Marben Bland

Speaker WriterStrategist

Know Your Purpose 

Why I am On LinkedIn?

Rick Warren  A decade ago Rick Warren, aroused the world with a simple question: "What on Earth Am I Here For?" In his worldwide best seller The Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Warren challenges us to spend 40 days exploring God's purpose for our lives. Knowing your purpose gives your life meaning, and context, providing us with the resolve to get things done.

Why I am On LinkedIn?


LinkedIn has become one of the most important professional networking platforms on the planet. It has grown phenomenally in the last 5 years, with over 200 million members worldwide. With 8 of every 10 Fortune 500 executive having a LinkedIn profile along with recruiters, entrepreneurs and others trolling profiles for connections, information and talent. LinkedIn has rapidly become the place to find a job, make a sale, share information and to get things done on a host of other matters. - So the question is what is your purpose for being on LinkedIn?

3 Steps to Purpose   


Knowing your purpose unlocks your power. The revelation of discovering your purpose provides clarity of focus powering the ability to accomplish things big and small. Through my work with companies and attendees at our LinkedIn Simplified Seminars I have been able to develop a simple 3 step process to fully uncover your purpose for being on LinkedIn. 

Step #1: What Are You Trying to Acheive?    


Achievements are the stuff of life; it is amazing what we can do when we set clear and public goals. Researchers at Michigan State University found we are 10 times more likely to achieve what we are up to by simply writing it down.

So the first step in discovering your purpose for being on LinkedIn is to figure out what you are trying to achieve....not with LinkedIn but in life.   My dear friend, mentor, coach and one the smartest people I know: Rich Gee has developed a great system for goal discovery. Please take a few moments to use this document to uncover your goals in life and purpose for using LinkedIn. Also follow Rich at


Step #2  Connect With Your Connections    


Jeff LinkedIn LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, describes LinkedIn as a tool "designed to connect people with other people to accelerate personal and professional achievement." -- Any achievement you are apt to accomplish will be done with people. LinkedIn Ninjas understand the more they know about what their connections are trying to achieve the more they can be of help......and the more your connections can help you.              

Connections vs. Relationships

There are 3 basic strategies for connecting with people on LinkedIn:

LION: LinkedIn Open Networkers, or just open networkers. These users are totally open and will accept any invitation. The idea here is to connect to as many people as possible in order to reach out to more people. A larger network is particularly useful when prospecting for leads and doing research on people and companies

Professional Networker:This would be the most typical LinkedIn user. A salesperson would connect to his or her clients; the client would connect to their suppliers etc. You don't actually have to have met the other person but you will have dealt with them and deem there is a value being connected for both your careers. Professional networkers will normally have anything from 200 to one thousand connections.

Relationship Networkers: This is the preferred networking style for LinkedIn Ninjas. As a relationship networker we have made the decision to populate our contact list with "relationships" - In other words we only connect with people who we know and trust. Our goal as relationship networkers is to have tight interactions with "contacts" we be of service to.

Invite │Respond Relationship

You may be wondering how to build a vibrant, growing contacts list on LinkedIn as a very selective Relationship Builder networker?   LinkedIn Ninjas have a purpose driven strategy we call invite, respond, relationship.


Invite - When I want to join someone's network I replace the default invite note with a targeted note aimed specifically for the person I am attempting to connect with. Now I know you are concerned about the time this "targeted" note may take to compose. --- So here is a Ninja trick develop template notes that can be customized for specific situations.   - Still don't have enough time to compose template notes? Exam this Wiki for some template examples.


Respond - When people invite me to join their networks especially when it is a cold call invite I ask myself the following:

-        How well do I know this person?

-        What can I do to help this person?

-        When can I talk to this person?


To answer these questions I respond to the invite with a targeted note with a simple question; "before we connect I would like to know how I can help you.....this is my number please give me a call." The call gives me the opportunity to discover how I can be of assistance. Also it tells me how serious the potential connection is about networking with me; as less than 10% respond to my note with a call.  - As a LinkedIn Ninja it is all about giving to your connections. So my gift to you is this Wiki of template response notes.  

Relationship - Relationship is more than just being in a name on a contact list. True relationship is developing an ongoing connection inside and especially outside of LinkedIn.   As a LinkedIn Ninja these are a few of the things I do to build those relationships with the people I am connected to on LinkedIn.

-        When I need to have specific communications with my contacts; I do so outside of LinkedIn, using personal email or better yet the phone.

-        I make a point have an annual "Check IN" with my contacts. Typically I do these Check IN's during the birthday month of my contacts. In these meetings I find out what is going on and how I can be of assistance.

-        I keep my contact updated by downloading them into my Microsoft Outlook and purging outdated contacts from the LinkedIn site.

Grow your connections with these templates

How to write an Invite

How to respond to an invite

Step# 3 Daily Activities   


Discovering your purpose is not a onetime exercise; it takes daily refinement. The final step in the 3 Steps to Purpose are making a commitment to 5 daily activities to refine your purpose and build relationships with your connections.

The 6 Things LinkedIn Ninjas Should Do Every Day

1. Check your updates - particularly for your contacts' profile changes and new connections.

2. Check your groups' digests - look for new members and for opportunities to engage constructively.

3. Reach out with connection requests to anyone you've met in the last 24 hours.

4. Look at who's visited your profile - visit them back and request a connection from anyone who looks interesting.

5. Check your saved searches when the reports come in for new opportunities.

6. Share content like this post with your contacts or better yet create content.

The Bottom Line: Purpose Joy LinkedIn Cake 

I believe that true joy comes when we allow God to reveal the purpose of our lives. LinkedIn for all of its wonderful features is just a website. Our lives are the gems created by God for His glory and honor. Experience or re-experience the Purpose Driven Life. Find your purpose and when you do this entire LinkedIn thing will become a piece of cake.


Marben Bland
 MDB Redbox Marben Bland is The LinkedIn Ninja; he trains corporations, job seekers and sales professionals on cutting edge ways to use LinkedIn more effectively. He writes the weekly How to be a LinkedIn Ninja blog and is a popular speaker at trade shows and seminars. Call Marben today at 608.358.1309 to have him train your company or speak at your next event.
Find The Marben Bland Group on Facebook!Follow The Marben Bland Group on Twitter!Connect with The Marben Bland Group on LinkedIn!Read our Blog!
Join Our Mailing List