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How Much Does LinkedIn Pay You?

They don’t pay me anything, and so I don’t participate. How much do they pay you?

I’m willing to accept discussions of how much value you get from LinkedIn, if that is what you prefer. I have little expectation that anyone can highlight much real value, although I am sure there will be a handful of “I made a connection that turned out to be worth millions to me” lottery stories and get-rich-quick dreams. in my cirlces (even extended circles), anyone I have ever asked has said pretty much the same thing – “I never saw any value from it“. Of course these days there are some who try and explain it as “it’s social media… you participate and then people know you and you get to be a guest blogger or interviewed on blogs, and your name becomes known… and well you’re part of the conversation… and well maybe you just don’t get social media eh?” I’d rather not go there but if I am forced to I stop when I get to the part about LinkedIn making a fortune and Social Media people working hard for other people for a living. I suppose there are some parallels to that awkward moment when your boss offers you a title instead of a raise. Anyway…

With LinkedIn now partnering with the New York Times, LinkedIn becomes a bigger competitor to search, and LinkedIn members become a more valuable commodity to be pimped by LinkedIn to advertisers and influence-peddlers like the NYT. Ka-ching.
When I am offered a cut, I’ll reconsider participating. In the mean time, if you want to know who my friends and associates are, who my vendors and clients are, what I studied in what school when, where I used to work and what I like to read, well, you’ll have to pony up for drinks, bribe my b.f.f., or hire a private dick, just like old skool.


  1. Stefan wrote:

    Heya John,

    LinkedIn has been good to me in terms of building a trust relationship in a closed, relatively small community – in this case, the gaming community. I was able to build some cred on the east coast by dint of having connected via LinkedIn to a friend of mine who is a muckety-muck in the gaming industry; this was able to translate over to some interviews I had over on the West Side. I also got pinged a few times by connections looking for PHP talent – because PHP developers are a dime a dozen, it can be tough to separate wheat from chaff, so to speak, unless you have a trusted person give a nod in someone’s direction. On the East it used to be as simple as “anyone from NYPHP is a good candidate”, but that may have fallen by the wayside in recent years.

    That being said – I never give anything more than 5-10 minutes / month to LinkedIn. The social piece has proved to be an entryway, but nothing more substantial than that. I would advise people who do it to put up nothing more than their basic info and what they’re currently up to, maybe a link to their site with their resume and code samples. No need to get more into it than that.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 12:54 pm | Permalink
  2. I don’t every update or participate but I see it as a great data mining / lead generation tool. So everyone else keep participating for me please ;)

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Permalink
  3. Tara Joyce wrote:

    John, I couldn’t agree more. I signed up for LinkedIn as soon as I heard about it as, at the time, I was looking for a new job. I guess I was hopeful that it would add some value and bolster awareness of my *awesomeness*. Since that time, I have updated my profile and got a few recommendations from people but otherwise I have gotten nothing out of it besides a few wasted hours.

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 7:32 am | Permalink
  4. Jamie wrote:

    Since it gets indexed quickly it can be useful for reputation management or reputation destruction..

    @jamie: I recall a few years ago when directory companies tried to copyright directory data (they wanted to copyright the collection  of your name + your address, so once aggregated, other directories couldn’t just copy it). That opened a can of worms regarding who owns that collection…. because of course we individuals do. And that is the point… you are born once and you have that name forever, so perhaps trading on that name (as LinkedIn does) should be a right reserved for those with that legal name. This ties in well with existing publicity/privacy rights, so it might be doable. Facebook/LinkedIn pretend to offer a service yet operate a business built around trading on your name…. if they let the balance shift too far to one side…what will happen?

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 11:06 am | Permalink
  5. K S wrote:

    I wondered about using linkedin for a long time and had an account there that I did not really use. Every now and then I would answer few questions but that does not really help.

    Nowadays however, I use linkedin every day. Actually, everyone on our sales team has a premium account and I cannot emphasize how much linkedin helped in our sales cycles. If you are targeting a certain client, you can find out people from that company, connect to them and get their opinion of the best way to approach top management. Some people shy away from responding but more than 70% will be willing to take the time to talk.

    ps- would be great to have an option to get notified of responses to a post.

    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 8:02 pm | Permalink
  6. LinkedIn doesn’t pay me, but I do still participate.

    We’ve found the new LinkedIn groups feature to be a good way to pull together a community of professionals.

    In our case, we wanted to build a community for professional marketers online. The group has since grown to 6,000 members.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 3:46 pm | Permalink
  7. We have generated new clients directly from LinkedIn. Not to shock those who doubt social media, but we have also generated clients directly from Twitter.

    Monday, February 16, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink