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The LinkedIn networking challenge: results

November 6, 2011

In 589 days of one-on-one networking on LinkedIn, I can tell you that it’s one of the most valuable tools I’ve ever used.

LinkedIn penAnd it didn’t cost me a dime.

Round 1 of the LinkedIn networking challenge is complete, and it has been both beneficial to my consulting business and eye-opening in how effective it has been.

All I did was contact people daily in my contact list, going in alphabetical order. I’d ask them about their work, their lives, anything that struck me as interesting. It helps to have a genuine curiosity about the people to whom you’re connected.

I admit, I let it falter for months on end. Only within the last few months did I jump back in full steam, contacting three people a day.

Early on, I reported a 61 percent response rate. At the end of contacting 500-plus people, I’m happy to announce the response rate was 64.7 percent.

That is huge. Despite having had whopping returns on email mailing lists, in the 40 and 50 percent range at times, this was phenomenal.

It led to a few of my most important projects in 2010 and 2011. It cemented that “top-of-mind presence” that helps speed along referrals to me. It helped others understand, when they asked me, what I do for a living and how I can help.

My network has grown by 55 percent, giving me more valuable connections in my network. As a rule, only people I’ve met are allowed in. No blind networking for me.

That large network makes it easier for me to make good referrals to people. If you ask me about people to know in Charlotte, or those who are skilled in PHP or accounting, I can look up great professionals in my LinkedIn network to send to you. (Of course, if you’re in my network, you can look them up, too.)

I have more people to contact in round 2, skipping over any who didn’t respond in round 1. Some 60 percent will be new contacts, which means starting the conversation as before, with basic questions. For the other 40 percent, a continuation from wherever we left off a year ago.

The value in a social network comes from the effort you put into it. I’m going to put more time than ever — but still only a few minutes a day — into LinkedIn.

I urge you to try it to develop your business and your network.

Photo: Shelia Scarborough (CC)

If you need help with getting the most out of LinkedIn
for yourself or your company, let’s talk.

Contact me

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 7, 2011 3:58 pm

    I appreciate the journalistic approach Wade. I’ll use your numbers to corroborate my anecdotes. Thank you!

    • November 7, 2011 4:47 pm

      I appreciate you using “journalistic” in a non-pejorative sense, Kate. 🙂 You’re welcome!


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