I’m a big LinkedIn fan. I’ve used it to hire people. I’ve used it to get work. I’ve used it to reconnect with people. I’ve used it to help make introductions. With the small exception of some privacy concerns, it’s one of my favorite Web applications. And based on their growth rate, I’m not the only one (Mark Evans agrees, Robert Scoble doesn’t). I like Plaxo too, although I use it very differently (Plaxo is ideal as a contact manager, especially if you move to a new PC every year or so like me).
LinkedIn tends to start as one of those annoying emails you see from recruiters and headhunters, as well as people who you meet once at a party but they save your card and ping you a few months later. Over time you get a request from an actual friend or two, then a coworker and colleague. Eventually, you start getting the emails multiple times per week or per day, then you tend to either blacklist it or succumb to the overwhelming pressure.
I saw Guy Kawasaki’s recent post on his LinkedIn profile refresh, and last night I decided it was time to
spam people update my network, so I decided to try something a little different. Rather than the standard LinkedIn greeting:
I’ve started using LinkedIn to keep up with my professional contacts and help them get introduced to people they need to contact. Since we’ve worked together and know each other well, I’d like to invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn.
I’d be glad to recommend you and put you in touch with anyone in my network. In fact, I’ve found quite a few people we both know on LinkedIn.
Basic membership is free, and signing up takes less than a minute.
Double-Yawn! Here’s what I sent out (with the subject line: “Standard LinkedIn invite”):
This is your official invitation to the worlds biggest party. Please RSVP now. It’ll be a lot of fun, I promise!
ps – there appears to be a typo above, when I wrote “worlds biggest party” I meant to write “my network on LinkedIn.” Sorry for any confusion.
pps – and then, naturally, the whole RSVP thing really doesn’t make sense when taken out of context, does it? just go ahead and ignore that part. (blog note: I fixed a typo)
ppps – strike the last sentence too.
Here’s my LinkedIn page – it could probably use a little more work, but I know it represents me pretty well. I recommend reviewing the seemingly defunct LinkedIn Notes blog for more thoughts on maximizing the use of the site.