I’m here at SXSW and LinkedIn founder (and investor) Reid Hoffman just rattled off 10 tips for entrepreneurs.
1) Disrupt — Ask yourself is this ’10X’ different. If it takes $10 in revenue and replaces it with $1 in revenue (e.g. Skype), then that’s disruptive. …
I’m one of those weird guys who likes to pour through documents like the 182-page LinkedIn S-1 Registration Statement (while flying to Salt Lake City for a trip with high-school buddies!).
An S-1 is what a company files in preparation for “going public.”
Here are some highlights:
This excludes what looks like an $8.2 million payout to preferred shareholders
* 2009 to 2010 reflects just 9 month periods.
Hiring Solutions: 44% — Recruiters (3,900 of them in 2010) pay LinkedIn to access and market to its database of users. This includes 69% of the Fortune 100.
Advertising: 31% — Marketers (33,000 in 2010) run ads on LinkedIn’s page views.
Subscriptions: 25% — LinkedIn members can use much of LinkedIn for free but there are additional things that users must pay for (such as seeing more than 100 results at a time or being able to filter your searches by seniority of a LinkedIn member).
*Breakdown as of quarter ended Sept. 30, 2010
“LinkedIn is not as automated a business as some may think…over half their revenue comes from Field Sales.”
Due in part to LinkedIn’s money spent on a sales team in the field, their profit margins are lower than Google’s and Facebook’s.
“I bet that Groupon’s profit margins will be closer to LinkedIn’s than they are to Google or Facbeook when Groupon files its S-1…due to the large field sales team they employ. “
Did anyone notice that I just quoted myself? I’m just trying to break up the text components here!
* For the 9 months ended Sept. 30, 2010
*As of December 31, 2010
LinkedIn is currently being valued at around $2.9 billion according to the latest shares being sold on SharesPost (note: this is not in the S-1 Registration).
A LinkedIn IPO could value the company at a great price than the $2.9 billion based on those recent privately-traded LinkedIn shares.
Of course, the LinkedIn valuation could change big time if we have an Internet bubble burst before they go public.
Have you ever wanted to meet someone, even though you don’t know them? Perhaps you read about them in a book or just heard that they were an awesome person.
Here are some approaches I use to get to know a “desired connection” better.
5 Tips On How To Get To Know Someone You’ve Never Met
First off, look them up on LinkedIn to see what connections you have in common.
If the desired connection is a 2nd degree connection (i.e. a connection of mine is a 1st degree connection to them), then look closely at those 2nd degree connections and determine if you have such a fantastic relationship with any of the 2nd degree connections that you’d be willing to ask them to introduce you to them.
If the answer is “yes,” then great…ask your connection for an intro (but read tip #5 first!).
If the answer is “no,” then instead focus on trying to add value to those 2nd degree connections and don’t bother asking for the introduction yet (reason: if you ask a favor of someone, you want them to feel like it’s worth their while!).
If the desired connection is a 3rd degree connection or more distant, then I recommend you work harder at expanding your LinkedIn connections (see my business networking section of articles (including LinkedIn tips!)).
You should constantly work towards being just a connection away from meeting anyone.
This is simple: if you can find your desired connection’s LinkedIn page, then look at their profile page (a few fields underneath their name) for any links they include next to “Websites” or “Twitter.” …
You may periodically see or hear about a job you’d love to have — so what do you do next?
I believe that the best way to approach a job you want is to get the senior most person at the target-employer to refer you so that you get on the fast track for the interview process (with the hiring manager).
If you’re interested in that, here’s some advice I gave a colleague recently on how to do that through LinkedIn:
First, go to LinkedIn and search for the senior most person at the target-employer (I recommend you go for the CEO).
Note: If you’re not familiar with LinkedIn, read this LinkedIn For Beginners Article.
When I search on LinkedIn I use the “advanced search” and enter in the name of the target-employer in the “Company” field (I start with “Current” in the drop-down) and then “CEO” in the title field.
Hopefully, up pops the CEO of the target-employer. If the CEO doesn’t pop up, then re-do the search by trying out other senior titles such as “founder” or “president” or “vice president.”
Now you should have at least one senior person at the target-employer. …
My friend Drew Sanders is one of the best networkers I know. He recently presented his Action Plan for using the networking tool LinkedIn to insurance giant Chubb…and was kind enough to let me share it with you.
If you want to know why you should be linked in, check out my You Must Be LinkedIn article.
Here’s the 8-step plan for setting up and managing LinkedIn:
A number of people ask me how I obtained a large network of contacts (I have 3,000 names in my iPhone).
Strangely, I’ve never thought of myself as a schmoozer…I’m actually fairly introverted.
But I’ve been very lucky. A few things were in my favor:
So, the 3,000 names isn’t that impressive — it really just came from 20 years times of storing an average of 100+ contacts per year.
That’s just 1 new contact I made (and stored) every 3 days. I’m sure you could do that (unless you’re a monk at a convent in which case you’re probably in the wrong place right now!).
But there is one secret I was reminded of a few years ago that I wished I had implemented earlier on in my career!
It’s only briefly mentioned on page 37 of the soft-cover version of The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.
In a word: “Connectors.”
Here’s an exercise I’d like you to do (should take 15 minutes and be fun):
Here’s a snippet from my list:
Now, you’ll start to notice that just a few people — in my case Chad, Ted, Erin and Dave — are responsible for connecting me to most my friends.
Gladwell calls these people “Connectors.”
I’m a Connector too, though not as good as my Connectors.
So, if you want to to expand your network, here are a few lessons:
I was inspired enough by this exercise to take Chad & Ted out for a yummy steak dinner at Gene & Georgetti’s in Chicago where I presented each of them with a personalized gift. It was of minimal value compared to the value they have given me through their Connections.
Thanks, Mr. Gladwell and thank you, Connectors!
What do you know about Connectors and Networking? Please comment below.
Are you linked in?
If you’re in business, you likely should be!
LinkedIn is a business networking tool that allows you to keep track of your previous and current contacts as well as get linked to new ones.
Why should you care? Because each of your contacts is worth an average of $948 in annual revenue, according to this recent BusinessWeek article.
I’ve been using LinkedIn since it was founded by Reid Hoffman in December of 2002.
You can see my profile here: LinkedIn (note: You’ll only be able to see my public profile there unless you are already a LinkedIn member).
LinkedIn is similar to social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, only it’s focused purely on business.
Here are some of the reasons I recommend this online networking tool:
I have a short-cut for you to beef up your number of LinkedIn connections..the following tool helped accelerate the growth of my linked in network.
Use their Import Webmail Contacts feature (It’s an option in the Add Connections section and might also be offered when you first sign up). LinkedIn then will go check out all of the email addresses from your email account and offer you the option to invite any or all of them to link in.
I personally chose to invite only the people who were already LinkedIn members (LinkedIn indicates that) and you can send one email to all of them with a personalized message (which I recommend).
Here’s a great 8-Step Action Plan on Setting Up & Maintaining LinkedIn written by a networking pro for a Webinar he presented to Chubb.
And if you want to expand your network even further, check out The Connector Exercise.
Good luck with your networkin’.