On September 13, I posted an article on Forbes.com about LinkedIn. I covered what I felt were the 8 myths about what LinkedIn can (and can’t) do for your life and your career. At that time, I was a contributor on ForbesWoman through the blog of my favorite women’s organization 85Broads (see their terrific ForbesWoman blog).
Here’s the piece:
LinkedIn: Busting 8 Damaging Myths about What It Can Do For Your Career.
This article truly struck a chord like no other piece I’ve written to date. It became the most viewed piece on Forbes.com that day (more than 60,000 views!), and landed on the Forbes homepage. Over 12,000 people shared it on LinkedIn, and the feedback I received was nothing short of astounding. I was invited by over 300 folks to connect, and received 200+ emails, as well as speaking inquiries, blogging opportunities, consulting queries, requests for profile edits, and more.
I was truly shocked that this little, informal piece about LinkedIn would be so hungrily consumed. From the feedback I received in the days following the post, I now know the following about LinkedIn:
1) When over 100 million people engage in something, it’s a massive force of nature.
2) While so many of us use LinkedIn for hours each day, there is still rampant confusion and overwhelm about how to make it work most effectively.
3) Millions of people are hoping it’s some kind of a magic bullet – that it will fix things (like get you a job, or make your career better) that a professional networking tool simply cannot.
4) Rules of effective engaging (in life and on LinkedIn) are still a mystery to many.
5) Making the most of LinkedIn’s abilities is still out of reach for most.
6) As evolved as we are, humans still need a lot of help in learning how to meaningfully engage, connect and be in mutually beneficial community with each other.
I also learned a thing or two about writing. Here’s what I gleaned:
1) When you write about something 100 million people care about (and happen to be a part of a large media platform), you get read.
2) When you share authentic views and aren’t afraid to be seen as a “contrarian” (and add to a national conversation), you get read.
3) When you aim to help people understand something important that’s hard to understand, you get read.
4) When you write something that just flows out of you quickly and easily (and don’t over-agonize or worry if it’s good), you write better.
I’m so grateful that this little piece just came pouring out, and that I didn’t over-analyze its merit. I just offered it up to the editor, and hoped someone, someday might enjoy it. From this, I got my own ForbesWoman blog (thank you, @ForbesWoman - here’s today’s piece). And I was lucky enough to experience having a piece published that happened to be useful to good number of folks, and was a blast to create.
But I’m still scratching my head a bit about the appeal of this piece, and I’d love your feedback to help me understand it. Can you please share…
1) Why do you think this piece struck such a chord?
2) What have you thought about the other information/pieces you’ve read about LinkedIn (have they been helpful to you?)
3) How have YOU felt when something you wrote or created surprisingly reached thousands of people?
Please SHARE your candid (and contrarian) views! I’d love to know…Thanks, my friends.