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Thread: LinkedIn - the business network

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    LinkedIn - the business network

    There's always a lot of talk about "social networks" but who uses the world's most powerful online business network "LinkedIn" to promote their photography?
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    I do not see linkedin as a way to promote photography, rather it is a business network, more about linking those with skills with those that need them. Most of my linkedin associates are not photography related. I have never gained any photography work via it, but I have via FB. I don't believe Linkedin is setup to promote my photography as such, yes promote myself as a photographer.

    I also find I get a lot of random requests to link with people that I reject.

    Maybe I am using it wrongly, or expect it to be something different to what it is, but I rarely logon to it, but still get heaps of requests to link, with people from all over the world, that have no professional link to me (either via my work, or photography).
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    But Rick, each of the reasons you give for lack of success is personal, not professional. LinkedIn, like Facebook is simply a tool and as with all tools you need to learn how to use them. Ask yourself, why haven't you gained any work from LinkedIn? Why have you rejected requests from other professionals that would like to link? You rarely log on? Sure, I suspect that you are using it wrongly but LinkedIn as a business exchange network makes Facebook insignificant. There are great opportunities for up and coming business people.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    If you are finding is successful for you, well done. It really is not that interesting to me and I do not judge my success on my social networking skills.

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    It does not seem very useful to me. But like rick I am an irregular user. Ninety percent of the people I am linked to are ones I know from freelance work, so work might come from there but it wouldnt be bacause of the connection.
    The iphone/pad apps seem very unuserfriendly/userunfriendly(?) useless.
    I get emails detailing whats happened in the groups I am in, but if I tap to then read them, instead of going to the app, I am taken to a web page and told to log in. Which I dont.
    I get emails listing potential jobs, tap, same thing happens. But with the jobs if i go to the Ipad app, they arent even there and seem impossible to find.
    Thus I dont bother.
    If you tell me that you get some jobs from a reguarly updated profile, and postings of current work, then I may be tempted to make an effort. No one has ever said that to me so, I spend my energy in other directions.
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    Of course, it's well known that negative networking always leads to business failure. The old adage - NOTHING fails - EVERYTHING succeeds.
    Or in a more positive manner - You Never FAIL... Until You STOP Trying.
    If you're trying to start up a business you've got to give it a go. It costs nothing, so nothing to lose.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I also wonder if we have gone past the point of networking. My view is that so many these days network with others, simply cause networking was the catchphrase a while back, and they are networking..for networking's sake, rather than being selective and networking for good reasons.

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    I don't think you can "over" network but ultimately how you network has got to be a business decision - and a critical one at that.
    My experience comes from being the CEO of SWEDN from 1993 to 1997, Australia's largest business network incorporating members from BHP to the local plumber which was hugely successful in that period. Electronic networking is the norm now.
    There's far more to networking than saying "I take photos". In fact, successful networking is all about establishing relationships and that's why electronic networking isn't as easy as a lot of people think. But done properly and using the right tools it works wonders. Membership with electronic networks is a challenge because although access is usually free your competition has the same benefit and if you don't promote properly or don't know how to, then you will get stuck.
    One way I use Linkedin is by starting a group and inviting participation in a specific project. It's simply amazing how people from all over the world want to offer help and advice and if you look at members here, from a business perspective, that's exactly what they need. Networking, like business in general, is always two way. You get nothing for nothing.
    Another way I use Linkedin is by accessing "crew" (television production). Simply ask who wants to help with a project and competition will give you the very best rate. I would have saved over $100k in wages this year alone since using Linkedin and I have a lot more options/skills available to me. (In the past I had to do this by phone and it was a lengthy process covering a restricted area)
    Any good solicitor or accountant, if you seek their advice, will put networking right at the top of the ladder when developing your business plan.
    My advice is to choose the most suitable electronic network and go to it. It's easy to measure the outcome. A good small business (in the creative area) will probably achieve 50% or better of their turnover from that source. If you don't then you need to modify your methods or improve your relationships.

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    I use it, but for my profession (corporate law and accounting).
    Cheers, Troy

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    I know I am really late in on this conversation, but from my observations I've seen LI being used for networking just as much as Twitter, it's just not as "friendly/friendshippy" as other options out there. I know a lot of boutique business folks (home businesses) who use it as a tool to increase their profile with other businesses. I've connected with a few other photographers there. Mostly it's a business networking site more than a social one but you can garner a following, pretty much like everywhere else.

    I suppose it's all about picking your audience.

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    Spot on, Erin. Like I mentioned earlier, finding crew for television shoots simply can't be done on Facebook or Twitter without attracting hundreds of tyre kickers. Likewise, if when making a documentary I need source material (say steel manufacture) I can go directly to any of my 5000+ contacts discreetly without revealing confidential information to others.
    Also, I can target specific types of business to create marketing opportunities that other social networks can't provide. Linkedin as a business tool has enormous plusses.

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