Most of us joined LinkedIn because we hoped that it would somehow impact our bottom line. That at some point down the road we would be rewarded with some economic return. I’ve been fortunate in that it has generated business for me. Just as important, it has helped me provide value to those that I have connected to.
Straight line benefits include developing new partners or alliances and developing new client’s. Crooked line benefits include introducing connections, writing recommendations, and simply helping others.
Two weeks ago I received a request from Tom Mickell to join my North Fulton Business Group on LinkedIn. This is a group for people that live, work or network in North Fulton County, Georgia. I am pretty strict about only letting local folks in. Tom lives in Detroit, so I promptly sent him a thanks but no-thanks email, but added if he felt there was a compelling reason he should be able to join the group to let me know.
Tom replied that his company was planing to open an office in Alpharetta and he was looking to hire someone in the area. He had just joined LinkedIn and found the group. I’m open to anyone hiring in Alpharetta so I approved his membership, made some suggestions on improving his profile and connecting locally, and sent him a copy of my LinkedIn eBook. I also let him know that if he was going to be in town that the North Fulton Business Expo was coming up. Plus I let him know about the upcoming chamber meetings.
Thom made the trip down and attended the Expo and a chamber alliance meeting. While in town looking to hire a sales person he was introduced to Ross Coleman, a fellow chamber member and a great guy. Ross, as he likes to say, is in transition looking for the next opportunity. Ross and Tom hooked up and at a minimum Ross was able to sit down with Thom and talk about the opportunity.
When Tom and I finally met in person and I learned he talked to Ross, I was able to add my endorsement of Ross as a person and valuable asset to any organization. I don’t know if Ross will end up working for Tom’s company. I do know that a simple offer to help a new LinkedIn member, may in the end help an old friend.
We all want to personally benefit from LinkedIn, but often it’s the crooked line benefits to others in my network that make it a good day. Find ways to help your network and you will prosper.
How about you, have you noticed any crooked line benefits to your network?