First, let’s remind you of a definition I’ve used in earlier articles - Hub. A networking hub is a super-connector, someone who actively networks and seeks to connect others. Hubs can be found on Linkedin (sometimes called LIONs or Linkedin Open Networkers), Facebook, Twitter, as well as at local networking events. A hub is more than someone with a large network - it’s someone who’s willing to provide introductions within that network.
The Hub Effect:
This reader was describing how he linked to me - and I’m proud to be a hub. I’ve personally built one of the top 75 global Linkedin networks and I’m happy to help others connect by passing along introductions through Linkedin’s system.
Here’s the email from reader J.L.:
”Hi Phil, Since you accepted my link request this week my 3rd party connections have risen by about a million. (from 2.78m to 3.8m). Last week I was appearing in search results about once a day. Now I have appeared 30 times in ten days. Can a 1/3 increase in network size really have a tenfold effect on search visibility? Any thoughts?”
My thoughts ... Holy Smokes! I had no idea that linking to me would increase your search results by 10 times. Wow!
I always knew that by accepting invitations, I broadly help others expand their own networks (due to Linkedin’s ability to network 3 degrees away) because my total network is over 22M+ business leaders on this system. But I had no idea that the increase could bring such a huge increase in search inclusion.
This means that by linking to a single well connected hub, J.L. was able increase his visibility to Linkedin’s search engine 10x.
What does that mean for other job seekers? I think it shows just how valuable hubs can be to your search efforts. It doesn’t mean run out and connect to me and all of your problems will be solved (though you are welcome to). What it does mean is that connecting to one or two dozen hubs is a great way to expand your network - and a great way to improve your visibility in search.
Where can you find these hubs?
We are not elusive - we can’t be, even if we wanted to be, simply due to the size of our networks. Just go to Linkedin's advanced search (people search, not inbox or company) and choose criteria that’s relevant ... location, industry, company, function (paid feature), seniority (paid feature). On the other hand, you can just search globally without any criteria. Either way you decide to search, the important trick is to use the “Sort by” drop down menu at the bottom of the advanced search criteria page ... Choose “Connections”. This will display the most connected people on Linkedin based on your other search criteria.
These are hubs.
I give a more detailed strategy of connecting to hubs at http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/04/whats-all-hubbub-about-hubs-linkedin.html.
Understand what most hubs will do, and what they probably won’t do to help you. Most hubs will gladly pass along Linkedin invitations through Linkedin’s system. That in itself should be a huge help.
However, most hubs won’t research their large databases for you - once you’ve linked to them, you have the ability to search for yourself. Most hubs won’t directly email someone in their network on your behalf - but most will pass along Linkedin introduction requests.
Don’t expect that a hub will fall down on swords to help you, like your brother-in-law or mentor might. Likewise, don’t expect that a hub will take much time from their day on your behalf, if they don’t personally know you.
If you offer them help first, some will be incredibly giving of their time and assistance. Others may not be - remember that these people have day jobs too and they may have many people asking for help.
By the way, if anyone would like to connect to me on Linkedin, you can send me a LinkedInviatation using my email phil.reCareered@gmail.com and connect to me through my Linkedin profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/philrosenberg. If I’ve helped you to expand your network or be more visible in searches, please write (or comment below) and tell me how it’s helped you.
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