Mehrdad Nazari among Top 1% Viewed LinkedIn Profiles

James Bond and not Mehrdad NazariI was notified that my LinkedIn profile is among the top 1% most viewed profiles for 2012. But what does this mean? Before exploring this question (below), I decided to update my LinkedIn photo. Do you like it...?


Does this ‘Top 1%’ viewed LinkedIn profile ranking add any value? Is it an indicator of good networking mojo & peer recognition, or sign of pending fame & fortune?

As most of you social media-savvy readers will know, LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network with over 200 million members. I use and combine LinkedIn with my blog ( as low-cost tools to display my expertise and compete – in certain niche markets - with big-brand peers.

Is there anything unusual about my LinkedIn profile, you might ask?

It shows my international academic background, which includes studying in Germany, the US and the UK. Along the way, I also managed to collect a few degrees (MBA, MSc) and some honors (Fulbright grantee, Rockefeller Foundation’s LEAD Fellow).

But I sense that most of my prospective clients don’t spend too much time wondering about my academic credentials. Instead, they are more interested in my skills and experiences and where I collected these. They wonder: do I have successfully solved challenges similar to the ones they are facing today? Do I have the creativity and resolve to deal with those problems which are yet to be fully defined before finding ways to solving them? Can I contribute to institutional capacity building and avoid dependency on external consultants? And is there evidence that my solutions are going to be robust and credible? The latter relates to critical stakeholders and experts involved in, for example, NGOs concerned about biodiversity to cases which are subject to international arbitration for settlement of major investment disputes.

Here, I am particularly proud that a good number of my clients, colleagues and peers felt comfortable to leave over 20 recommendations and 150 endorsements on my LinkedIn profile. I feel that his provides an ‘instant reality check’. It also allows prospective clients and collaborators to better gauge what kind of discount factor (if any) they should apply to my self-portrait on LinkedIn. (See also: LinkedIn endorsements: a dime a dozen or valuable?).

One of the key activities which helped me achieve a ‘Top 1%’ ranking is probably my effort at combining LinkedIn with my original blogs posted on Over the past 12 months, my humble blog generated over 11,000 visits and 17,000 page views. Half of the visits were referrals from LinkedIn. Perhaps time to invite more guest bloggers to share and jointly benefit from this platform?

I can think of a few advisory engagements that were triggered or materially supported by my use of social media. These often triggered initial on-line and off-line conversations (marketing people might prefer to call this "leads") resulting in projects. Although perhaps more difficult to quantity, my use of social media probably helps my client and peer network remember me. And for some of the training courses I co-deliver on IFC Performance Standards, Equator Principles, GRI or Stakeholder Engagement, they demonstrate that I am not a 'causal or academic trainer' but have proven experience in applying these benchmarks and frameworks under complex conditions.

What do you feel distinguishes (or distracts from) my LinkedIn profile? Is achieving a Top 1% viewed LinkedIn profile a distinction – or just a good marketing ploy for LinkedIn?