we like to play the Innovation card

Love’s Links Episode 15 – Olivier Taupin and the iPad (Pan)

Okay – we panned the iPad.  Well, we agreed it wasn’t a Game Changer.  Nuff said. But Jim did refer to the initial launch of the iPod with Steve Jobs if you want to see a real Game Changing event.

More interesting was the discussion with Olivier Taupin.  Olivier manages the largest group on  Linked In – the Linked HR group.  He’s a Game Changer in that he has found ways to kindle and grow groups like nobody else. He gave us a great run down on how to use Linked In more effectively and gave one of the best answers I’ve heard on how you can make money with Social Media.

You can find Olivier at his Linked In profile where he has two presentations that he created on how to use Linked In.  One is aimed at companies who want to use Linked In and the other at recruiters.

He also has a presentation that we found on using groups.

Olivier’s profile is found at

I picked up a few tips from Olivier based on the great questions that Janet and Allan (and yes, even me) raised.   We got some of these from you, th listeners.  Thanks!   And if we didn’t get it answered, leave a comment on the blog.  We’ll try to get an answer for you.

Here’s my point form notes.  But to get it all – download the podcast from the site or go to iTunes and search for GameChanging in the podcasts.  And hey – please leave comments on iTunes!

Here’s what we picked up:

There are three ways of growing a group:

  1. Active – invite people.  Especially VIPs
  2. Understanding the directory in Linked In and how it works.  He mentioned this as a way of growing organically.  You can grow a group very quickly by understanding the Linked In directory structure.
  3. Virally – use your members to grow the group.  Involve them and their friends.

Why groups fail? They make some basic mistakes:

  1. Allowing SPAM to take over
  2. Using the group for commercial purposes
  3. They are not actively managed.

Why groups succeed. Some best practices:

Subgroups are important to developing a group.   They allow for specialized groups within groups.

Groups need a “chief evangelist”.    This super-moderator has a couple of roles:

  1. Attracting others – he has evangelists who are very credible
  2. Training and motivating moderators.  You need moderators in your group.  (More on the job of a moderator below)

Moderation is important in what you do and how you do it.

What you do?  Make sure you clean up all the garbage and especially the  SPAM regularly.

How you do it?  He makes a point of not just deleting the SPAM or problems, but in advising the participants of what they need to do instead.

How people can use Linked In more effectively (is it just me, or does a lot of this sound like what Janet says on every program?):

  • People don’t understand Linked In.  It’s just like networking in real life.  You need to get to know someone before you ask something from them.  Don’t push anything until you have built a relationship.
  • You get to know them by starting conversations.  Listen and respond.  There are a lot of talkers out there.
  • People on Linked In are far too direct.
  • “Great sales people often do poorly on Linked In.  The people who do best are often the shy people.
  • Join sub-groups.  It extends the number of groups that you can be in (you have 50 subgroups in addition to your groups).
  • Leave groups that are not well run.
  • Follow people you want to know and comment.   That helps create relationships.
  • Don’t be an open networker.  It’s just a lot of work for no benefit.  But be open to networking.
  • Don’t link up with people with just anyone who asks.  But Olivier says that he doesn’t report people who approach him and don’t know him.  He doesn’t want to discourage them.  He wants them to learn how it is really done

Reducing SPAM  in your own account –  Spend some time looking at the settings.  You can weed out a lot of things like job offers you don’t want.

Should we get the paid version of Linked In? According to Olivier, you should try the cheapest version.   It gives you some extra features including search and ways to organize contacts.   He says try it and see if it works.  You don’t need a lot more to be successful unless you are a Fortune 500 company.

How does someone like him make money?

He builds groups as a demonstration of what he can deliver to clients.

Each group has a free resource center.  He finds partners to get great resources for free (remember Janet’s comment — deliver value!)

He encourages a freemium model you can get a lot of value for free, but there is an upsell.

Building specialty groups has allowed him to generate prospects and help people stop needing cold callers.  He mentioned his Oil and Gas transactions group as an example.  He manages the group and moderates it, but the participants do the work.

That’s my quick summary.   But you should hear it in context.  Download the show at or get the podcast from iTunes by searching for GameChanging.

For Allan, Janet and me — that’s the links.   See you next week at 8 pm ET and 5 P


February 3, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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