Fast Company Influence Project

I was intrigued when I heard about Fast Company Influence Project, the Six Degrees of Separation project and how we are so tightly connected. As I meet more people, I find the world feels smaller and smaller. It seems like distances are shrinking.

Fast Company just started the Influence Project to create a visual representation of how we are all connected. Check it out the Influence Project and see how we are all one big worldwide family.

You might be surprised at how influential you really are!
Writing Spider
Creative Commons License photo credit: Fatback[Dale]

LinkedIn Profile Photo

Does your LinkedIn profile have a photo? People remember faces and your profile photo helps others recognize and remember you.

Did you ever attend a networking event then get an email from someone you met there several days later. When a photo accompanies the name, we are more likely to recall meeting the contact.

Here are best practices for choosing a LinkedIn profile photo:

  • Photo should be high enough resolution so as to not look grainy
  • Project a professional image
  • Close up image so you can be recognized
  • Image of you, not a group of people
  • Photo of a person not a logo or graphic
  • In good taste and not offensive according to generally accepted standards
  • Upload only images you have rights to use

LinkedIn may remove your photo if they consider your image inappropriate. Follow the best practices above and  you have no need to worry.

Include a photo in your LinkedIn profile and put your best face forward.

Starting an Alumni Group

Most of us change jobs every 2-3 years. Have you wished you had a way to keep in touch with your former co-workers?

I started an online alumni group during the recession in January 2002 to help find new jobs for recently laid off co-workers. The group currently has over 400 members and is still a resource for sharing job leads. Most of us are still in the Chicago area at other companies. We provide the group with unadvertised job leads, pre-interview company intelligence and internal contacts.

Thai Festival 2010 - 17
Creative Commons License photo credit: garryknight

Is now the time to set up a group for your former co-workers? It’s easy to do with online groups. They work as a broadcast system to distribute emails to those who have “opted in” to the group. Check out the free group tools at Linkedin, Facebook, Yahoo groups or Google groups and start your own group today. Either site walks you through selecting the options to set up your group. From personal experience, I select “restrict membership” to maintain the groups focus. I also recommend requiring membership in the group before you can post messages. This reduces the chance of getting spam.

The amount of time required to maintain your group depends on the options you choose during set up, the number of new members and member activity level. The group owner can change these options to better suit the needs of the group and time available to administer membership. Additional moderators can be appointed to help with group maintenance.

How to Follow a Twitter List

Twitter lists are a way for Twitter users to group other Twitter accounts together. How might you use this feature? A shopping center could create a list to promote each other. A Chamber of Commerce might use a list to follow and cross promote other local businesses.

I created a Twitter list of McHenry county, Illinois businesses to follow and promote what is happening in our area. Since this list began, I learned about many new companies and services I was not aware of.

Another benefit of Twitter lists is you can view the recent tweets of the account holders without actually following each of these accounts.

Here is a recent blog posting about the McHenry County Business Twitter list.

You can see all recent tweets from these McHenry County businesses on a single page.

How are you using the Twitter list feature?

Here is a short video on how to follow a Twitter list.

Social Networking Classes for Business

Student feedback for the recent social networking classes in McHenry has been fabulous. We have a whole new set of LinkedIn users, Facebook friends, Twitter Tweeters and bloggers out there.


This four class series ran three times in McHenry at the Shah Illinois Small Business Development (ISBDC) Center.

After the class, students were invited to join our LinkedIn group to share learnings and best practices with each other. If you attended one of my social networking classes and would like to join this group, send me an email and let me know the class you attended.

If you missed on the session in McHenry, you still have time to register for classes in Elgin. Check our events page for the upcoming events.

Duplicate LinkedIn Profiles

Duplicate LinkedIn profiles are common. This can happen when you create a LinkedIn profile using one address then you receive another LinkedIn invitation to join through a different address. When you click on the link to the LinkedIn website, it does not recognize your email address and you are encouraged to create a profile.
ivan-walsh-linkedin-profile
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ivan Walsh

Why is this a problem? When you build connections and recommendations they are tied to a single profile. Currently, there is no way to merge two different profiles. They are each stand alone entities independent of one another.

Think of a customer or client who looks for you on LinkedIn. If they see two separate profiles, how will they know which one to connect with? The only way to resolve this is to delete one profile. When you do this, you will lose all your connections and recommendations on the deleted profile.

You can prevent this from occurring by updating your LinkedIn profile with all the email addresses you use.

5 Reasons to Join LinkedIn Groups

Do you need more reasons to join a LinkedIn group?

For those who say they do not have time to network, here are some interesting statistics I read:

  • Percentage of elite professionals (those earning more than $200,000 per year) who say networking impacts income, according to a study from Upwardly Mobile Inc. with the assistance of the Graziadio School of Business Management at Pepperdine University: 80%
  • Percentage who believe a skilled networker could see up to a 100 percent increase in income: 58%
  • Percentage of respondents who said networking is how they found their current job: 40%

Source: uexpress.com/figurativelyspeaking

LinkedIn members, know they can connect directly with other individuals. LinkedIn groups enable collective connections with others to engage in group dialog.

Here are five reasons to join a LinkedIn group:

  • Learn from having rich discussions with others in your field, industry, geographic area, etc.
  • Identify partnership opportunities
  • Share best practices with other like-minded networkers
  • Post job openings
  • Build relationships to benefit from future employment or sales opportunities

To choose a LinkedIn group to join, search the ‘groups’ directory. You can choose from corporate, professional, industry, alumni, or geographic groups.

Join LinkedIn groups and network with others who are serious about managing their careers. You will learn and share ideas with industry experts. Members understand networking is not something you do for a short time to land a job. Networking is for life.

Post a question, offer your perspective, link to a career article or let us know about job openings. Send a note to the group and introduce yourself. What you put into the group will come back to you again and again.

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