Here are some thoughts for my friends that don’t use LinkedIn.

Throw your phone book and your contact list away. You (almost) don’t need it. If everyone maintained complete profiles, we could just use LinkedIn to stay connected.

We wouldn’t have to worry if Bob changed to a company cell phone or Jenny moved cities and has a new email. We don’t even have to remember what their name is! “What was the contact I met from XYZ company?” Boom, answered by LinkedIn.

I hear from peers (about not using LinkedIn):

-I don’t use it.
-I don’t need it.
-I don’t know how.
-I don’t need another thing.
-I am too busy.
-This feature is broken and it is frustrating.

Here are my thoughts on why/how to use LinkedIn. They may be different for you.

Don’t wait until you need it. LinkedIn can be an incredible networking tool. We can reconnect with old connections or find new connections. We may have HR professionals and recruiters solicit us for positions or referrals. If you are an entrepreneur, someone may hire your company. You may find future business partners and become an entrepreneur.

We can learn from each other. Writing a post can be intimidating but there are many ways to get started. Comment on posts. Contribute to conversations of others. Instead of just liking something, say something. This is how this content relates to me. This is how this content is right/wrong.

Make a commitment. This is a tough one. Hold yourself accountable in public. In March, I committed to writing a post per week for 6 months, even down to the day. This was a big step. I declared my commitment and have stuck to it even when I am really busy (or broke my shoulder).

“Don’t Wait Until You Need It” – Me

Try a small commitment. Here are some ideas:
-Connect with 5 past co-workers per week.
-Check LinkedIn once per day for 5 minutes.
-Read 2 articles on LinkedIn per week.
-Comment on 2 articles per week.
-Set a daily calendar reminder to accomplish these tasks.
-Write 10 post topics, and then pick the one that you are the most expert in and write a post. (HT James Altucher)

Have the courage to give yourself the gift of a complete profile (there are hundreds of other articles on this topic). Have the courage to not be anonymous. Have the courage to contribute and get noticed.  Have the courage to engage in this platform.

How do you use the platform?

Comments, likes, shares are appreciated. Click for more information about the author: Trent Selbrede or simply click the follow button at the top of the page. See any of the prior posts here.

Note: This draft sat in Evernote for a long time.Jeffrey Strickland‘s post of “Why I Use LinkedIn” encouraged me to dust it off and hit publish. Nothing to disclose. I do not work for LinkedIn or any company that has any direct relation to the company. I was not asked or offered any incentive to write this article. There are a couple LinkedIn employees in my network, but this is not an advertisement. This is about the power of a tool that I use.

Image: linkedintelligence