LinkedIn the Vehicle vs. LinkedIn the Destination

March 4th, 2009 | by Jason Alba |

So many LinkedIn evangelists want to send people to their LinkedIn Profile page.

I wonder why.

I know why I DON’T do that.

I wonder if people who do it realize that they are making their LinkedIn Profile their destination.

Should it be your destination?  Or should your LinkedIn Profile be a channel to your destination?

My destination is my website (well, websites!).

I don’t share my LinkedIn Public URL on my websites (because you are ALREADY THERE), nor do I share it on my email signature (because my destinations are in the signature)… for me, sending you to a channel is counterproductive.

What about you?  Is your LinkedIn Profile a channel, or a destination?

When is it okay for it to be your destination? (I do believe that sometimes it is okay)

  1. 18 Responses to “LinkedIn the Vehicle vs. LinkedIn the Destination”

  2. By Becky on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    I am anxious to see responses to this. For me it is a destination but I don’t have a personal website. I don’t own my own company and sending someone to my company’s website wouldn’t help them learn about me so I didn’t see anywhere else to send them. I have considered setting up a simple single-page website though that is just a quicky on who I am, what I do and what I am interested in. Would that be better than linking them to my LinkedIn page?

  3. By Jane N-B on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    Hi Becky,

    That’s exactly the reason I started my business (well, one of them). I had lots of friends and colleagues wrestling with that same decision.

    I figured I could provide them with a very basic website/blog since I had figured out how to use the 2 main blogging platforms (TypePad and WordPress).

    I teach them to maintain the site itself once it’s set up; they are trading the hassle of figuring out the learning curve (and doing the content writing – which just freezes many people) in exchange for dollars. Once they have the site, they can then take it as far as they want to go.

    I also decided to add value to my offering by packaging the website with other web-based tools so they have a stronger web presence.

    Why is this important? Every job is temporary…repeat after me…every job is temporary. With some exceptions, most of us working today will never know what it’s like to be with the same organization for a whole career.

    The only person managing your career is…you. Web-based tools help you with that process.

    Having a basic website helps you create a stronger “brand” than a LinkedIn profile alone – this is important for your career management. Each job you have is another “block” in building your brand.

    They are very complementary tools, and even if your website functions as a “brochure” right now (instead of a highly interactive, social media experiment, blah, blah, blah) – that’s perfectly O.K..

    It helps you in terms of search engine results, which will be a key part of career management going forward. Your new bosses/companies/jobs will be Goog’ling you – what will they find? You want to control those results as much as possible, and both a LI profile and a web page will help.

    Just a few thoughts – hope they are of some use as you investigate further.

  4. By Emily Lozano on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    I think the first poster makes a good point. Unless you have your own business or a personal website using LinkedIn as a destination seems reasonable. If you’re an accountant, for example, it provides a work history, association memberships, group memberships and it shows any connections (people) you and your potential employer may have in common. Instant references. And posted recommendations.

    I think even if you have your own website LinkedIn offers some information that might be awkward on a personal site. Asked and Answered questions, your network of colleagues etc.

    Good question.

  5. By Sophie Lagace on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    I think your LinkedIn page is one one of your destinations if your current goals revolve around LinkedIn or online networking. So if you’re trying to build up your LinkedIn network and create connections, you want to make that easy. Or if you’re a job seeker and you want to direct contacts and potential employers to your LinkedIn-profile-as-resume to illustrate both your value as a candidate and your savvy with modern networking tools, then again your LinkedIn profile is one of your destinations.

    But eventually — when your online network is healthy and self-sustaining, when you’re done with job-seeking for a while — you’ll probably want to concentrate on your other destinations, which you may have built in parallel at the same time you were shoring up your LI presence. The LI profile links will become more discreet, and you’ll use LI and its apps, as well as other tools, to focus more strongly on your core destination(s).

  6. By Linda Noland on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    You’ve made a good point, however perhaps one of THE most important times to direct traffic to your profile on LinkedIn is when you are using it as your RESUME. If you are unemployed, it’s a virtual resume and should be used as a networking tool itself. I can see a time in the not so distant future when paper resumes will be obsolete – your digital resume or digital career portfolio will be the destination!

  7. By Brijesh on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    A very good question. The honest reason I put the link of Linkedin profile is because one of the personal branding ‘gurus’ had put it. I just thought it was a good idea.

    I think would presume if you are professional then Linkedin would be the destination else it may be a channel. One of the things that I hope to achieve by putting the Linkedin profile is to:

    a) drive traffic to my profile and get that a ‘visitor’ person ‘very’ interested (if that person is visiting the profile, I assume he/she is already interested)
    b) give an authentication to the contents on my blog/site (eg: ok this guys knows what he is talking about as he has worked 5years in this domain)

    Just some thoughts.


  8. By Brad Attig on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply


    I’m a strong believer in multiple methods of contact. Some people are more comfortable on a website, some are more comfortable with LI and some like, gasp, a pencil and paper.

