LinkedIn is a resource that returns dividends only through calculated and intelligent effort by the user. True, an opportunity may fall into your lap every once in a while; for the most part, what you get out is close to what you put in. If you don’t use the site to you and your business’s advantage, then you could just be wasting your time.
For some innovative examples for using the site, we turn to Cheryl Connor, Forbes contributor and communications expert. The first example of LinkedIn creativity that she mentioned was that of a client assessing the marketing capabilities of his competitor. Using only LinkedIn, the client in question was able to construct a complete diagram of the personnel structure of the competitor’s marketing department, the people in those roles and even find a list of former employees that had turned freelance. The client was then able to go to his board of directors and show exactly how their marketing department stacked up against the competition.
Another fantastic use for LinkedIn mentioned in the article was sales re-enforcement. If we take the classic 6 contact paradigm for closing a sale (that it takes roughly 6 communications to close), then LinkedIn is a salesman’s new best friend. By adding someone on LinkedIn after initial contact, your interactions have jumped from 1 to 3 (your request and their response to that request). Hopefully, these examples have shown you the potential that intelligent networking has for both you and your business. When this many people are connected, the only limitation is your imagination.