I have had a very tiring day so far, mainly due to being invited along to a networking meeting which meant I had to be up and out of bed at a quarter to six this morning. It’s currently coming up to 2pm but feels more like 5.
That aside it was a very worthwhile meeting, met some good people, handed out lots of business cards and, as I always do when I meet someone new, connected with them on Linkedin.
During the course of the meeting, one of the regular members mentioned in passing “you can find me on Linkedin” and I heard a couple of other visitors commenting to each other that they don’t use Linkedin. This always amazes me as, from personal experience I’ve found Linkedin to be THE most useful tool for generating new business enquiries and for developing valuable business relationships. What’s more, if you don’t pay for premium features it’s completely FREE so why are there still business owners out there who are happy to drag themselves out of bed early in the morning to attend networking meetings but don’t feel they’ll be able to generate new sales enquiries through Linkedin?
The simple answer (I’m guessing) is that they just don’t understand it. Yes Linkedin can be a complex and perhaps daunting environment for the newbie but, if you follow these 5 simple steps you’ll be well on your way to generating huge amounts of business with very little outlay of time or money.
1 – Complete your profile. Linkedin even gives you tips on what you need to do but, essentially, the more complete your profile is, the more likely people will find you and the more value you can demonstrate to potential new clients/contacts. Get a nice, business looking pic, be genuine in your bio and complete as many other aspects as you can regarding your current business, the benefits you can bring to new contacts and your past work history. You can add and amend as often as you like but, initially, just get that info on there
2 – Join Groups – groups are kind of like mini social media networks, specifically related to certain industries. In there you’ll find both people in your industry, people that are looking to buy from your industry and people who are looking to sell to your industry. Use the search facility to find regular groups and join as many as you can. You can join a maximum of 50 so it really is a case of the more the merrier. For some inspiration, have a look at what groups people in your industry are members of and JOIN THEM
3 – Post content. Bear in mind that any content you post should be of a professional nature. Nothing too risque, nothing too puerile, keep it business related and, more specifically if you can share your industry knowledge and expertise (eg links to blog posts, whitepapers, client testimonials) then all the better. Don’t overtly sell to people, more use it as a means to demonstrate your knowledge or brilliance in your field
4 – Interact – this is the one aspect that people often miss out on social media, it’s not just about shouting from the rooftops as to how brilliant you are, it’s about sharing, providing knowledge, being willing to help. It may seem time consuming in the first instance but, believe me, if you can build relationships (and you’re not going to do that by constantly telling people how great you are), you’ll develop strong, lasting relationships that will, in time result in BUSINESS!!!!!
5 – Use it regularly. It’s better to spend 15 minutes every day on Linkedin than it is to cram an hour in once a week. Regular use will keep you exposed, will allow you to comment on posts as they happen, increase your list of connections and continue to build your reputation. Little and often
and 5.5 – build your connections. If you meet with someone, speak to them on the phone, send them an email, ask if you can connect. Same for any connection requests you receive – you don’t have to accept everyone but, in essence the more connections you have, the greater your exposure and the greater your exposure, the more chance you’ve got of converting those connections into what matters – new clients!
So, if you don’t want to drag yourself out of bed at some ungodly hour and would rather do your networking from the comfort of your own desk, follow these simple steps and linkedin joy will be yours for the taking!
I sincerely hope these have been useful tips for you and would love it if you could subscribe to my blog and/or share it with your business connections.
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
T:01384 566 078