Hi, my name is Mike. But you can call me Joe.
I am not Batman.
I have not worked for Google.
I do not have purple hair.
I am not a millionaire.
I did not attend an Ivy-league school.
I have never been homeless.
I am not "one of the lucky ones".
All the thought leaders on LinkedIn seem to have something so special about them.
So, what makes me unique?
I am a real Average Joe.
If I had to reveal the “one secret to success”, it would be hard work.
Work harder, smarter, and longer than everyone else and you will achieve your goals.
-Mike Podesto (Linkedin Post)
LinkedIn for the Average Joe
It’s true. I am not Batman. Although that is exactly what Batman would want you to think. The reality is, it wouldn’t make a difference either way.
LinkedIn is truly designed for the average Joe to thrive. How do I know? Because I am the most average Joe imaginable. I come from a recruiting background, I have brown/blonde hair, until 2016 my salary averaged 63k/year (this does not go far living in the Bay Area), I graduated from Fresno State University, and I rent.
I also have over 30,000 followers on LinkedIn, receive millions of post views per month, and get a ton of business from it. I don’t say this to brag, but to show you that any average Joe can utilize LinkedIn to grow their business, personal brand, and so much more.
LinkedIn Is Equal
What’s great about LinkedIn is that we all start with 0 connections. It doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you have, or what your job title is, everyone starts with 0. It’s up to you to grow your network. You can do this however fast or slow as you would like.
(Virtual) Networking 101
Anyone who has 30,000 connections is used to being constantly berated by the Negative Nancies of the world.
“How could you possibly care for 30,000 individuals. How can you know that many people personally?”
Before you continue reading, you MUST come to the realization that we live in the 21st century. You no longer have to meet someone and shake their hand to have a relationship. Virtual relationships are being built every single day whether you like it or not. If you want to compete in this tech-driven age, you better get with the program.
Once you have accepted that virtual networking IS effective, we can discuss the question of quality vs. quantity. Yes, there are people out there who race to 30,000 connections (the maximum LinkedIn will allow). But, that is not everybody.
Networking: Quality vs. Quantity
Adding 30,000 connections for the sake of adding people will not yield the results you are looking for. Instead, be patient with the growth of your network.
If you are selling life insurance and you know that your target market is a 40 to 60-year-old in New York City, adding 30,000 connections from California won’t do you much good, will it? If you are a meat salesman, would you want to network with 30,000 vegans?
Be strategic about who you choose to network with. Having 30,000 connections is great, but only if they are relevant to your needs. Take your time when building your LinkedIn network.
Tip: Adding only relevant connections, in the beginning, will make it a lot easier to find 2nd and 3rd-degree connections who are in your target market.
Why Are You on LinkedIn?
At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself why you are even on LinkedIn? You are obviously pretty dedicated to maximizing your LinkedIn network if you are reading this article. There are a ton of social platforms out there, so why LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is different. It is an evolved social platform. The discussions are high quality, the posts are informative, productive (for the most part), and uplifting. LinkedIn is a place where givers thrive and takers dive.
If you are on LinkedIn to take, take, take. Then you have probably sent a message like this:
“Hey, I am on the job market. Here is my resume. Let me know if something comes up that is a fit!”
“Hey, I am Bob. My company sells bla, bla, bla and I would love to set up a time to speak with you.”
“Hey, can you endorse me for XYZ skills?”
You Get the Picture
Being a taker without giving first will only get you so far. Not just on LinkedIn, but in life as well.
Before you contact anyone on LinkedIn, just ask yourself this one question, "How am I offering value to this person?"
It’s really that simple. If you can’t offer any value, don’t even bother reaching out. If deep down you don’t even want to offer value, get off LinkedIn entirely. I am attaching a link to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Takers thrive on these platforms. You will be much better off spending your time there.