Customers and LinkedIn


I use LinkedIn as a place I promote my business as opposed to a place to list my customers. Despite that, I had added a “position” for my work with iVention LLC. I have just removed it.

Initially, I just thought that the time I spent with this particular customer who is a software vendor was a special type of relationship and that I should make it clear to other software vendors that I did have some special relationships with software vendors. That way, if they felt uncomfortable sharing information with someone more tightly tied to one of the software vendors they would have the opportunity to rethink it.

However, this is what I’ve learned and also come to realize:

  1. LinkedIn isn’t the place to list my customers. It just confuses people and makes them think I have gone to become an employee.
  2. Why leave out other software vendors? iVention LLC, while being a truly unique consulting opportunity for me, is not my first software vendor customer. I didn’t list the others, I probably shouldn’t be listing iVention LLC.
  3. People now “know.” In speaking with people in the industry, most software and services vendors that I have any real contact with know that iVention LLC is my customer. They still seem comfortable talking to me. I think what it’s really all about is that a lot of people keep their secrets with me and they know I’ll keep them. It might actually be as simple as that.

As such, I wanted to let the industry know what I’m doing. It’s so easy to see the rumor mill grinding out its ponderings about some kind of “falling out” between us or something similar. Sorry to make it so boring but I’m certain you’ll get some drama from one of the other companies in the industry if you wait a bit for it.  😉

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises
http://www.GeoMetrick.com/


2 responses on “Customers and LinkedIn

  1. On a similar note, I wrote blog post on Linkedin that describes my position about showing employment on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/should-your-company-hand-over-employee-list-competitor-john-jones?trk=mp-reader-card

    I liked all of the comments on my article and I see the multiple points of view but for me, social media is ripe for abuse and misleading information. So you have to be judicious just as you were with your profile and your associations. That being said, I am cheerfully using Linkedin for recruiting new staff and a great place to start is with employee lists that Linkedin provides so freely.

    • In this article, you mention that you have employees purposely not list where they work. I looked at one of your employees and they do show where they work – at the LIMSForum and the Laboratory Informatics Institute. Those are yours, too, so how is that going to mislead your competitors when we all know that LIMForum, LabLynx and LII are coming from you?

      I think it’s more honest when people just say that they’re withholding their company name. Even with that, it’s hard to know why someone would be in LinkedIn if they don’t want people to know where they work because that probably doesn’t promote networking, which is the goal of LinkedIn. However, strange as I think it is, I do occasionally run into someone that does that.

      As for social media being misleading, that’s going to be funny if you’re going to say that you believe people’s resumes more when they’re on paper. People lie just as easily on paper as in LinkedIn. In fact, in LinkedIn, I would think it much more likely someone would know that a person who claims to have graduated with honors from Harvard Law School actually didn’t than on paper. In talking to employers, very few of them seem to check. And all those people that claim to have gone to MIT just because they took one of those free extension courses can do it just as easily with paper as with social media.

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