Why I don’t want to use LinkedIn

Recently a proprietor of a small firm asked me how he can get more clients, including international clients. So with all my new found Web 2.0 and social media interest, I suggested that he start building contacts on social networking sites. I asked him to start building his contact list on LinkedIn. I also suggested that he starts participating in various groups on LinkedIn, basically increase web presence of himself and his company.

I met him a few weeks later and asked him how he was progressing on building his network. He sheepishly told me he hadn’t made much progress. On my asking why, he said that he feared that his competitors would get hold of all his contacts and approach his clients to takeaway his business. His fear completely flummoxed me. I could tell him that he could stop others from viewing his contacts but I have a feeling that it might still not be enough to get his started. So what do I tell him to get him started?