What’s the value of time?
Or more specifically, what’s the value of an hour of your time?
That’s really the starting point for my efforts in providing LinkedIn education, the creation of The LinkedIn Personal Trainer, and the growth of this blog site.
I wanted to get into that a little bit and make an offer to my readers that might help us both.
It takes a bit of an investment…
Getting to understand what LinkedIn is all about requires some effort.
My memory tells me it’s been longer, but the LinkedIn dashboard is quite clear that I’ve been a user since June 21st, 2004 – a bit more than 5 years. The service started in May of 2003, reaching a half million users in April of 2004. I joined shortly after that when they had grown to about three quarters of a million users. (My user “key” is 749830, so that is pretty darned close;-)
And back at that point, it took a very large investment in time to figure things out.
There were no help screens – all the site had was some “FAQ” statements that didn’t really explain anything.
There were no dedicated web sites – you could find an article here and there with a search, but it was always off topic for the general thread of the blog.
There were no books – The LinkedIn Personal Trainer was the first published for the general user.
So users explored the system, searched for what they could find, and figured the rest out on their own.
And that’s what I did.
To some extent, it’s still that way for many people…
Anyone who becomes newly convinced that they should be using LinkedIn sits down and spends hours figuring out what the system does, how to setup their profile, how to use the system, and which features are most important.
Guides save time
Before I had even thought of writing the book, I was spending my time telling people about LinkedIn and then showing them different aspects of the system.
In 90 minutes I could take someone from a bare understanding of the site to a quite comfortable level.
And that time spent with me probably saved them three or four hours or more.
The book and seminars
The book and training seminars followed – and are both effective. Reviews from my seminars consistently rate both my personal qualities as a speaker and the LinkedIn content high. I particularly liked one attendee who said “I enjoyed your seminar Steve, I actually learned a lot.” (Apparently this individual had been to a number of other seminars that were thinly veiled attempts to sell a product or provide only a small amount of information…)
My goal has always been to get people to become effective users of LinkedIn – and this blog follows that same thought.
And so I’ve sold thousands of copies of the book through this site as an e-book, and through retailers as a paperback.
Because I stand 100% behind my material, I offer a complete guarantee on the e-book sold on this site. (Because I don’t receive the funds directly when someone buys a book through a different outlet, I’m not able to offer this on sales through a consumer retailer like Amazon…)
And yes, I’ve given some refunds out.
It’s about 2% of sales, and while I’m not a publishing insider, I’m quite confident that is a very low rate – but I’m not satisfied either;-)
The more appropriate buyer
A good portion of the refunds are made to an experienced LinkedIn user that sees my advertising and wants to try out the book.
Because they’ve already learned how to use the site through trial and error and their own searching, being told how to get started is not what they want to hear…
They’ve already invested seven or eight hours of time trying to understand the system, and the book doesn’t give that back.
So – I’ve got a fix for that.
Finding the right buyer
I’ve created a very short questionnaire that will assess an individual’s experience with LinkedIn and learning style. When you take the assessment, it’ll tell you if I think the book will be good for you (or not;-).
My hope is to properly set the expectations of experienced users – I’m still happy to sell them the e-book, and I’ll still guarantee it, but I’d like them to go into the transaction with their eyes open a bit wider than they might otherwise be.
It’s not long…
The book is meant to be read in 90 minutes – and returned to as the user completes the exercises.
It’s structured so that when you’ve completed it, you’re set to go.
Some readers will comment on the length – but really – it’s harder to get a concise message that makes the right points than it is to drone on and on about useless information…
(And at $8.95 for the e-book, I’m not asking for the moon and the stars either;-)
I’ve got to test this out before I roll it into the regular site, so I’ve got a special page setup to do this. If you visit this page and take the assessment, I’ll give you 33% off the price of the e-book.
Now, many of my regular readers may already be owners of the e-book…
But – you can send this link to your friends and let them save. (And yes, I consider the blog and the book a tag team – the blog has point articles about different issues, and the book provides the foundation)
And that reminds me – I ought to tell people about how to introduce connection #1 to connection #2 and become the person remembered for introducing them.
Next post – I promise.
(oh – and this trial will last until the end of September, so don’t be complaining in October about how you didn’t know it was going to end;-)
To your continued success,
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