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Little Things #2: LinkedIn

Small Steps to Better Leverage the Social Network for Business

March 26, 2012 at 2:49 am by Blair

I've been ruminating a lot lately on little, easy-to-implement steps that people can take to improve their business development performance in bite-sized chunks. Last week I started with mastering silence - a little piece of advice that I think provides the greatest return for the amount of effort. 

This week I want to tackle a simple approach to making sure your firm is getting the most out of LinkedIn, the social network for business that has just passed the 100 million member mark. More comprehensive takes on LinkedIn have been covered in previous WWP webcasts and will also be covered in two more webcasts later this year. For now, let's stick the two little things you want to make sure you are doing to enable deeper use by your business development person. 

1. Ask everyone in your firm to use LinkedIn, even at the most basic level. They don't need to live in it like many do with Facebook or Twitter, they merely need to invest a couple of hours to ensure their profiles are up to date, and then send LinkedIn requests to those in their professional network. From there, they simply need to respond to requests that they receive. Easy as pie. 

2. Have whoever is in charge of business development link to everyone in the firm. 

It's that simple. Your business development person will do the rest, utilizing the powerful search functions within LinkedIn, but now when they come up with leads they'll be able to see how those leads are connected to the firm, thus offering easier avenues in and greater intelligence in advance of any approach. The larger the firm and the better connected its employees, the more powerful this simple approach is.

It's worth an email to your team or it might even serve as a good excuse for those lunch-and-learns you've long thought about doing.

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