Jeff Taylor on How to Use LinkedIn Effectively

by Chip Griffin on November 15, 2007

Most of us have signed up for LinkedIn, a business-oriented social network, and many of us use it occasionally, but we haven’t really figured out how to get the most of it.  So I asked a longtime friend and former colleague, Jeff Taylor, to share his advice.  Jeff, a Senior Vice President at Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations in Washington, DC, has had more success with the service than anyone else I know.

(Listen to the 11 minute interview.)

“In the early going I had no luck whatsoever,” Jeff Taylor told me of his experience with LinkedIn, likening it to his golf awakening.  “For many years I didn’t play golf very well, then one day I hit the ball straight and I hit it 280 yards.”

And one day he received a lead from his LinkedIn connections that ended up netting his employer at the time, a law firm, a $500,000 account.  He quickly became a believer.

Whereas many of us use LinkedIn rather passively, Jeff has jumped in with both feet.  He says he currently has more than 4200 connections.  He advises people looking to get the most of the service to use things like LinkedIn Answers to build better relationships with your network.  By answering other people’s questions, you show expertise and generosity.  By posing questions, you can gather valuable intelligence.

Early on, Jeff found that he needed to spend a lot of time cultivating connections, but now he is in maintenance mode and gets an estimated 20-30 connection requests each day.

Jeff notes that there are two schools of thought on how to build your network.  Some (like me) choose to connect only with people who they actually know.  Others (like Jeff) are much less discriminating in an effort to build a larger network for potential business use.

In addition to the passive results he gets, Jeff also uses LinkedIn proactively to find contacts at companies he is trying to pitch. He has even been able to rekindle old friendships in the process.

(Listen to the 11 minute interview.)

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  • Jen White

    Great, very useful interview. I’m on LinkedIn, but hadn’t ever heard of a success story like Jeff’s. Good to hear about practical applications of these tools.
    Jen

  • http://www.DirectorTom.com Thomas Clifford

    Hi Chip,
    Informative interview with Jeffrey. I’ve been on LinkedIn for a year and am always interested in learning new tricks.
    Thanks for sharing!
    —Thomas R. Clifford
    Corporate Filmmaker
    “Making it easy for you and your company’s brand story to jump off the screen and into your customer’s heart.”

  • http://www.aneliteresume.com Martin Buckland

    Chip:
    Great interview. I have just reached the magic 500 contact mark and have been very prudent in who I invite and accept. LinkedIn has produced volumes of work for me from clients across the world!
    Great tool.
    Thanks
    Martin Buckland
    I am passionate about helping the $100k+ executive manage their careers and those who aspire to be business leaders

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