With this article I want to help a very special group of loyal LinkedIn users. As a matter of fact, I am thinking maybe this group should start a LinkedIn group that could be called something like “My Boss Hates LinkedIn Users Group.” I am speaking to those of you who have found ways to be more effective in your job using LinkedIn, but perhaps your direct supervisor is questioning the amount of time you are allocating to LinkedIn because he/she “just doesn’t get it.”

Back in the day when I had an actual boss (now I just have my wife), my first priority was to do what my boss wanted and do it in the way he/she wanted it done. So I do appreciate your pain.

Before I give you a resource that may help you with this dilemma, I want to share with you my thoughts about why they may be having trouble embracing your newfound love for LinkedIn.

• They probably didn’t grow up using any of these Internet-based tools. Saying they are uncomfortable with them is perhaps a real understatement.

• The whole privacy thing on the Internet is a big mental hurdle.

• They have a hard time getting excited about new technologies, especially ones that involve the computer, which they may see as a “black hole time waster.”

• LinkedIn is sometimes discussed in the same genre as Facebook and Twitter. Thus, they may have a wholesale allergic reaction to LinkedIn because they have heard about activity on social networking sites that is inappropriate in a business setting.

• They are more comfortable with face-to-face networking-the only type of networking they have known-because it has worked well for them in the past.

• They don’t want to admit that you know how to do something better than they do.

It is always a good thing to try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes before addressing a situation that might be tricky. Enough said. My help for you today is a “letter” to your boss, and I will call it:

A Letter to Your Boss on Why He/She Should Be Using LinkedIn

Dear Boss:

As you may or may not know, I have become a regular LinkedIn user. It has helped me to better accomplish the goals of my job by providing a way for me to connect with millions of potential customers/employees/suppliers from all over the world and research people and companies in a way that can only be done on the world’s largest on-line business networking site. This may strike fear in your mind because it conjures up thoughts of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites that are not always businesslike. I understand this perspective entirely, and, frankly, the reputation they have garnered is in some cases justifiably earned.

Let me get to the purpose of this letter, which is to give you some reasons why I think you would be helping me accomplish my goals-which, of course, are consistent with our company’s goals-if you personally join LinkedIn.

1. Each of our employees can have a profile on LinkedIn. This profile will allow people to find our company and find us as individuals. We will be found as a result of our using keywords that describe our products, brands, processes, and markets we serve. Our profiles also give us the ability to tell others what makes us better than our competitors.

When you and the other leaders of our company join LinkedIn, we will be showing the people we serve and employ-as well as those we want to work with and desire to employ-that we are on the leading edge of what is going on in the business community. In addition, we will be making ourselves findable by them on this huge database of businesspeople.

These profiles are similar to a detailed Internet-based Yellow Page listing in a database of over 80 million business professionals. The profiles are meant to assist businesspeople in finding other businesspeople. In order to effectively accomplish this goal, it is not necessary to include sensitive personal information in your profile.

2. When you add connections to your account, it will enable all of us to know “who knows whom” in your network. Because you are one of the most well-networked people in our geographic market and in our industry as a whole, being able to connect the dots of who you know-as well as who your friends know-could be invaluable to our organization. We may find out that you have a friend who knows an influential person at the company we have been trying to break into for the last several years.

3. Free of charge, we can have a company profile on LinkedIn. This can include much of the same information we use in our other marketing and branding efforts, and it can be viewed by millions of users around the world. Google and other search engines just love these social media sites.

4. Each individual who joins LinkedIn and creates a profile is one more person telling our company story to the millions of people to whom they are connected. This means we all become “foot soldiers” in the branding and marketing of our company.

5. This is the first time we have had the ability-for free, mind you-to use a keyword searchable database of over 80 million business professionals around the globe for hiring, sourcing, partnering, and information sharing.

That is the 35,000 foot view of the benefits of LinkedIn that I see for our company. I would love the opportunity to now show you how it works. Maybe we could schedule a lunch together, bring in a few sub sandwiches, and I can give you a live demonstration.

I appreciate your taking the time to read this letter. Have a great day.


Wayne Breitbarth was once a skeptic and now is an outspoken proponent of LinkedIn, “LinkedIn Guru” Wayne Breitbarth is passionate about helping business professionals–from entry level to CEO–learn how to combine their previous experience and relationships with this innovative tool in order to more successfully brand and market themselves and their businesses. Wayne’s diverse professional background uniquely positions him to assist not only individuals but corporate entities as well. With thirty years’ experience in the areas of operations, finance, management, consulting, and business ownership, he is able to “put it all together” for his corporate and individual clients. In addition to his consulting work, Wayne is a dynamic speaker. His practical yet entertaining presentations have inspired audiences both locally, at many of Milwaukee’s most prominent companies and organizations, and nationally, at conventions, industry association events, and corporate training sessions. You can download a free chapter from his upcoming book “The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success” Kick-start your Business, Brand and Job Search” at: http://budurl.com/m4bm. You can also get free weekly LinkedIn tips by email by contacting him at wbreitbarth@mmoffice.com.
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