There are a lot of business professionals who get so tied up in their little corner of the world that they lose touch with what is going on in their industry.
Their highly refined value proposition may be outdated, their delivery off base with the current audience, their writing dull and boring, and/or they just can’t keep up with the technology requirements in their field.
Not you, likely, but I know you can think of some others.
The challenge: be in touch, even passively, with the latest and greatest.
It’s like knowing your own body temperature is a constant 98.6 but you get an overall chill from the wind as the world is passing you by. Your thermometer is accurate but the thermostat is sensing a different environmental reading.
Luckily LinkedIn has a few ways to help you take a reading on the world around you:
- Join pertinent groups and follow the Q&A and conversation to see what your colleagues are discussing. You can be a wall flower and watch the dance go on, but the best enjoyment is when you put yourself out there and actually ask (it’s ok, questions are a sign of intellectual opportunity), or answer, showing your prowess and expertise to guide others. Reinforcement and reassurance helps, right?
- Read Posts from those recognized by LinkedIn as thought leaders (“INfluencers”) and from others who dare to be opinionated, in a professional way, to share their observations and thoughts with others. Then follow the comments for several days after they are published. I am always amazed how some of my Posts receive enough attention from someone overseas after the talk back on the Post has been quiet for a few weeks.
- Share material that you read, which you curate as important enough to send around to others, and introduce the piece with a pithy 2-sentance remark that will receive comments. Re-share what others have shared; make LinkedIn a professional learning network.
- Engage everyone who comments on anything you add on LinkedIn with at least a thank you and hopefully more verbal interaction, as in a counter-comment to encourage more conversation.
- Follow the businesses and their leaders (the people and the companies) in your industry on LinkedIn, (following on LinkedIn is a step short of connecting with them and you know my opinions on connecting with people you vetted!), and you will be apprised of the next comments they share via LinkedIn, making you an interested an observer.
There, 5 ways to take the pulse of your outside world, from the comfort of your desktop.
Of course, conferences, webinars, networking meetings and similar opportunities will always surpass electronic media, as face-to-face human interaction leads to unimaginable opportunities, so get out there and actively participate.
Raise your body temperature and that of your industry environment!