Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Answers to your requests

Several subscribers have selected the following requests from a previous post, so let me briefly address these issues. I will write in greater detail about each question.

LUM 001 - Please write more about how I can make money by using Linkedin

It's important here to understand that making money from one's products, is quite different from making money from one's services. Then, within the services category, one must distinguish between services that can be delivered virtually (i.e. through Skype, email, instant messaging, etc.) vs services that must be delivered in person (i.e. hairdressing, massage, etc.).

It's also important to understand that a network (such as one's network of connections on Linkedin) is different from a market. A market is a homogeneous group of buyers, and they usually share a common characteristic such as age, educational level, income, interest, etc. So because they are homogeneous in at least one dimension, they are likely to respond similarly to a marketing offer.

So it is critical to carefully segment one's connections on Linkedin. For example, I group all the CEOs together, or group all the professional together, or put in a group all the entrepreneurs. This way, I can send a specific marketing offer to EACH group.

LUM 002 - Write about how I can increase the number of connections I have

This request is actually badly formulated, now that I think of it. The strategic consideration should be, "How can I get connected to the specific people that I want to connect to, such as entrepreneurs, CEOs, mothers, etc."

For instance, if you're selling a product that is targeting mothers, then it would make sense for you to find a way to spot mothers on Linkedin.

LUM 004 - Write about how I can find a better job by using Linkedin

LUM 006 - Write about how I can use Linkedin to study my competitors

One way is to ask a question on Linkedin, something like: "I'm launching a service called XYZ. Would you know of direct or indirect competitors in that space?"

LUM 007 - Write about how I can use Linkedin to generate leads for my professional services

Business is war, and war is very much like chess. Sometimes, one must give up one's rook in order to capture the opponent's king.

In plain English, it means you should offer a free service so that your clients can see how good you are, and they would return to you. The lifetime client value will more than compensate for your loss of income during that first free service. For example, if you charge $100 for a service and give it away for free on the first visit, you can make several times that amount after the client has been satisfied and comes back to you.

General principle: to generate leads, give away something valuable for free.

LUM 008 - Write about how I can use Linkedin to generate leads for my products

Same answer as above.

LUM 009 - Write about how I can use Linkedin to become a millionaire

I know several secrets for becoming a millionaire, but if I tell you, I will have to kill you right after. :-)

Here's a tip for now: "Focus on what you do best, AND knock on every door."

In other words, "Excellence opens all doors."

Okay, enough mysterious aphorisms, let me be blunt and direct because there's a lot of money at stake here! You must create value worth $100, then put it in people's hands so they can experience it, and then charge them $10. Do this for a million people and you'll become a millionaire.

Last time I checked, Linkedin has 21 million users. It's not necessary for you to be personally connected to all of them. You can create an affiliate marketing program so that others get 30-40% of the sales. If you're really, really bold, you could also give them 100% of the sales, that is, they net 100% in profit. You can make money by upselling and cross selling to the clients that you get.

LUM 010 - Write about how I can use Linkedin to find affiliate opportunities

Find an author who wrote a book, and propose to him an affiliate deal where you get 30% of the sales to the people in your network. For instance, if a book sells for $50, then you get $15 every time one of your connections orders the book.

LUM 015 - Write about how I can use Linkedin to market my knowledge

This is a very complex, but highly enjoyable process. First, you've got to know what it is that you know that is worth something to someone. Then, find that someone and give it to him/her.

I will write more about this. It's about "monetizing your intellect."

LUM 016 - Write about how I can use Linkedin to refine my knowledge

Participate on Linkedin Answers by asking interesting questions and formulating interesting, helpful answers.

LUM 017 - Write about how I can use Linkedin to acquire new skills

Send an email to all your connections and list the skills you can teach someone, over the phone, and the skills you would like to learn from someone.

In fact, I'm planning to create a Linkedin-wide network where people can exchange skills. Stay tuned!