My real name is Mark Williams, the name Mr LinkedIn sprang up unexpectedly in early 2009 – partly because my Twitter name is Mr_LinkedIn and partly due to my obvious passion and enthusiasm for all things LinkedIn!
I live (and work) in a beautiful small rural Cheshire village on the edge of a forest. My interests outside of work are pretty varied from photography to walking in the countryside and supporting my beloved Liverpool FC.
My professional background is mainly in the recruitment industry – 19 years in total (for my sins!). I started as a very wet behind the ears trainee in sales recruitment in a company that had a staff turnover of over 200%! This was a very aggressive, cut throat environment where survival of the fittest was the order of the day. I was one of the most experienced consultants when I left after just one year but it had done me a world of good – I learnt all the basics of sales and recruitment and this held me in good stead in the years that followed.
Following this start I moved into financial recruitment and set about becoming THE name that any self-respecting part qualified accountant in the Manchester area would go to first when looking for a new job! It was in this market that I first learnt about the importance of relationships and many of those contacts made in those days are still friends today.
I spent 7 years in financial recruitment and had no intention of leaving until I got a call out of the blue from the MD and majority share holder of a well-respected executive search company. He wanted me to set up a new division to specialise in a new sector called Supply Chain Management – in those days (1997) a new term that I had barely heard of.
This was an amazing opportunity to start and grow a business from scratch with the financial and management support of a larger organisation. I literally had a clean sheet of paper and had to do everything myself – great fun!
Over the following 12 years I lovingly built a successful business with 30 consultants across offices in London, Manchester and Toronto – it wasn’t easy and there were many setbacks but it was a very rewarding experience and I am very proud of what we achieved there.
Following a takeover in 2007 I decided to leave the business during 2008 and set up my own business – initially I tried recruitment but I soon realised that my real passion had become training.
The idea of LinkedIn training came from a friend in the recruitment industry, we were having a chat about LinkedIn and they were impressed by how much I knew and admitted that they (and their team) could really benefit from some training. This got me thinking – and the rest is history!
Initially I focussed on training Recruiters but as my knowledge developed I realised that LinkedIn was so much more than a recruiting tool so in March 2009 I started offering workshops to all industries and individuals who can benefit from LinkedIn’s benefits as a networking and business development tool.
I believe LinkedIn is very important to anyone in business. In many respects you are only as successful as your network in business – something I have grown to understand over the years. Relationships built on trust and respect are critical to anyone that wants to succeed in business but traditional methods of establishing relationships can be limiting. Social media and in particular LinkedIn can ‘supercharge’ your network – it doesn’t replace meeting people but it does accelerate the opportunity to get to know someone ‘virtually’ before meeting them.
Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we do business – mostly for the better. My passion is to spread the word to as many people as possible so that they can enjoy the real benefits that using LinkedIn effectively brings.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog posts, I certainly get a lot of enjoyment from writing them.