There is a lot of information out there about how to use Linkedin and I will admit that I've been slow to recognize the power of Linkedin.
About 6 weeks ago, I had about 20 direct connections with people that I knew well and quite frankly didn't see any advantage in Linkedin over the mulititude of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and others...what was the point since I was already connected to my friends on Facebook.
And then I got clued in...one of my associates had LION in his name on Linkedin. Once I found out that it meant that he was an open networker and he was aggressively growing his network and what the benefit is to his sales and candidate sourcing, I immediately become hooked!
So, in the last 6 weeks I have grown my linked in network to over 1500 direct connections and over 8.7 million in my overall network. That's 8.7 million candidate profiles!!! I have their names, their titles, their companies and their location...GOLD.
How did I grow it? I changed my profile to notate that I'm an open networker (I get several invites everyday) and I joined as many groups as possible, especially Toplinked and LIONs and downloaded some lists of open-networkers and uploaded them into my account and mass emailed out invites.
Here are some of the benefits that my team and I have already gotten from this large network:
1. direct recruits for orders we are currently working on. these candidates were not actively looking, but now they are interviewing with our client!
2. we now routinely get past gate-keepers at target companies since we have the name of someone in the company...we are able to get to the decision makers and get the order!
3. referrals for people to join my team...I've got a new flow of internal candidates in my pipeline now!
The more I use it, the more I'm figuring out ways to help my business. I'm definitely still learning but I did want to share what I've learned so far!!!
By the way, if you'd like to connect to my network on Linkedin, my profile can be found at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidsprinkle :)