LinkedIn, Networking and Facing Your Fears

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Today, networking is easier than ever with the multitude of groups out there to suit your niche. LinkedIn assists professionals, lawyers and non-lawyers, in growing their network of connections and increasing their business.

This is a link to a law.com article about using LinkedIn. The article is aimed at attorneys but can be modified for any profession. You will get out of LinkedIn what you put into it. If you put your profile up and don’t initiate discussions, don’t reach out for connections and don’t use the wealth of information and potential connections on the site, you won’t find it useful. If you put the time and effort into it, you will see the benefits. It is like going to a networking event: if you sit at a table and talk with people you know, you won’t gain from the event what you could if you went and mingled with people you didn’t know. That is what networking is about.

From the law.com article, I like the suggestion about looking into your connections’ connections to see how you can be introduced to someone at a company you would like to work with, or to someone you think might be a good referral source. Making connections can be done with less hassle and less time than ever before, so why don’t most of us do what we know we should?

I went to a bar association event yesterday afternoon about getting new clients and networking. The presentation was given by Deirdre Van Nest, a business coach and owner of Fire Your Fear. A lot of what she said was nothing new, but I liked her explanation of what prevents us from doing what we know we should when it comes to networking: fear. The same fear that we had when we were 13 years old and were afraid of being rejected by the boy or girl that we liked, or of being laughed at by the “cool” clique when we weren’t a part of it. Isn’t it crazy how our teenage fears continue to be part of our lives, even when we are adults? Although part of the battle is recognizing those fears, the hardest part continues to be conquering them!

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