Before you read this post, if you're not yet on LinkedIn, get over whatever uneasiness you have about it, and get on it!
You need to be there. If you are not, the people you need to know (recruiters, potential employers, potential vendors, prospects etc) will think it's weird that you're not. And I'm assuming you're not weird!
Can you imagine not showing up in Google? (I do hope you show up in Google!). Can you imagine your company not showing up on Google? If you don't show up on LinkedIn, that's just about as bad.
If you are reluctant to appear on LinkedIn because you are a CEO, you're not alone.
I've had CEOs tell me they shouldn't be on LinkedIn because it opens them up to far too much unwelcome contact. Well, when you are between assignments every few years (CEO tenures are running between 2 and 4 years on average), you'll wish you had some of that contact! And when you are trying to build your personal brand and leadership presence LinkedIn is a must.
THE expert on LinkedIn and how to work it to your advantage is Jason Alba, author of I'm on LinkedIn, Now What?? and founder of the JibberJobber Career Toolset (in my opinion it's the best career CRM for CEOs and other execs). The book and companion blog are the most practical, fast-read guides I've found for CEOs to understand and embrace the power of LinkedIn.
And check out my book Ditch. Dare. Do! 3D Personal Branding for Executive Success for practical, savvy tips on crafting or improving your LinkedIn profile.
If you're in the C-suite (or heading that way) and have already used LinkedIn, a branded Linkedin summary and profile, LinkedIn recommendations, LinkedIn groups, and/or LinkedIn rich media postings as career tools, how have they helped? I'd love to hear your experiences and successes.
For the rest of you, trust me - the time to build your LinkedIn network so you can build your brand, your employment brand, and your company brand is now, not later.