Saturday, May 03, 2008

Linkedin is a tool for financial freedom

Many people use Linkedin for career purposes, and there's nothing wrong with that.

But the minority who use it for business purposes -- to continually build and refine, in a compounding fashion, their competitive advantages while multiplying marketing options and accelerating sales cycles -- those are the ones who get rich.

What do I mean by "continually building and refining one's competitive advantages"?

I mean you have to keep getting better and better at doing what matters most to your clients.

If you're an accountant, and you spend your time on Linkedin Answers answering questions that have little to do with accounting, that's not good.

But suppose you do spend your time answering questions that are related to accounting, the next question is, "Would you be able to gather all your answers into an eBook and offer it to your existing clients? Would they appreciate that eBook?" If the answer is Yes, then your time spent on Linkedin Answers is worth it because it "builds and refines your competitive advantage," which in this case is your accounting expertise.

Ultimately, Linkedin can be a huge black hole into which a person's time will disappear. So we have to learn to use it strategically.

Multiplying connections without having a clear goal, is another example of not using Linkedin strategically. If you don't have a clear product or service to sell, then you could have 10,000 direct connections and it still would not make a difference to your bank account.

Let's take a real example to see how important it is to have a product that you can sell through Linkedin.

Imagine Person A, who has 500 connections but no product to sell. Then imagine Person B, who has only 50 connections, but has an ebook that he sells for $20.

Person B is ahead of the game, since he could easily identify people in his Linkedin network who have 500+ connections, and propose an affiliate deal with them: they can inform their connections of the availability of the ebook, and they get 30% of sales.

Not only will Person B make more money that Person A, he will also be invited by his readers to join their Linkedin network.

In other words, Linkedin can be a powerful tool for achieving financial freedom if it is used strategically.

I've seen many sites talking about how to use Linkedin, but few of them mention any method or technique for making money with Linkedin.

Ultimately, making money is not rocket science nor is it that complicated. You've got to have a product, and you've got to sell it to the people in your network.