Short answer: yes.
It might not be as easy as you think, especially if you are looking for easy money, or passive revenue. Don’t use LinkedIn as the only tool to sell your $47 product… you’ll have to sell a lot to make any real money, and to sell a lot you’ll have to be all over the place, and being all over the place will make you look like a spammer, and looking like a spammer can get you banned :p
Here are two stories about people who made money because of LinkedIn:
I asked a question on LinkedIn. Someone answered the question with a really good answer. Someone else
was interested in my question, saw her answer and hired her. I don’t know if that was a $700 contract or a $2,700 contract, but by taking a few minutes and sharing her knowledge she got new business. Even if it where a $700 contract, she now had a new client (perhaps she could sell more stuff to that new client down the road) and hopefully an evangelist to spread some word-of-mouth goodness.
I was doing a presentation at a law firm and an attorney said he belongs to his alumni group on LinkedIn. Someone started a group discussion that had nothing to do with law… if I remember correctly it was a discussion/question that had to do with an upcoming football game, and perhaps asking for hotel recommendations for that away game. This attorney simply responded with helpful information… someone else saw the response and said “oh, I kind of remember now that so-and-so (the person who answered the question) was an attorney, but I didn’t realize they did *that* type of law – I’m looking for that expertise right now!” Contact was made and a contract was signed – just from being helpful on a discussion in a group the attorney got business. I’m guessing the contract was worth more than $700 :p
LinkedIn is a tool – it’s a communication vehicle… it is not a get-rich-quick thing… the reason these people made money was because they were in the right place, with the right information, and accessible.
There are more stories, but the point is, YES, you can make money from LinkedIn!