Seattle Community

<span class="provip_member_name">Matt Lawrence</span>
Matt Lawrence
Biznik Director of Community
Seattle, Washington
Posted by Matt Lawrence, Seattle, Washington | Feb 21, 2012

Subscribe to The Biznik Community Biznik & LinkedIn: Apples and Oranges

LinkedIn is great for job seeking and for recruiters. Most independent business owners that I know have LinkedIn profiles (and so do I) but do not rely on it for networking purposes.

And why should they? That is not the point of the platform.

Biznik is the place for independent business owners and entrepreneurs to support and grow their business with other business owners.

And with the new pay wall - you can be assured that the people that you are networking with on Biznik are REAL people who want to be networking with you.

As it was pointed out by Biznik member Christa Gardner, "In the end, we are lucky to have choices that support what we value."

So, what do you use Biznik for and what do you use LinkedIn for?

Do you see them as interchangeable?


Closed_info

12 Bizniks have posted replies

  • Certified Cat Behavior Consultant 
Nashville, Tennessee 
Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC
    Posted by Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC, Nashville, Tennessee | Feb 22, 2012

    I totally agree with you. I use Biznik for exchanging ideas, supporting other business owners, receiving support for my business, referrals, learning, and in general, it makes me feel as if I'm in a community -- and that's very valuable when you are a small business owner. As for Linkedin, I know there's real value for many people but it hasn't been something I use much. It seems more of a job-seeking site. I may be absolutely wrong.

  • Biznik Co-founder/CEO 
Seattle, Washington 
Lara Feltin
    Posted by Lara Feltin, Seattle, Washington | Feb 22, 2012

    I love hearing your perspective, Pam. That LI feels like a job-seeking site is absolutely right! LinkedIn was designed to be the premier one-stop database for recruiters. How'd they achieve that? By getting every person who's ever had a job to create a free profile and upload their resume & CV to it.

    Have the users adapted the functionality for their own purpose? Of course! But if you listen to Jeff Weiner (LI's CEO) talk about it, he's clear about building functionality for recruiters. He says "Facebook is for your social graph. LinkedIn is for your professional graph." (I say, then Biznik is for your business graph!)

    Look no further than the fact that it's not uncommon for independent business person to not have a professional resume. I haven't got one!

  • Marketing Assistant/Social Media Coordinator 
Gastonia, North Carolina 
Annastacia Tooke
    Posted by Annastacia Tooke, Gastonia, North Carolina | Feb 22, 2012

    I feel like LinkedIn is just a site for people to spam you if you have linked sites like facebook or elsewhere to it. I have had a few people get a bit pissy because I won't like their FB pages in return for them liking mine. But for me Social media isn't about the number of likes, but the quality of interactions. There are days when I regret making my LinkedIn profile. I have yet to say that about Biznik.

  • Biznik Director of Community 
Seattle, Washington 
Matt Lawrence
    Posted by Matt Lawrence, Seattle, Washington | Feb 22, 2012

    Annastacia - Thanks for your kind words about Biznik. You hit the nail on the head that about quality v quantity.

    RE: spam.

    We hate it as much as you do. There is a filter we have in our system which alerts us to when a member might be sending spam. We monitor it hourly.

    Sadly, some members just need a little help from us to realize that what they are sending, while possibly good-intentioned, is unsolicited and not appreciated.

  • Life, Prosperity, and Small Business Coach. Author. Speaker. Trainer. Singer/Songwriter. 
Seattle, Washington 
Kate Phillips
    Posted by Kate Phillips, Seattle, Washington | Feb 23, 2012

    Thanks for starting the discussion, Matt. Just to be clear, I was NOT suggesting Biznik and LinkedIn are alike - I was only suggesting that some people USE them in similar ways.

    I have invited a lot of indie biz folks to Biznik, and sometimes I'll notice (months later) that they put up a profile, maybe attended an event or joined a group or two, then became inactive.

    It makes me a little sad, like they joined Biznik, but totally "missed it." They saw it as a place to post a profile to hopefully get found online (and it is a GREAT place to post a profile) but they didn't utilize the support, the camaraderie, the learning, the COMMUNITY of indie biz people.

