5 reasons why professional service execs should use LinkedIn

Question: What’s the #1 source of new business for professional service firms, aside from expanding business from your current clients.

Answer: Referrals. (This was not a trick question—shame on you if you got it wrong).

linkedin-logoLinkedIn is a great way to connect and reconnect with business people, provide and get recommendations, network at the highest senior business levels, and generate referrals. It’s been called  “networking on steroids” (without the 50 game ban)

LinkedIn now reportedly has more than 50 Million users who are affluent ($140,000 average annual income), median age in their early 40s, and primarily hold middle/upper management positions. If you are a senior executive in a professional service firm—communications agency, architectural firm, law firm, accounting firm, etc. having a well crafted LinkedIn profile with hundreds of connections can be an invaluable  tool for building business.

How so? Here are five really good reasons why:

1. Allows you to connect with “old business friends”. For those of us who have been around a few years and worked with some interesting people who you really liked but lost touch with during our careers, LinkedIn is a treasure. It’s awkward to call someone who you haven’t communicated with in 10-20-30 years but somehow “connecting with” them on LinkedIn seems somewhat benign, and many old friendships and business relationships have been rekindled from a LinkedIn connection.

2. Opportunity to post your status. This will keep everyone up to date on what’s going on. This can include update on projects, links to articles, blog posts, etc. This helps postion you as a thought leader, and provides a reminder for others to reach out to you.

3. 2nd level connections are the key. Obviously there are no 2nd level connections without your primary connections but because “you don’t know what you don’t know”, LinkedIn allows you visibility to people your connections know. The math is overwhelming—each first connection can provide an additional 150-200 connections. Really useful. So next time you want to meet someone, find out if someone you know knows them, and if they do and it’s appropriate, ask them to introduce you.

4. Groups. You can join professional, academic, interest groups that you want and join in conversations on topics. It’s another chance to show your smarts (but easy on the selling please) and might provide more connections.

5. Who’s searching you? There’s a feature which allows you (some) visibility to those who viewing your profile. Valuable insights.

I realize many business professionals have “social media phobia” or mistakenly think social media is just for kids. If that’s you, accept your fears and judgements are misplaced and incorrect. Get involved in LinkedIn, give and network. It won’t take much time but if you are wise and proactive, you will create more opportunities for you and your business as a result.

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  1. Great advice. I am surprised that more advertising recruiters don’t use it. I am on it at least twice a day. Paul S. Gumbinner,;

    • Lonny Strum says:

      You are a wise man, Paul. If I were a recruiter I’d change my middle name to LinkedIn. If other ad recruiters don’t use it, shame on them. Another (of the many) reasons you are a cut above others in the industry. Be well.

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