The purpose in joining a membership site is to bring opportunity to your door and avoid sending opportunity to the door of other people and businesses. The solution is as simple as how you use links to membership sites.
For example, I see resumes that contain links to a profile on a membership site. The risk to job seekers occurs when hiring or staffing managers read resumes on a computer. If resume readers click on the link, they land on a page that has the applicant’s profile and that has the statement “People Similar to [name of person].” What job seekers are doing is putting a link in their resume that not only takes the hiring and staffing managers to the job seekers’ profile but to the profile of the competition.
I even had one applicant who insisted that hiring companies use his profile endorsements as references. Conceptually, the idea is efficient, but hiring companies want references they can reach on the phone not read on a membership site.
For social media, there are three types of links.
- Follow Links
- Like and Share Links
- Links on membership sites that link to you
Follow Links take traffic from a website to another a website. I use follow links to help them connect with me on another website. Through these connections, they will receive What I had in mind was expanding my connections and followers by having my website visitors click to my profile or my business page on a membership site. I was sending the traffic the wrong direction. Having a profile or a business page on a membership site is a good thing, but these pages should connect people out from the membership site to the member and not the other way around.
Observing what I saw on large commercial websites, I designed follow buttons to match the icons on membership sites.
However, I see more websites abandoning the follow links, perhaps for the same reason that you do not see CareerBuilder follow links on Monster or Facebook follow links on Linked.
The Like and Share links are very helpful for promotion. Although few people would include those links in a resume, they do have a place in newsletters, some business proposals, and on websites. The buttons link people back to the profile or business of the publisher.
Links on membership sites that link to you are free advertising. The first link that you get when you join a membership site is the URL for your profile. Presto, when you register with a membership site, search engines immediately get a link representing you or your business on the Internet. Every comment you make in a discussion group gives you another link on the membership site. Every business page or group that you start gives your another link. Then you can post links that direct search engines to your website or online resume. This third type of links for membership sites (that is, the links within the membership site)gives you the greatest benefits of being a member on these site.
The way to build contacts and followers on membership sites is to sign into the site and create connections from inside the site. This approach directs people to you, not away from you or your business.
To make sure that you get the greatest amount of traffic, carefully write your profile to include the contact information you want people to use to reach you and create a profile of a person people want to contact.
Success on a membership site is an inside job. You have to go into the site and work on your content and contribution. There are at least eight things you can do that will give you benefits on membership sites.
- Create and distribute the highlights of your professional profile
- Publish a listing of your personal or business contact information
- Put your name or your business name at the top of search results
- Build an online database of contacts
- Find and communicate with people and businesses
- Get professional or personal advice from other members of the website
- Get information about people and companies
- Promote yourself or your business through creating powerful, meaningful content
However, to get these benefits, do not link out to membership sites. Use these sites to link back to you.