LinkedIn: a helpful tool or a time-soaking distraction? (Part 3 of 3) Time to get serious?
In our previous blog in this series (found here) we looked at how relevant LinkedIn is to you by demonstrating that there are sufficient people on LinkedIn who could make great clients.
Now LinkedIn isn’t just all about sales, it works on many other levels too, and this is what we are going to look at in this blog.
As I previously demonstrated, LinkedIn is an excellent resource for business development and engaging new prospects. It’s possible to search for the kinds of people and companies you are looking for, using a range of criteria, and then make contact with the key decision makers. This saves time doing similar research online across disparate and disconnected databases, which are often incomplete or out of date. You should always be able to find the people you need quickly, and be able to see skills, credentials, recommendations and experience.
Secondly, the core idea behind any ‘social network’ is to connect and build relationships with other people. On LinkedIn you can reach out and stay in contact with colleagues, partners, suppliers, affiliates, and clients. This will establish for you a network of people who can refer and recommend you, and you can do the same for them. This is especially useful where word of mouth and trust are so important. So LinkedIn is a great way to maintain and enhance your existing network of key people.
Thirdly, LinkedIn offers great tools for you to collaborate in groups and discussions, whether these are internal and private to your company, or external, and focused around your profession, or a theme, or a problem.
Fourthly, LinkedIn is a great place to do research. You can join conversations, listen in on conversations, invite people into groups, and do much more. All of this is free, and you’d be surprised how willing people are to give of their time to help you out.
Beyond this, there are plenty of other reasons to make LinkedIn a priority. It can help you rise up in search rankings, you can promote your products and services (or the company profile), it’s a great place to build and store case studies of your successes, and much more. But even taking the four points above alone into consideration, as a professional, we think you’d be mad not taking LinkedIn seriously.
Some of this is possibly new to you, and from experience I’d say that most people who read this article will take a completely fresh look at LinkedIn. From where I am sitting, there are so many opportunities for you to grow and improve your business, gain efficiencies, save time and make money via LinkedIn. If you are in any doubt at all, I’d strongly urge you to take a look at it. If you are already on the platform, please get serious about how you can improve the results you are getting from it.
Above all, don’t regard LinkedIn as something that you “should get around to” when all other important matters are dealt with. Make it a priority, and give it serious time and energy.