Using LinkedIn For Your Consulting Business


LinkedIn should be a keystone of any social media strategy. Here’s what LinkedIn can do for your freelancing or consulting business.

LinkedIn Can Increase Sales

LinkedIn is an effective social media tool and is bringing in revenue for my company. Although you would not want to base your yearly sales on LinkedIn nor rely on it as a sole form of sales, it can definitely boost business. For example, in the past four months I closed two sales for my company through LinkedIn (amounting to $95,000 USD) with very little effort. I also found opportunities for my company to be interviewed and we will be mentioned in two publications (others are pending).

How You Can Make It Work

LinkedIn is easy to learn, has a potential for fast return on time invested and is geared for business. I am often asked, “What are you doing to make it work?” I have a process that I follow and am happy to share it here with you, though the process may need to be tweaked to fit your line of work, personality, company culture and work style. This approach assumes you have a completed LinkedIn profile and a “go ahead” from your company.

Getting Involved

The first step is to join all the groups applicable to your LinkedIn needs. You can search for all types of groups by clicking on the Groups link beneath the Home link in the left panel of LinkedIn.

I go on LinkedIn on a daily basis to read, add comments or start discussions. This helps other members to know who I am and what I know. It helps create credibility for yourself (and/or your company). In the beginning, don’t ask for anything, mention your company in a “sales” context or be pushy; just be helpful and knowledgeable.

Finding Opportunities

I look for opportunities every day. Whether it is from Discussions, Comments, Groups or my connections. I am always watching for people or companies that would be a good fit for me and/or my company.

Sending InMail. If I am going to contact someone regarding business, I never push myself on the person. I send an InMail message letting the person know that I think we could be a good connection for each other. I then explain why I think this and I conclude by simply adding links to my company site. This is not pushy and allows my potential connection to look at my information and decide if he or she would like to connect. After that I let it go and do not e-mail the person again.

Making Phone Calls. When a new contact does want to connect, I set up a call to dive deeper into my company and into our potential for partnership and new opportunities.

Starting Discussions. I will often “stir the pot” when starting a discussion. For example; I started a discussion on “Training Arrogance” and received over 60 replies in less than a week. I started a Discussion asking if “Off Site Meetings and Conferences were Dead?” and received over 50 replies in a week. This isn’t just a tactic to get noticed (though it works for that too), but a sincere way to quickly find out where the market is on topics relevant to your company, ideas and trends.

If you remember just one thing, it is that you should be sure that you know what you are talking about and that your questions are relevant to the particular group where you’re posting.

Linking It Altogether

Finally, I also link everything back to each other. I link my company web site, our web store, Twitter, LinkedIn group, Facebook group, You Tube page, etc. This provides more exposure and adds to our credibility.

Please stay tuned for the next article in this series⎯The Do’s and Don’ts of LinkedIn.
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Comments

  1. Susan Davis says:

    Great info here Rebekah. I believe Linkedin is the up-tapped Gem of the internet! Thanks for sharing this with us.

  2. Rebekah says:

    Hi Susan,

    I am glad that you found this article useful! I agree that LinkedIn is definitely one of the Internet’s hidden gems… we just need to polish it a little and others will see that too.

    Have a wonderful day,
    Rebekah

    p.s. I took a look at your blog, it is fantastic.

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