    However, I don't think of LinkedIn as "just" for job seekers. I just think job seekers have overrun it because it can be an effective tool for job seeking. (With the classifieds being so useless these days, well, you gotta do something to make professional connections if you're looking for work.)

    But there are plenty of groups for entrepreneurs/self employed folks on LI (for instance, I've seen robust discussions among coaches about client attraction and other matters of no interest to job seekers.) And while Rags Madison laments that there are no venture capitalists on Biznik, well, there are plenty of 'em on LinkedIn. Such as this group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Alberta-Angel-investor-network-group-1949674

    To me, LinkedIn is like a glorified, online Rolodex -- a giant database of all kinds of people, yes, with a focus on our professional lives (as opposed to a place for housewives to chat about their kids or friends to post vacation photos.)

    I certainly think of myself as a "professional" so it never occurred to me not to join LI. Because it's a large, broad database, it's useful for finding people whose emails have changed along with their work... (if a friend's old email bounces back as undeliverable, they'll probably still be in your LinkedIn circle.)

    Sometimes I read the updates, and I like the recommendation function (like the compliment function here). And I do like the functionality of groups on LI. I'm not sure the groups really ever "took off" on Biznik as imagined (with a few exceptions.) Though after a little dabbling, I don't find myself participating much in the LI groups. There seems to be no real overall sense of community there (though some groups may have achieved that.)

    That's where Biznik's smaller size and focus on indie biz owners set it apart from everything else I've seen. I especially value the articles and events on Biznik. I have learned SO MUCH. And the people! You actually get to know people here! Not just as professional "connections" - but as friends and colleagues, and sometimes partners, clients, or service providers.

    And maybe THAT's the big distinction for me... I see LinkedIn as a place where I keep in touch with old professional connections, and Biznik is where I make new connections.

  • Certified Cat Behavior Consultant 
Nashville, Tennessee 
Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC
    Posted by Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC, Nashville, Tennessee | Feb 23, 2012

    I am much more active on Biznik and have learned so much here. I also feel relationships are more easily established. I agree with Kate about Linkedin being a glorified Rolodex. That's a perfect description.

    Signing on to Biznik is one of the highlights of my workday. I always come away with some new information -- whether it's how to optimize SEO or how to de-clutter my office or how to just take a moment to de-stress myself.

  • Biznik Director of Community 
Seattle, Washington 
Matt Lawrence
    Posted by Matt Lawrence, Seattle, Washington | Feb 23, 2012

    Kate: Thanks so much for your perspective. You are spot on regarding the differences. Like you, it wouldn't dawn on me to not have a LI profile as well. Everyone who is a professional should have one.

    The group you shared is great to see. I am apart of several groups on LinkedIn, and was hoping for more community out of it. It's kind of a conundrum, due to the size, there is an allure to it, and an maybe an unreal expectation that it will preform some kin of mammoth shift because of the size.

    But it comes down tot he quality v quantity issue.

    I hope to one day struggle with the same thing here at Biznik. Could this community get to a point where it becomes difficult to manage it? I wonder. For now, things seem to be in check.

    One of our Biznik Ambassadors in the San Diego area, Marlaine Cover has one of the most poplar groups on LinkedIn: Parenting 2.0. She has leveraged groups in a creative non-business way.

    Pam: You rock, thanks for being such a great supporter and connector on Biznik.

  • merchant services / credit card processing Art Torelli 
Seattle, Washington 
Arthur Torelli
    Posted by Arthur Torelli, Seattle, Washington | Feb 24, 2012

    I like both. They aren't interchangeable. I've gotten a lot of business from Biznik and none from Linkedin. I have just recently started to work with Linkedin more and I have joined several groups and that instantly made it more useful. I can see getting business their eventually. I like their articles better. They are more target specific and that's the type of thing that I can use.

  • Biznik Director of Community 
Seattle, Washington 
Matt Lawrence
    Posted by Matt Lawrence, Seattle, Washington | Feb 24, 2012

    Arthur, When you say you like their articles better which do you mean?

