Jason Calacanis (Weblogs, Inc. founder and now SVP of AOL in charge of the Netscape product) says in his blog that LinkedIn, which was once an “annoying distraction” has now become for him an “essential business tool”. He recounts the story of posting a job recently via LinkedIn:
Anyway, I used to put Linked into the same bucket because I was constantly hit up for introductions and friend requests to the service. A couple of years later I now have almost 2,000 connections and I’m finally getting value
youfrom the service.
Well, they have an amazing job posting service where you can post the job on LinkedIn for around $150 and then it gives you the option of sending the not to people on your contact list. For someone like me that means I get to send to my best contacts easily.
Anyway, after sending that email/posting the job out last night I got back–I kid you not–250 emails. That’s like a 10-15% response rate. Now, only 50 of them had to do with the job (the rest were “how you doing!” kind of emails), but the 50 I got back were so fracking targeted it was INSANE. Best $150 I’ve ever spent. Much better than HotJobs or Monster that’s for sure.
That’s exactly it, Jason. Now start thinking about how you can apply that same concept to other situations — finding potential strategic alliance partners, experts to help with a particular niche problem you’re having, supporters for a cause you’re championing, etc. — whatever personal and professional goals you’re trying to accomplish that other people can help with.
And, of course, by participating in LinkedIn, you’re in the position to do the same for them.