What has LinkedIN done for you lately?

After much networking over the last two years I’ve now reached LinkedIN’s 500+ connections. I’ve followed up every new meeting with a personally edited LinkedIN connection email. Was it worth all the time and effort? It was. The time investment  has demonstrably helped our startup  more than once. It’s also re-connected me with many long-lost colleagues.

Many people have said to me that LinkedIN‘s only good for recruitment. They’re right, it’s great for that. However its great for other things too. LinkedIN has help us find freelancers. We needed a web developer and designer last year for our Web site monitoring application startup Aware Monitoring. Without my LinkedIN connection to the lovely Mel Kirk, made after meeting her at the FOWA conference in 2007, we might never have found Luc Pestille. And Luc did a wonderful job for us 🙂 Before choosing to work with Luc we looked at 11 other developer designers, many found via LinkedIN.

LinkedIN is excellent for helping to understand and profile people.  Whether they are business partners, suppliers, competitors or potential customers. The information brings great intelligence quickly and effectively. It’s now so easy to find out who’s the CTO or CEO of a company. A very useful tool to identity new contacts within potential customers. LinkedIN also helps maintain weak tie relationships and friendships when people change jobs. I’ve spoken, emailed and met-up with many old friends and colleagues since using LinkedIN.

LinkedIN have cleverly made it worth your while putting the effort into growing your network. More connections brings a greater visibility to 2nd/ 3rd degree contacts. Your loose tie network grows!  In theory I now have over 5million 3rd degree connections.The founder and former CEO Reid Hoffman has tapped really well into the ideas of ‘six degrees of separation‘, ‘network effects‘ and ‘business social networking‘. Hoffman and LinkedIN have done great job in making a  useful business social service!

UPDATE: Ian Brodie and Webex have carried out a poll on ‘How to Use LinkedIN to win new business: poll results’ – these interesting and useful results echo my personal findings.

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4 Responses to “What has LinkedIN done for you lately?”

  1. Greg Simpson Says:

    Totally agree Nick. I know many people who don’t see the value and think of it as just a virtual CV/business card but as with both of those two things it is what you do with it that counts.

    I just had a great meeting with Craig Brothers http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/craig-brothers/a/2a/69a who I wouldn’t have met without Linkedin. The irony is he runs a firm called 6 Degrees. Linkedin in a nutshell.

  2. Nick Barker Says:

    Thanks for the comment Greg! Many people just don’t get, embrace or use social networking, especially in business. There is real value to it as proved again by your example. Rock on LinkedIN!

  3. Joanna Butler Says:

    I’d have to agree – I’ve found myself using LinkedIn more and more these days whereas about this time last year I remember actually tweeting about what its purpose is. I think the founders have moved the site out of the stagnant position it was in previously and it’s useful again!

    That said, other networks like Twitter have been the key drivers of awareness for me for my LinkedIn profile. Other sites such as my own blog searchenginechocolate.com have driven traffic to it too. All sites working together have meant I’ve met a lot of people I wouldn’t have known about previously. LinkedIn is a vital link in that connection in my eyes – don’t know another site like it that’s geared to pros.

    Oh – and great going with the 500+ connections! Nothing beats networking 🙂

  4. Nick Barker Says:

    Great to hear you are now finding LinkedIN of value and use. I agree its not just LinkedIN on its own that brings the value. A combination of social media tools are needed for networking and connecting these days.

    LinkedIN has most defiantly found its place with professionals. This focus has made it less active than the more personally orientated Twitter, Facebook, etc. However it is still of value in the long run and in businesses.

    Thanks for the comment and the congrats on reach The 500+. I’ve met some wonderful people over the last couple of years. Your right Networking Rocks!! 🙂

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