We’re in business development mode today, and that means researching potential partners and clients to assess the opportunities we might have to help each other. One of the steps in this process is to look at the company via LinkedIn–who works there, what positions are filled, what content they share, what open positions they are advertising, what their company profile looks like. After all, there are a gazillion benefits to using LinkedIn as a company now that social marketing and social search have gone mainstream. The network has grown over 45% in the past year, and has over 150 million users! Many of those are entrepreneurs who embrace social tools as a method of connecting to new opportunities.
So why, why why would you set up a LinkedIn account and then PRIVATIZE it so potential connections can’t reach you? Maybe you don’t want the “spam” emails, or you’d rather do the finding and viewing of profiles and opportunities, thank you very much. But if you’re going to bother building a profile on this network, it is disingenuous to expect access to information on others that you’re not willing to share yourself. People are looking for ways to connect because they want to grow their businesses, and presumably you want to do the same. Sure, you’ll want to make sure the profile is set up so your time is not being wasted, but setting it to private sends a message that you’re not that interested in connecting, not really.
Is that the message you want to be sending to potential customers, clients, partners, or recruits?