    My website is about my business, which is me. My LI is about my business, which is me.
    My blog is about my business, which is me.
    My newletter is about my business, which is me.

    If I was selling tangible goods, I’d certainly make the website the go to destination but honestly, I don’t care how my clients find me. If someone calls or emails me because of any of the above, I’m happy.

    If you are a job seeker, you use LI different than a recruiter, which is different from a buisiness person. I don’t think there is only one way or the best way.

    Good topic by the way.



  9. By Robert Goldasich on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    I agree wholeheartedly with Linda Noland’s previous comment. If you are a job seeker who does not own your own company, your Linkedin profile should be a destination and serve as your resume 2.0. If you don’t refer to it directly in a cover letter, at the very least, the URL of your public Linkedin profile should be in the signature line of any e-mail that you send to a hiring manager or recruiter. You can then use the “Websites” field on your profile to supply links to other sites such as one containing work samples, for example.

  10. By Cassie Armstrong on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    What a great question. Before you asked the question, I never gave this any thought. I enjoyed reading the responses.

    I have both a Web site and a LI profile because I am trying to build a client base. I need a virtual pressence. Both LI and my Web site provide that for me. My Web site is getting more and more hits from Google and other search engines as I go along.

    I have a LI profile because I am trying to run with the big dogs. But honestly, I don’t know what I expect it to do or where I expect it to take me.

    After reading the responses, I will probably spend the rest of the day thinking about this.
    Thanks for asking the question.

    Cassie Armstrong

  11. By Sean Nelson on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    I think it’s a matter of strategy. For the person on LinkedIn whose business is LinkedIn the website should be the end destination. Rather than a link that person should be using the widgets to show their mini-profile or company profile. If you’re going to talk about it you should be playing with the tools.

    For someone who strives to be a LION it makes perfect sense because the connection is the final destination.

    For a small business owner with a website, it’s a means of trying to demonstrate some level of credibility. If the person is already at my site they are at the destination. The LinkedIn link is for them if they want to see more information than is on my site.

    My LinkedIn site has the widgets, my insurance related sites have the View Profile button.

  12. By Mike Smith on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    To me, it is simple. “What is your objective?”

  13. By Karen Stevens on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    I wholeheartedly agree that if you are a jobseeker, your linkedin profile should probably be your destination. As a longtime user of LinkedIn for recruiting purposes… these days, we look for you there first!

  14. By Jane on Mar 7, 2009 | Reply

    Linkedin is my destination for professional purposes, while my web site is strictly personal. If an employer/potential employer happens to stumble across my personal site, it would be no big deal since there’s nothing incriminating on there. However, I’m not going to advertise it. I do, however, have a link on my personal site to my Linkedin profile since I’m seeking a job and would like to provide a way for people to see my online resume if they choose. If they want to see work samples, they can just call me for an interview. :)

  15. By Joseph Hollak on Mar 8, 2009 | Reply

    Let me through another idea into the mix, and I am curious to get some answers on this because I raise this question without knowing the answer.

    Is it possible that making your LI profile a destination (occasionally leaving the link in various places online, like I’ve done with this comment) actually increases the page rank of your profile slightly?

    If someone Googles my name, I want my LI profile to show fairly high in the results as a part of my positive and controllable online brand.

    So, if on occasion, I leave the LI URL in various comments does it help the profile rise to the top of search engine results for my name?

    If the URL sprinkled around does help in SEO, then by all means make it an occasional destination.

    Interested in reading the comments from those of you more SEO savy.

    Joseph Hollak

  16. By Brian Schuster on Mar 20, 2009 | Reply

    Actually, I’m currently in the process of starting a company where LinkedIn (or sites like it) is used as both a destination and a channel. LinkedIn is a good place to give people a glimpse about who you are and what you do. From there, if they really want to contact you, give them the means to. If they want to know more, give them links to your website or other places where they can find out more.

    The internet is all connected. I believe different social networks should be, too.

  17. By Gary Parkes on Mar 28, 2009 | Reply

    I am a big Linkedin user and refer all new contacts, gate openers, potential clients, business partners, etc to my LinkedIn site. To me it is both a channel and a destination since my ultimate goal is to have the client feel comfortable working with me.

    As a mortgage broker, I am in an industry of high scrutiny; we receive a great deal of the blame for the financial circumstances we are currently in. I feel it vitally important to establish objective credibility as early as possible in the relationship. I actively request endorsements from the various parties in a transaction and have more than most.

    I think by sending someone to LinkedIn first, I am smoothing my way toward earning the business. Since my website is made essentially by me, for me, it is always going to be a glowing endorsement but Linkedin allows for people to speak in their own words about their experience. Additionally past clients will often make contact through Linkedin out of convenience-they know I am there. From a branding standpoint, having a client know they can find me on LinkedIn is helpful. Instead of having to remember my URL, they can go to LinkedIn and get my contact info readily!

  18. By Brian Schuster on Mar 31, 2009 | Reply

    Just commented about this post on my blog, post here:

    Thanks for the inspiration, Jason!


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