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How Much is Your Linkedin Page Worth?

As Linkedin usage matures, many Linkedin profile pages likely have tangible value that is not fully leveraged.  Users ought to explore ways to capitalize on the value of their Linkedin pages as well as dedicate more time and effort on further building that value.

Does Your Linkedin Page Have Tangible Value?

Lately I’ve been having some discussions with some firms that I provide advisory services to about my role with them and suitable fees.  As part of these conversations the topic of my Linkedin profile has come up; in particular, whether or not I might include their brand name on my profile page.

My initial reaction to this is – barring any conflict of interest – sure, why not.  But then I got to thinking shouldn’t that be worth something? How do you place an appropriate value on that?  More broadly, as social media matures in all forms and increasingly there’s more emphasis on ROI and related matters, shouldn’t anyone who has a Linkedin page place a value on it?  And, if so, how might we approach that?

One Approach to Assigning Value to Your Linkedin Page

For better or worse, the Internet business model often tends to be about advertising.  And, advertising value tends to focus on eyeballs and relevance.  In other words, a lot of eyeballs can be meaningful to an advertiser and targeted (but fewer) eyeballs can be meaningful.  On the Web counting eyeballs is often done using impressions, or page views, or similar metrics.  Then a cost-per-thousand, or CPM, dollar value is assigned.  For example, a high volume page with somewhat generic or easy-to-find content might garner a $1 CPM (or in many cases less) whereas a low volume page aimed at a highly attractive audience such as investors might garner a $20-$25 CPM (or in some cases higher).  It’s been a while since I looked at the going Internet ad rates so I’m just making these numbers up for illustration purposes.  You can easily find out standard ad rates by going to industry associations like the IAB and others if you want to get more granular and fine-tuned about it.

Now, let’s apply this thinking to your Linkedin page.  If you’re a reasonably active Linkedin user you’ve probably spent some time trying to clean up your profile according to best practices – more on that later. And, as a result you’ve increased your number of connections over time so that they’ve reached some meaningful number. Maybe it’s a few hundred, maybe one thousand, maybe tens of thousands for those who are really dedicated to it.

To its credit, Linkedin actually helps us out with this valuation exercise.  On your Profile Stats page you can see your page’s daily and monthly page view trends.  Start doing some math and you’ll realize these numbers add up on an annual basis. For example, let’s say you have 1,000 connections and on average may get 1000 page views per quarter, or 4,000 page views per year. 

Since each Linkedin profile page is very targeted and relevant to the reader I would suggest the CPM would be quite high, i.e. perhaps $30-$40, maybe higher depending on who you are and what content, keywords, affiliations, connections and so on are associated with your page.  So if you have 4,000 page views per year maybe that’s worth a few hundred bucks. And, over several years perhaps that’s worth a few thousand dollars.  Not a ton of money but certainly more than $0.

Extending the thinking, what if you have 100,000 page views in a year?  And, what about your page views over an extended period of time such as 10-15 years?  If you’re including company names on your profile and not capturing any value for that, isn’t that essentially free advertising?  If the company you work for is a well known brand, it probably doesn’t make sense to think you could extract much value from them.  But what if the company you work for is a lesser known brand?  To me, that’s where this gets very interesting.

I realize this might initially seem a little far-fetched.  But as Linkedin continues to mature, and users increasingly concentrate on optimization, not just presence, I’m confident users will start to figure out ways to appropriately monetize their profile pages. 

Optimizing Your Linkedin Page for Tangible Value

If you buy into the idea that your Linkedin page has some tangible value, then you’ll probably want to continue to apply best practices in order to build your page views and audience. With that in mind, following are some tips and tricks to optimize your Linkedin page for maximum value.

According to Lewis Howes, a Linkedin guru and author of several books on the subject, here are 7 key recommendations to improve your Linkedin page.  I’m not sure I completely agree with all of them but it’s a nice list and worth consideration in my opinion.

  1. Improve your headline – especially who you are and your value proposition
  2. Get personal – readers want to know a bit about your background and who you are
  3. Spell check – it’s all about first impressions
  4. Make a call to action – for example, how to get in touch with you or visiting another site
  5. Social proof – in particular, the more recommendations you have the better
  6. Improve your search rankings – it’s all about the right keywords on your page
  7. Stand out from the crowd – for example, use creative copy or add advanced Linkedin apps

Key Takeaways

In my opinion many Linkedin profile pages have tangible value, and this can be estimated using standard online advertising methods as one approach.  Users, especially active ones that are garnering meaningful page views, should further explore ways to fully leverage that value.  Related to this, if you want to grow the tangible value of your Linkedin page, there are a number of best practices to follow and I have listed a few in this article.

What Do You Think?

Since this is an early stage and burgeoning concept, I would like to invite readers to suggest best practices for monetizing and optimizing the value of personal Linkedin pages. I think it would create a very interesting discussion that many would find useful.

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1 Comment

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  1. Craig S

    Very interesting concept.  Social networking is becoming more important and I can see where certain peoples pages could be very valuable.  So if Stephen Hawking had a Linkedin profile that he actually updated and maintained, it could be a very valuable asset.

    Is that not somewhat similar to what some companies are atempting to do at SCN by having a list of top point getting companies and making sure their company is at the top?  What is it worth to a company to be the top point getter at SCN?  What is it worth to an independent contractor to be the top point getter in a space at SCN?  Is there a benefit to being associated with these people and advertising via them.  This is very similar to companies doing product placement in TV shows and movies.  How many Trans AM’s did Burt Reynolds sell for GM in Smokey and the Bandit?

    Regardless of the social network used, LinkedIn or SCN, I do believe your social pages can become an asset.

    What I fear most however is that in a few years, this might be wasted effort.  Just as most folks have found on the Internet dating scene, what is presented via the net is often not what is reality, I fear that Internet business “personalities” will often not translate to reality.

    So in years to come, as more people use social media to present themselves, the actual value could go down as companies get discouraged from always kissing frogs and never finding that prince.

    Truly good people with great reps already may have little incentive to keep their social networks up to date and active.  They are too busy!  Those that do and have the time, may so enhance themselves that I see a new term arising.  The “Internet Prince” or maybe the “Internet Faux Prince”.  A person adapt at using social networks to enhance their images but wind up usually disappointing their suitors when they get hired in reality and have marginal technical or interpersonal social skills.

    There is no doubt that social networks are here to stay and younger people will be forced to participate.  Making them all believable might be the bigger challenge.

    FF

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