82Are you already on LinkedIn? If not, read on to see why you should be. If you are, do you still wonder what the big deal is?
Depending on your business, and what your position entails, the way you should use LinkedIn varies. Since that topic is a lot longer than the space I have here, I’ve included a link at the bottom of this article where you can download a copy of the “The Power of LinkedIn”, a business oriented presentation that I made to the Better Business Bureau.
What I want to share with you this week is what I consider to be one of the most powerful and valuable features of LinkedIn.
First, for those that don’t know much about LinkedIn, it is a business-oriented social networking site. LinkedIn has more than 225 million registered users, spanning more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
The feature that I’m referring to, and that I use several times a day, every day, is quickly finding who you know that knows someone else you want to know. For example:
  • If I’m going to meet with someone and know very little about them — within a minute or two I can determine which of my friends and close business contacts also know the same person — makes for a good conversation starter.
  • If I want to meet someone with whom I’d like to do business — chances are much greater by having a common friend introduce us — or at the very least to contact the new person and mention your common friend.

For this to work really well, you need to have at least 100 or more LinkedIn connections. It’s not hard and LinkedIn has ways to automate this, but you need to spend a little bit of time, over several weeks to get there. For example, I have 703 connections. Since the power of LinkedIn comes from access to all of the connections of my connections (2nd degree) and all of the connections of their connections (3rd degree), I am connected to 6,680,535+ professionals! Yes, you read it correctly — almost 7 million business people that I can network with!

Here’s how to use this feature:

  1. In the search box at the top of the page, type the person’s name that you want to look up
  2. Scroll down in their profile page
  3. On the right hand side of the page, look for “How You’re Connected”
  4. It displays your photo and up to three intermediary connections. If you scroll over their profile pictures it will highlight their profiles, these are first degree connections of yours and also first degree connections in common of the person you want to connect with
  5. If you scroll down farther LinkedIn will tell you how many connections in total you have in common

LinkedIn can benefit EVERYONE in business – not just sales people or job hunters. There are a lot more benefits than just connections in common. If you want to take full advantage of it, or still don’t understand what all of the hoopla is about, download a copy of my presentation THE POWER OF LINKEDIN — no ads or sign-ups — just a direct link to get the presentation, from me to you.

By the way, if you are using the Mynd calendar I discussed above, then you will find that the “How Your’e Connected” feature is already built-in. When you schedule a meeting in Mynd or your other calendar, Mynd automatically looks up the attendees in LinkedIn, using your profile, and shows you the connections in common.