I just got home from PodCamp Toronto 2011 and because I’m so dedicated to you I’m going to do three write ups in a marathon session tonight so you can get all the good bits right away. Both Nefar and I will be covering the event from completely different perspectives.
Because this event was an ‘unconference’ it would have been impossible for me to go to every single presentation. I tried to choose the presentations that would benefit you the most while also being at least mildly interesting to me.
The first presentation I attended was on Linked In and how to effectively use it to build contacts in your industry and help your career.
The presentation boiled down to a few important points. First of all was the power of the social network itself. Lets say I met 20 people at PodCamp, those 20 people each have between 10 and 20 connections. By adding 20 people to LinkedIn I’d give myself access to over 400 contacts in the new media industry.
To effectively leverage those contacts you need to cut through the noise and position yourself as a star so you can attract key decision makers. Remember, all 500 people you just connected to will see your profile updates and may even remember you if they like them.
Make sure to use the groups and Q and A sections of the site to really become known. Answering questions will position you as an expert and groups can help you build really personal relationships with the right people. One suggestion was to spend an entire week on just one group.
Finally make sure to write a really great profile summary. The tips you’d use to write a resume can apply to this section. Make it simple, short (less than three paragraphs) and to the point. Highlite only you’re most important achievements.
You can also use LinkedIn as marketing research. It’s been around for 7 years so you can see where employees have migrated, how long people tend to stay at companies etc.