LinkedIn - cracked it yet? | AccountingWEB

LinkedIn - cracked it yet?

Wherever I seem to go at the moment, I bump into yet another LinkedIn expert. Does that mean that LinkedIn is now seen as a major business development tool by the professions? 

Or is it just a flavour of the month tool?

David Winch's picture


David Winch | | Permalink

a/. There are some who see LinkedIn as a bandwagon to jump on - Hence the emergence of a multitude of LinkedIn 'experts'

b/. It is an extremely useful component in the mix of tools available to develop business.  But it is one component, not a panacea.

c/. There is a small number of people and organisations out there who have invested a lot of effort into understanding just how LinkedIn can be used most powerfully - and they continually update their knowledge.  These few are worth taking advice from.

d/. Those who see it purely as a broadcast medium will soon get fed up with it because of the poor results they get.  Unfortunately the rest of us will get temporarily annoyed with them while they do!

David Winch

Make Sales Without Selling and Get Paid What You're Worth

bookmarklee's picture

There are more 'experts' than buyers

bookmarklee | | Permalink


Hence the 6 common misconceptions I flagged in this recent article for AccountingWeb.


MarkAOrr's picture

The tool never matters as much as the craftsman (or woman)

MarkAOrr | | Permalink

Linked in is a powerful tool and like all power tools, in the wrong hands it is very dangerous.  If you want to learn how to use it at a reasonable pace then I would recommend looking for your local net linked group.

I think Linked In is an engagement tool rather than a broadcast medium.  Like all networking you need to be yourself and not try to be a marketing version of yourself or who you would like people to think you are.  When you see people with their logo as their profile image you wonder what they have to hide.  Even worse if they say they are a social marketing guru.

I recently read the FT Guide to Business Networking and was amazed to find that the author recommended writing your profile in the third person using your own name repeatedly throughout.  That kind of pomposity would really put me off.  However, maybe other people, in her target audience would like it.

Anybody who says they have 'cracked' Linked In probably reveals that they don't know all there is to know about how to use it.

efficiencycoach's picture

Just a tool

efficiencycoach | | Permalink

Thanks David, great comments and I really echo your point that it's just A tool and should be used in conjunction with others.


Author of 'The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking'

efficiencycoach's picture

1st person or 3rd person

efficiencycoach | | Permalink

Thanks Mark,

I'm glad you like my book 'The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking'. I have to say I have yet to be convinced either way whether it is right to use the 1st or 3rd person when writing your LinkedIn profile. Within the world of professional services (my area of specialism), the 3rd person is used. However as you say the 1st person can sound far more personal. 


Author of 'The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking'.

MarkAOrr's picture

Heather the world you inhabit is the same as mine

MarkAOrr | | Permalink

Linked in is a medium for making connections with all sorts of people who I will describe as 'human being's'.  Whatever you do in Linked In should stand up if you did the same thing face to face.  You really wouldn't walk up to a stranger and respond to the question 'so what do you do?' with the answer 'Heather Townsend is a Business Coach.  Heather Townsend has x years experience...'  Can you see how daft that sounds?

The difference is with face to face when you make silly mistakes you get instant feedback in the form of body language or facial expressions.  Whereas somebody bumping into a third person profile will just get switched off and run away without you even knowing.

I do realise you have done a very academic study of networking but I have to say that on this one I believe you are just plain wrong.  I think the problem is that you interviewed people who make a living from selling networking to others rather than those who make a sustainable business using networking as one of their tools.

I am a big fan of Jon Baker who you know very well.  Jon runs two net linked groups and uses linked in extensively.  I will have to go and have a look to see if he uses the third person or if the chap who runs net linked nationally uses the third person.  In all the social media training and seminars I have ever been to I have been told it is a big no no and I absolutely agree with that.

You're a coach, test and measure and see if a more user friendly profile get better results.

efficiencycoach's picture


efficiencycoach | | Permalink


It's great that you have an opinion about the 1st or the 3rd person and I don't disagree with what you are saying. (Please check our private e-mail conversation to see I am not disagreeing with you)

I don't think that whether someone uses the 1st or the 3rd person on their LinkedIn profile is a big issue. 

Mick Holloway and Steve Windsor - the 2 founders of net linked both use the 3rd person. Jon Baker, my business partner (and runs 2 netlinked groups) uses the 3rd person. If as you are saying that using the 3rd person on your LinkedIn profile was such a big mistake then why are 3 of your suggested LinkedIn experts all using the 3rd person rather than the 1st person in their profile?

Please don't make incorrect assumptions about who I did or didn't interview for my book in an open forum. To set the record straight  I interviewed 25 people who were using networking as their main means of generating significantly above average results for their career and business, not who as you incorrectly stated sold networking or networking skills as their business. The 5 people who I interviewed who did sell networking for a business were Brad Burton, Andy Lopata, Melissa Kidd and Ivan Misner. If you look in the acknowledgement section of the book you can see the list of people I interviewed. (Or take a look at the pdf of the 1st chapter which has the acknowledgement page in -


efficiencycoach's picture

I agree with you Mark Lee! I

efficiencycoach | | Permalink

I agree with you Mark! I think it is a bandwagon which many people have jumped upon.

maxxy's picture

Yes but not perhaps as people might assume

maxxy | | Permalink

Yes I think LinkedIn is seen as a major business development tool but perhaps not in the ways that people sometimes first assume ie; as a broadcasting and advertising medium.

I think of linkedin as a "common currency" for business professionals almost an alternative to a business card. People can find your contact details easily and get a quick overview of what you do.

I agree with Mark that on it's own, the passive approach can be OK for some people and agree that it is really just one component that build up an online profile..

It's like having a website without any SEO or work to pull visitors in. It's up to the professional how they want to draw attention to themselves. Unfortunately people assume that building up numbers and spamming with emails will do the trick.

Another way that I know it is recognised more widely as a business development tools is via the telemarketing enquiries I get. It's becoming more frequent to be asked "How do you use LinkedIn for lead generation" or "Can you call the people on this LinkedIn list".  I was not asked that question so much a year ago! 

One of the main benefits to use for business development is to use it to identify influencers and decision makers and sometimes qualify potential prospects based on contents posted either in profiles or discussions. The lead generation process will vary depending on product or service and by audience so I don't think there is one size that fits all. 

Interesting that one of the comments on Mark's blog was from someone who used LinkedIn to poach clients and from my experience this is becoming more widespread now too (myself included - don't shoot me!)

I was one of the people that Heather interviewed for her book and I don't sell networking for a living. I don't actually attend very many face to face events at all so my contribution was mostly around the use of forums.

Picking up the point about 1st or 3rd person my personal preference if it helps this discussion is 1st person as that is more consistent with other online conversations.




I see Linked In being used

Azolla | | Permalink

I see Linked In being used very extensively these days in the recruitment sector and I think it will become an increasingly useful tool in many sectors if used well.

I need to make much better use of it myself when I get a spare minute!

Clearstone Business Services Ltd provide bookkeeping services across London

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