Lessons from LinkedIn

linkedin-logoI was fortunate to have been part of a business group to visit the offices of LinkedIn and other social media platforms last month. At LinkedIn we heard from their CEO, Jeff Weiner, and Brian Frank, Head of Global Sales Operations.

I have long been a fan of LinkedIn as the ultimate business social media platform. The session reinforced my respect as I gained a greater appreciation of their underlying business model which allows and encourages business leaders to connect with each other.

I more deeply understand their mission to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive & successful. As Jeff Weiner said, they seek to “Connect talent with opportunity on a massive scale”. Indeed they have and do so with greater impact every day.

The power of LinkedIn is in its networking, which has been called “Networking on Steroids”. I have always believed in its power and believe it can be an incredible business generator for professional service firms. For businesses which generates new clients based on referrals, LinkedIn provides the access of information to know who your connection knows, and therefore potentially stimulate referrals if done with grace and skill. The key is to deeply understand the many ways to unlock the power of LinkedIn

Some basic factoids reinforce the growing power of LinkedIn:

1. At the end of 2011, LinkedIn had 145 Million members, up 60% vs 2010. There are now more than 150 Million members

2. Despite the growing and flattening of the member demographics, the average income of a LinkedIn member is $110,000, and the average age is 43 years old.

3. Total Linked In revenue in 2011 was $522 Million. Hiring Solutions business — which is 50% of LinkedIn revenue — grew 156% in 2011.

4. Marketing Solutions (advertising) and Premium Subscriptions comprised roughly 30% and 20% of the total, respectively. They were proud that premium subscriptions grew more than 80% in the 4th quarter of 2011, twice as fast as overall membership.

5. International growth is particularly strong, and the opportunity is still significant, with just 4% penetration into the global professional workforce. However 1/3 of overall revenue is already internationally based.

Jeff Weiner is an impressive CEO. I came away appreciating his business acumen. He drilled home his philosophy—do fewer things, do them better. Focus. Focus. Focus.

LinkedIn is a unique platform. It is particularly ideal for professionals who’ve been around the block a few times. Each of us has many professional connections, with people we’ve liked and respected through the years. Unfortunately, often those relationships dry up only because the business connection is no longer there. But LinkedIn is an easy way to rekindle those dormant relationships. While it may be awkward to call or email someone from your distant past, it is far easier to connect with someone with a simple invitation, “Was thinking of you. Sorry we lost touch. Let’s connect on LinkedIn”. And if there is someone you want to meet, there’s an excellent chance that person is already connected to someone you already know.

Are you a heavy user of LinkedIn? If not, what are you waiting for?

More Strumings


  1. Beth Frances Rosoff Strum says:

    Hello Mr. Strum:

    I am the creator of a completely healthy cookie, called “Whole life” cookies.
    Any ideas for using Linkedin for marketing this product?

    thank you for your feedback.

    • Lonny Strum says:

      Ms. Strum, Perhaps you should give away free cookies to all 150 Million LinkedIn users!

    • Denise Duffin says:

      In the spirit of proving Lonny right (it used to be my full-time job;) I may be able to help you with a good connectIon. I suggest Whole Life Cookies reach out to Bryn and Dane’s, a retail operation that serves amazing “fast food” that’s totally healthy…they just moved into a much bigger location in Horsham, had a smaller one in OC, NJ last summer and are soon expanding. Find Bryn, the owner on facebook and linkedin. Good luck, D

  2. skip connor says:

    Please put me on the mailing list for healthy cookies. Thanks

  3. great info, i agree..I pick up new connections when I put time into linkedin!

  4. I love great advice! Lonny advised me to get on LinkedIn and I did!

    Jeff Weiner philosophy – do fewer things, do them better.
    Focus, Focus, Focus. Great advice!

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