Most LinkedIn users (79% according to my latest LinkedIn user survey) are not paying anything to use the site. That’s why most of what I teach in my book, public workshops, corporate training sessions, and personal consultations focuses on becoming a skillful user of the free LinkedIn features that come with the basic account.
Are you still confused by LinkedIn’s Skills & Endorsements? If you are, you’re certainly not alone. I’ve found from my weekly one-on-one LinkedIn consultations that this profile section is the most misunderstood. It’s sort of like the Rodney Dangerfield of LinkedIn profile sections. Rodney Dangerfield was a comedian in the 1980s whose main applause line was “I don’t get no respect.” I think that describes this LinkedIn profile section perfectly.
When you add a new contact, you put your extremely valuable network in his or her hands. Remember, it is your personal LinkedIn network. It is a possession you have worked your entire career to build, and when you add a connection on LinkedIn, it is like handing your Outlook database to that individual and trusting him to treat it as professionally as you would treat his.
Are you collecting LinkedIn connections like you used to collect baseball cards? And are they just sitting there—like that box of baseball cards in the closet—gathering dust? Well, it’s time to take action and use LinkedIn to maximize those relationships.