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LinkedIn was the first, and at the time, only social networking application that held any interest for me when I first began to look into it. This was maybe 3 years ago. Of course, it did not come with an instruction manual so, off to Amazon I went in search of answers. I did buy the only two LinkedIn related books that were available at the time and they were abysmal. My search for answers via Google began. Somehow, I happened upon a site called "Windmill Networking" and this guy, Neal, talked about LinkedIn a lot. I mean a whole lot and, better yet, he seemed to know what he was talking about. Sweet! I believe that this may have also been the very first site where I actually got up the nerve to leave a comment. To my amazement, Neal even took the time to respond! This, of course, ruined me for most other sites where nobody seems to want to actually "engage" (smile).
Fast forward to today and Neal and I still communicate regularly via Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, and email. While his first book was phenomenal, the focus of his new book, Sales and Marketing, is exactly what I needed and it may be that also for you! I am a fairly ravenous reader but, I do struggle with books (attention span of a 2-year old). This is not the case with Neal's books. His writing style makes for very easy reading. He speaks to you, not at you.
Like many folks, I must admit that despite knowing better, LinkedIn had become the proverbial "red-headed step child" to my social business marketing efforts. While I seem to spend most of my time on Twitter, LinkedIn is where I belong. I am a life-long B2B sales person and LinkedIn is business. I also think that it is important to note that Neal shares this same background. Well, I am now a "born-again" convert and already am at work following Neal's advice for my profile! What do I like about this book?
- It is written by a sales and marketing person for sales and marketing people.
- It's loaded with real case studies and practical selling advice. Neal even includes a chapter devoted to prospecting on LinkedIn!
- Neal goes into great detail about all aspects of LinkedIn and how to put its powerful features to work for you today. He also provides step-by-step instructions for all areas of the application. If I were LinkedIn, I'd be negotiating for the rights to use this as my reference guide (smile).
- The book does not preach. Neal gives you your options, the pros and cons of each, and lets you decide what is right for you. Of course, he does provide you with recommended courses of action.
- The book constantly reinforces the goals for social networking and LinkedIn while at the same time stressing that the rules of selling still apply as it relates to creating and nurturing relationships in real life.
- I like Neal's attitude that "you might as well go big or go home". There is no middle road and it does require your commitment.
- The book is both timely and up-to-date. What I see in this book matches LinkedIn's present UI and feature set.
- Neal's advice on LinkedIn Groups is awesome! I thought that I understood the power and flexibility of groups before I read this book. I was wrong. Not only has Neal encouraged me to evaluate the groups I am currently in, I am putting the finishing touches on creating a new group, "Boise B2B Sales & Marketing Professionals".
- Like many sites, LinkedIn's large number of features can be overwhelming. I now have a much clearer understanding of applications like Companies, LinkedIn Signal, and LinkedIn Today.
- Finally, Neal spends time discussing a recommended daily routine and how to determine your ROI. Who cares about ROI anyway? Well .... I do!
I could go on and on but, simply stated, Neal's new book is the ultimate road map to LinkedIn!