I used to hear this all the time about LinkedIn: “You mean I have to build another profile on another social network? I don’t have time for that.”
I used to think that way too, but I’ve changed my mind. I am a believer in LinkedIn, especially for consultants. Here’s how you can use LinkedIn effectively for your consulting practice.
Research Potential Buyers
Using LinkedIn’s company search feature, you can view who you’re connected with at a company, as well as identify company employees and decision makers. As you know, you are probably just spinning your wheels unless you’re talking to the buyer. LinkedIn can give you a good idea about who that might be at companies where you’re prospecting.
Present a Professional Image Online
What will someone see if they Google you? You don’t want your online presence to be the digital equivalent of an unmade bed.
One of the things people look for when screening potential partners or contractors is their LinkedIn profile. Take some time and make your profile look crisp and professional, like an online resume.
Build Your Network and Share Information
Through LinkedIn, you can join industry groups and connect with your peers. Through these connections, you can participate in discussions, identify partnership opportunities, and foster relationships that could benefit you in the future.
See who has Been Watching You
What if you could discover that a cold call you were about to make won’t be as chilly as you expected? LinkedIn has a feature that shows you who has been looking at your profile. The free version offers you a peek at a few lurkers, but if you upgrade to a business account, you can see everyone who has perused your profile in a given time period. You can use this information to target your prospecting, and streamline your sales strategy. You can even prospect someone who has been looking at your profile, who might not even be surprised to hear from you.