    LinkedIn does not have an articles section.

    They do have an aggregate of articles from other news sources based on your categories called, Headlines

  • Seattle WordPress Trainer 
Seattle, Washington 
Bob Dunn
    Posted by Bob Dunn, Seattle, Washington | Feb 25, 2012

    Some interesting comments here….

    Yes, apples and oranges. You are spot on, it is hard to compare almost any social platform with another one (except for the clones that come along occasionally). It's important to recognize that all these platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, and, you, as an individual business owner need to figure out how to make them work for you.

    The one thing I do disagree with is the pigeon-holing of any platform. For example, LinkedIn started as a site primarily for job seekers and recruiters. But I believe it has grown beyond that, and as I mentioned, you need to make it work for your own needs.

    I use LinkedIn, and yes, I have been on Biznik for some time and have found it incredibly useful. But I am active on many other platforms as well.

    So, since you asked, here, from my experience, is the comparison of LinkedIn and Biznik. (key words here: "my experience").

    Contact and connections: I have made great connections on both platforms. I have built long-lasting relationships on both as well. And of course, many of my connections span both platforms. I do admit I have made more in-person connections from Biznik as a result of events, networking, etc. And one fact for sure, there are people I would have never connected with on Biznik that I have met on LinkedIn, and visa versa.

    Jobs: I have gotten jobs and clients on both platforms. Can't really say one is better than the other for me on this.

    Articles: Articles are more organized and easily found on Biznik and are more prominent. Most of the articles I find on LinkedIn are links through updates, discussions, etc. And to be honest, I have found really great and really crappy articles on both platforms.

    Discussion: This is where the two really are different. Discussions on Biznik are more open, whereas on LinkedIn, they come through more in the Q&A section. Normally, especially in the past, I have found more lively discussions on Biznik.

    Building Credibility: This can be done on either platform if done the right way. On Biznik, I have used workshops and articles for this, where on LinkedIn I have used their Q&A. Which has worked best? I would tend to say no winner here.

    Profiles: I believe both have great public profiles available, with the options to add your twitter feeds, blog feeds, etc.

    Groups: Both have groups, and I find the ones I belong to are more active on LinkedIn. I do make more connections and pick up more information on LinkedIn groups as well. But with that comes a lot of selling. With both I have found unwanted spammy emails.

    Events: This is a biggie for me, and Biznik wins this one, hands down. I do list my workshops on LinkedIn but they are pretty buried. It seems to be more of an effort to find an event on LlnkedIn. I love the prominence Biznik gives to events and the ease for people to find out what is going on locally.

    SEO: This is a tough one as I figure if I say anything about this, I will open a can of worms, especially with my SEO peeps out there. But again, for myself, I get good Google juice from both platforms.

    I have paid VIP level of membership ever since I joined Biznik 4+ years ago. The value I get from the services offered at that level makes it a no-brainer for me. I am a free member on LinkedIn, and did try their paid services for a few months. I found that those services are much more focused on their original benefits, such as job seeking.

    Now I'm sure there are other points that I may have missed, but, again, this is from my experience. I think people need to find the platforms out there that will work best for them. But we must remember they are all tools, and won't do squat if you don't know how to use them.

    I tend to ignore when people tell me one is better over the other. There are just too many variables and specific needs we all have to say that any one platform is better than the other.

    In the end, who is the winner in my eyes between Biznik and LinkedIn? Neither. And though some comparisons I have made make them seem similar, comparing them is exactly that, apples and oranges.

  • Biznik Co-founder/CEO 
Seattle, Washington 
Lara Feltin
    Posted by Lara Feltin, Seattle, Washington | Feb 25, 2012

    GREAT analysis, Bob. Thank you. You made some wonderful points.

  • Sales Coach, Success Coach, Business Coach 
Portland, Oregon 
Tshombe Brown
    Posted by Tshombe Brown, Portland, Oregon | Feb 27, 2012

    I agree, Bob! Great points :-) Of course, your analyses are always simple and easy-to-understand.