LinkedIn: The Powerful Links Connecting Business with Prospects

by Michelle Salater on April 12, 2010

It’s easy to neglect your marketing when you’re busy. Too easy. However, setting aside marketing during busy times is the last thing you want to do.

We’ve been very busy for the last couple of months here in our little office. And yes, we’ve slipped a little bit in our own marketing.

After our monthly planning meeting, I decided it was time to begin aggressively marketing our services. During our brainstorming session, I asked our copywriter, Melody, what we could do that was different. She reminded me that I had advised her months ago to use LinkedIn as a way to connect with targeted prospects. (What a wise soul I am! Ha.)

I participate regularly on two LinkedIn groups, but never have I tapped into the discussion group for my alma mater, Washington University. I wrote a quick discussion topic and figured a few people might respond, if even that.

Was I wrong!

I checked my email the next morning and 4 people had replied. And they kept rolling in. That simple little message has generated 18 replies and 5 good contacts so far. In a 72-hour period, I’ve spoken to 3 of the 5 contacts. I know that we’ll see some substantial business from those contacts. It was a good use of my time, and I’ll keep going back to LinkedIn.

The lesson here? Small steps create big responses and bigger actions. And that LinkedIn is a great place to connect with key influencers and targeted people.

A few words of advice if you’re planning to use LinkedIn as a lead source:

  • Don’t be the party crasher. I have friends and acquaintances from my alma mater, and I went to the school for four year, so I’m already part of the group. I would never go to the discussion group for another university and start a discussion. In fact, I don’t think they let you in unless you prove you’re an alumna.
  • Make sure you’re in the right place. Think about where you’re looking for leads. If you sell high-end men’s suits, a group of automotive mechanics or female bloggers might not be a good fit, but a group of business-to-business salesmen might.
  • Be clear about what you want contacts to do. Know in advance whether you want them to visit your website, call you for more information, or send an email. Tell them exactly what to do.
  • Respond promptly. When they reply, take care of their request immediately.
  • Follow up. Let them know you’re still thinking about them and are available to help them. Keep them informed of what you’re doing.
  • Rinse and repeat. Don’t just post once and never go back. Contribute to the discussions. Post questions and answers. The key here is to interact with the community and build ongoing relationships.

LinkedIn can be an excellent source of business for your company if you use it correctly. Just think of it as a big office party and act accordingly.

If you like this post, you might also like:

  1. If You Think LinkedIn Is Not Worth Your Time, Think Again
  2. Build Solid Relationships: Connect, Convert, Cuddle Your Prospects
  3. 7 Tips on How to Run a Successful Business and Feel Great Doing It
  4. Are You Turning Away Prospects on Social Media Without Knowing It?
  5. Are You Missing Out On Connecting With Potential Customers?
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