The quantity and the quality of your contacts are and always will be the best yardsticks with which to measure the success of your personal brand.

Alone or without a customer, you are not going anywhere. It is and it will always be others, who will eventually decide whether to buy your product or not, your service, whether to hire you or not, give the go-ahead to your longed-for promotion, or invest in your project. Accordingly, there is little doubt that any part of the consolidation and development of your brand can be nothing else other than an active, determined, strategic and practical approach to cultivating your existing contacts and acquiring new ones as efficiently and enjoyably as possible. The quantity and the quality of your contacts are and always will be the best yardsticks with which to measure the success of your personal brand and that is what networking is all about.

Networking is all about helping other people. Whatever the nature of the networking event you may be considering attending: think about how can you be of help to others first and how you can forge a relationship that will be ultimately beneficial for both parties. Always think: How can I help this person? Speaking about their business is always a good start. In a nutshell, networking success hinges on attending the right events, speaking to the right people in the right way.

When conducted properly, networking is almost always fun, productive and a great personal and business branding tool.


Do you have a LinkedIn profile?

Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Are you really doing anything with it?

If you’re like most people, the answer to that is no.

We can only devote so much time and attention spread across various social media sites. Something’s have to give. Some sites we personally like more than others. The way I look at it, you are better off working with the ones you like.

It’s no secret I love Twitter and barely tolerate Facebook or LinkedIn. I still enjoy having whatever reach and influence I can muster on those other sites, but most of my energy goes into Twitter. There have been times when I have even considered just getting rid of any social media profiles on services I don’t love.

However, I think that would be shortsighted. I’m expected to know a thing or two about these sites and so use them even though I’d never claim to have any credibility with using them for marketing.

However, going back to LinkedIn, here are a couple thoughts that I would like to share with you:

  • LinkedIn is great if your clientele is businesses, which are big enough to have employees.
  • LinkedIn is great if you’re employed rather than an entrepreneur.
  • LinkedIn is great if you are a freelancer, due to its powerful recommendation feature.
  • LinkedIn is not so hot if your idea of marketing is having a good time and posting stuff that’s humorous or casual.
  • LinkedIn is not so great if you’re not looking for a job or to hire someone.

I could possibly be very wrong, but these are my impressions of LinkedIn and I strongly believe that I am not the only one in the business world thinking this way.

On the contrary opinion, there are some people out there suggesting LinkedIn is in fact, a virtual goldmine of leads and contacts if you know how to work it. Maybe they are right!

Therefore, here is my question for you:

What do you really think of LinkedIn? How much did you financially get out of it? Is it really worth the time and effort?

For me personally, it is not as if LinkedIn is so much a terrible waste of time or even that annoying, I simply do not believe that I need to build these connections, to make these new friends. I already do that on Facebook and Twitter.

Even though it seems like my industry would compel me to keep up with LinkedIn and try to network my way through it, I have never gotten the sense that it does. If I need to pitch a story to a provincial, national or international newspaper, I can and I will do it through usual and regular channels. It will always prove to be a lot more efficient.

If I need to network looking for more work, I can and I will most certainly do that on the golf course or on the phone. Again, It will always prove to be a lot more efficient.