I’m the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for Hire for Geeks, Scientists and Engineers. Since, 2004, I’ve been connecting to colleagues, associates, friends and classmates via LinkedIn. Several years ago I invested more time in understanding LinkedIn by attending Chris Rollyson’s workshop at Confab on the topic. I was so impressed by Chris that I arranged for him to teach a local workshop on LinkedIn and other social networks here in Los Angeles. I continued to invest time in LinkedIn, and, as it turns out, my efforts paid off. LinkedIn has bubbled up as the “winner” of business social networks. Just in the last weeks, LinkedIn announced that they exceeded 100 million users.
When my activity on LinkedIn reached what I would call a critical mass, I began getting a lot more profile views, invitations to connect and inquiries. Some of the requests are spam (many have been from vendors who want to sell to me), and I still only connect to people I know or to those I deem strategic connections. Six months later seemed to be my LinkedIn tipping point. I got phone calls from two recruiters, one looking for an Interim CMO for a B2B company and another looking to hire a full-time CMO. Neither opportunity was a fit for me, but I was encouraged.
This year, a B2B start-up in Northern California messaged me on LinkedIn. They were going to exhibit their software product at a trade show in three weeks. Could I help them? Yikes! Three weeks? With traditional marketing, there’s not a lot you can do with just three weeks before a show. But, as a Certified Inbound Marketing Professional, I knew that certain online marketing tactics had a chance. I helped the client with some messaging to bloggers who might cover their product and the show. I also pushed out highly optimized content online before the show. On the day the show opened in San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle picked up my client’s product launch information. Not bad for three weeks work. And it all started with LinkedIn.