take responsibility for the fact that you are not interacting and creating relationships that will help you grow your sales or fuel your business growth and change how you do things.

Despite all of the hype and despite all of the naysayers you can not just post and pray and expect your business to grow. You can, however, post, interact, and create relationships that will help you sell, change jobs or accomplish whatever else your goal is.

Tagging a long list of influencers will also not gain you anything in the long run – even with those folks. If you want to include them in your world, you have to create a relationship first. Many of them will in turn help you with your business growth challenges.  They might not help you directly or one-on-one, but if you create the relationship and learn about the materials that they have available even buying their “stuff” will help you with your business growth.

I put out a challenge of sorts this morning in the form of an opportunity- there is an American Marketing Association conference for Non-Profits. I shared the info to 30 of my connections. They were hand picked, from within the segment of my connections who work in the non-profit world in some capacity. Because you can no longer blind cc or check a box to not include everyone in the response, at the end of the message I offered to make any intro’s that any of them wanted offline. So far, a couple hours later I only have two “Thanks!” messages. No request for an intro or re-intro. So now I am waiting to see who will take me up on the offer. Here is what the message looked like:

Sharing a link to individuals on LinkedIn for business growth

Here is the real truth – I think that most people have a profile and almost never check it nor do they look at their messages other than to accept more connections that are adding to their numbers but not to their bottom line and business growth.

They do not personalize their invites. They do not look to see if anyone that is inviting them has personalized the message so that they can respond. More than once I have sent a personalized invite to someone that I have already met in person. In that invite was also a business opportunity – no, not that they can sell some product in some MLM company – an actual request for proposal or at least a conversation to lead to a proposal. Guess what? Connection request accepted, but no response! In other words, you invested time to create your profile and periodically update it, even sharing content and when someone uses that platform to approach you with a project request, you ignore it – in other words investment down the drain

Time is money, create relationships to keep the time from going down the drain

Keep the investment of your most precious commodity – your time – from going down the drain.

If you are going to invest time on LinkedIn, even if it is just to create a shiny profile as some people advise, make sure that you know how to communicate and respond to any messages that might come your way.