Using LinkedIn to generate business (the must-try-harder post)

LinkedIn-Logo

I’ve been guilty, oh internet, of not practising what I preach. Certainly when it comes to the use of LinkedIn as a lead generating, business building channel. I seem to naturally favour Twitter to read and share links, to garner views and provide (I hope) ‘value’ to others. But with LinkedIn I’ve kind of stopped at completing my profile and then joining but languishing in a handful of groups. I’ve occasionally joined a discussion but it’s been pretty sporadic.And that is exactly what I’ve been telling clients not to do.

Why this confessional?
Well, I had two separate meetings today and in both sessions we discussed getting the most out of LinkedIn and participating in groups to (a) be helpful (b) show thought leadership and (c) make new contacts that could hopefully convert to new customers / clients in due course.

My first conversation was with a client I was helping to tidy up / build out their profile and also business page. And I realised that I wasn’t walking the walk in being as active on LinkedIn as I was urging my client to be. The second was with the MD of an agency who has taken on two new clients in recent months, purely from his activities in LinkedIn. That’s the kind of case study you love to hear. No cold calling, no advertising but business developed from his helpfulness, his marketing knowledge shared willingly with others and his time invested in LinkedIn.

The third reason for this post is that at the end of today I spotted an article that is exactly about this on Social Media Examiner :  (7 steps to building a business using LinkedIn). So, I’m going to implement the strategy (possibly the ‘lite’ version due to time constraints) and see how that develops. Or maybe I’m already procrastinating and I should use the full fat strategy initially – and then pare it back as I get some group activity under my belt.

If you’ve been using LinkedIn to actually generate business (direct or as an indirect consequence of your LinkedIn presence) I’d be interested to hear from you.

My profile btw is http://www.linkedin.com/in/markkelly333

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