There’s always something to howl about

I’d Rather Be Left Alone Than LinkedIn

I’ve been looking for an excuse to cancel my Linkedin acct for months now.

The extra web exposure on a platform that I don’t control is concerning to me.

But, it mainly boils down to the fact that I have new twins and no time to do anything on the web that isn’t building true perpetual equity in an online presence that I personally own.

The final nail in the coffin with LinkedIn for me came last week when I was emailed a false and disturbing message that was maliciously put together by a psycho stalker who targeted everyone who was a first-level connection of his victim online.

So, with that type of personal and professional nightmare escalating for one of my close friends, I’ve finally decided that it is safer to be Left Alone than LinkedIn, fanned, friended, followed….

Even though the Internet is the center of my Las Vegas real estate business, I’ve never been into “social networking” much.

Actually, I started taking my web activity serious in 2006 as a way to replace my previous model of building relationships with referral partners.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being social and making friends, I just don’t believe I need to get people to “Like” me in order to earn their business.

I know – I’ve heard the sales gurus preach about people doing business with others they Know, Like and Trust….. blah blah.

However, I’ve already proven that a niche web strategy can remove the awkward Know and Like components of the sales conversion process if you simply focus on earning trust by writing valuable content that solves the specific needs and questions of your target audience.

And, as far as duplicating the important Social Proof concept that these social networks enhance, a few creative testimonials down the left column of my About Mark Madsen page will hopefully to do the trick.

Facebook is next on my operating table, but I’ll have to approach that site with a scalpel since I do have so many FB Business Pages integrated into my SEM campaigns.

Either way, aside from a little passive connecting and noise making on Twitter, I’m going to save my business social networking activities for Real Estate ForumsCommunities that actually require members to put in work to establish a reputation, as well as joining high traffic conversations by commenting on blog posts.

At the end of the day or week, I care more about having a body of content that I produced representing me vs a bunch of connections to people that I don’t really know or endorse.


8 Comments so far

  1. Tony Pinto September 21st, 2010 7:11 pm

    With all due respect, I think you’re making a mistake (Note I didn’t say “big”). LinkedIn is, in my opinion, just starting to become as useful and functional as it could have (and SHOULD have) been years ago. You can follow companies, look up references, target very specific demographics… be FOUND!

    True, I probably do more “networking” via Facebook these days, but I couldn’t imagine NOT having my LinkedIn Rolodex that is always up to date with the names and faces of people I’ve met or have worked with, or would like to know and work with one day…

    I can totally understand your disdain for spam (I’m right there with you, bud). But to swear off LinkedIn to me feels like a short sighted decision or some kind of publicity stunt, and knowing how much integrity you have, I seriously doubt it’s the latter.

    Again, I love and respect your work, Mark. Just chiming in with my two cents. Hope all is well in Vegas.

  2. Eric Hempler September 21st, 2010 7:40 pm

    I might be in the same boat to some degree. I’m really not sure what to do with linkedin. Even if I do send a friend request it seems to take folks quiet a while to respond to them. Maybe there’s someone that will comment with a strategy that’s worked for them.

  3. Chris Brown September 22nd, 2010 4:41 am

    Mark – I love it! I owe much of what I have done online to your guidance and am ever-grateful for it! I have never done too much on LinkedIn, so the announcement doesn’t phase me all that much, but Facebook – dear Lord – have you gone MAD, Son!? =0)

  4. Mark Madsen September 22nd, 2010 7:54 am

    Tony –

    Great to hear from you, thanks for taking the time to read my post and leave a good comment.

    By the way – nice portfolio page on your blog, I especially like the design you did for that collection site.

    You brought up some good points, so let me try and add some clarity to my decision to make sure people don’t make a similar move for the wrong reason.

    >>LinkedIn is, in my opinion, just starting to become as useful and functional as it could have (and SHOULD have) been years ago.< < You're absolutely right, and I believe LinkedIn is more powerful for driving traffic to personal blogs than most people give it credit for. Actually, I recommend LI as one of the first platforms people create a profile on when they're getting started with social networks. >>short sighted decision< < Maybe, but just about every social media strategy / decision we make about the web can only be short sighted due to the speed at which things are evolving online. However, my decision to move away from popular social networking sites in order to spend more time writing content is based on a long-term (proven) SEO strategy. It's about building perpetual equity in an online presence that I own. Besides, my target audience - residential buyers and sellers - aren't necessarily on LinkedIn, and I'm not sure I want to connect with them on Facebook either. What it boils down to, if I remove the important "Know" and "Like" pillars of the sales cycle, then it will force me to write killer content that builds trust. So, kind of an experiment, as well as life-style move. >>some kind of publicity stunt<< That's awesome, I never thought of my announcement that way. But, if it was a selfish publicity stunt, then I would have written a more polarizing link-bait worthy article on one of my own blogs with SEO as the main motivator. Speaking of self-promotion though, what do you think of the testimonials on my About page? -- Either way, Tony, I appreciate you chiming in, and would love to continue this conversation here. I believe many full-time loan officers / real estate agents struggle with similar issues of time management and defining a true purpose for certain online activities over others. If I only had one blog to maintain, and was in a position where personal branding played an significant role in my business model, then LinkedIn would be at the top of my list.

  5. Mark Madsen September 22nd, 2010 8:19 am

    Eric – As far as a LI strategy goes – there are several great articles on this blog that can help you get started. Do a search for LinkedIn, and especially look for posts by Brian Brady.

    Also, Tony Pinto above may have a well written post on his blog in the near future to clarify his opinions about why LinkedIn is a smart place for industry professionals to spend their time.

    Chris Brown – thanks for jumping in, and for the kind words.

    You’ve done really well with these social networking sites over the past couple of years because you’re a friendly person and you know how to look for opportunities to enrich the lives of others.

    You’re totally in your element on social sites, but you’ve been in the online game long enough now to have the confidence in whatever decision you make.

    Keep in mind, when I start unplugging from the traditional social networking matrix of easy connecting and instant top of mind functionality, I’ll have to make up the difference by raising my game with content writing and commenting on other high traffic blog articles.

    So, more work for me now, but I’m confident that the long-term rewards will be worth it.

  6. Alex Cortez September 24th, 2010 4:43 pm

    LinkedIn, eh? I know it’s supposed to be a great way to network with other professionals, build your database, become an authority, establish sainthood, blah blah blah… I just haven’t had much interest in it. For those who have closed deals from LI, can you comment on how much effort/time you have put into it?

  7. Rodney Ash October 27th, 2010 5:03 am

    I receive crap all the time from LinkedIn. I have about two dozen request from trolls who want me to be in their network for which I’ve never heard of these leaches in my life. I’ve also received a couple of annoying chain letters that won’t go away. I’m focusing my social strategy on Facebook, Twitter and niche sites.

    Good post.

  8. Mark Madsen October 27th, 2010 11:48 am

    I’m still getting LinkedIn requests, but I have a feeling they are spam fishing emails.

    So far, no negative impact on my business, and I’ve been off of LI for about a month now. Actually, I haven’t made it over to Facebook much either.

    The good news is that I’ve been able to fit in an additional 80 hours or so this month building content on some of my sites which will out live my reputation on the social networks.