The Little Blue Truck and LinkedIn

Yesterday I had the opportunity to read “Little Blue Truck,” written by my friend, Alice Schertle. It’s a morality tale about a big, selfish Dump truck who lands in a mud pit, gets stuck, and is helped out by the Little Blue Truck (who he had earlier dissed), and the Little Blue Truck’s animal friends.

Being in the midst of my launch of my new book, The Generous Prenup  I of course interpreted as an allegory of how LinkedIn can help us to achieve our business goals.

1. Cooperation. The Little Blue Truck and his (yes it’s gendered) animal friends cooperate and together push the formerly selfish and ungrateful Dump Truck out of the mud pit. As business people, we cooperate with each other to get our message out to the world. That means, we learn from the posts of our LinkedIn colleagues and show them our appreciation.

2. Being friendly to people. This is very important in business, and is also the right thing to do. The Little Blue Truck was friendly to the sheep, cow, piggy, chicken, and all the other animals it passed as it
traveled down the road, by giving them a friendly “Beep” as he passed them. Being friendly to others on social media has enlarged my friendship network (both business and personal). It is so satisfying to be able to have friendships over great geographical distances. The is one of the wonderful things about social networking and LinkedIn.

3. The Opportunity to Be a Helping Hand. The Dump Truck says “Now I see a lot depends on a helping hand from a few good friends” after he’s been released from the mud pit. Yes, one of the reasons for LinkedIn is the opportunity to give each other helping hands. LinkedIn give us the opportunity to be a helping hand as well as the opportunity to receive help. These are two of the most
important attributes of LinkedIn.


How to Use LinkedIn

By Laurie Israel

I’m a LinkedIn convert. I started a profile about 8 years ago, updated it occasionally, but really never explored the site until recently. As part of my work in launching my book, The Generous Prenup, I decided to take another look. What I found was really exciting and interesting.

I love Facebook and am very active on it. However, like most people, I feel a need to limit work-related posts on Facebook. But on LinkedIn, work-related posts are not only welcome, they are even encouraged! I started looking at the feed (I hadn’t even realized there was a LinkedIn feed), and felt like a kid in a candy shop. I started reading the feed every day, and every day I found interesting and valuable information posted by my connections. That’s because even though I am a lawyer (and a person), I am actually very interested in business, and what my colleagues are doing.

I’m still exploring LinkedIn, but here’s what I’ve found so far.

1. Read the feed every day. Decide how much time you’ll allocate to it. Because I’m in the launch stage of my book, and am getting ideas from the feed, I’ve been spending an hour a day on LinkedIn. I find it really worthwhile, as it makes me think of marketing ideas, which I can follow up on. I also enjoy it, which is very important! (See #6 below.)

2. Respond to the postings on the feed (if you like them). You can say “Like,” you can share the feed with your connections, or comment on the feeds. (Or you can do all three.) Be honest, and only respond to the feeds that you find interesting. But do respond.

3. Be aware of your LinkedIn connections. During the 8 years prior to my actually utilizing LinkedIn, I accepted connections with quite a few people. I’m really glad I did, because now I have a community of business colleagues to interact with. If you’re new to LinkedIn, find connections and invite them to connect with you. Be open to new connections. Don’t be afraid to ask. The more connections you have, the more you’ll find that you have people in common. Also, the more connections you have, the more postings on your feed. This will make the content of your feed much richer.

4. Keep up with your connections. I’m finding that some of my connections have changed jobs since I last spoke with them. It’s really good to know what your connections and colleagues are doing and renew business friendships. Supporting colleagues in their work is a very important aspect of LinkedIn.

5. Be generous and helpful. One of the purposes of LinkedIn is to build business relationships. The way you do this is to support others. Isn’t that what business is really about — giving service to others?

6. Have fun. LinkedIn can be (and is for me) a very joyful experience. I’m having a lot of fun while exploring the posts of my connections. It is enlarging the information that I read from my own sources. It a great learning tool. I appreciate others’ generosity in sharing. It’s not a chore. Have fun while you explore it.

I think this is probably Part I of my LinkedIn article. I expect I’ll have more to share as I continue to explore LinkedIn and become more active.

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