For years networking events have formed the cornerstone of a business owner’s means of meeting new contacts, nurturing leads and achieving brand awareness in the local area. Even in this digital age they remain a valuable source of ‘word-of-mouth’ advocacy. LinkedIn is not here to replace physical networking, but it should be used to support it.
Many people use LinkedIn purely as a form of an online CV to show prospective future employees their credentials. For job-seekers, this is a useful ploy. But there are many more benefits of LinkedIn for those not looking for a career shift that are widely ignored. The search facility allows you to locate people by job title, company and geographical area…something you cannot even guarantee with physical networking groups! Rather than cold-calling/messaging them you can then find relevant groups within LinkedIn that they actively participate in and engage with them on issues they raise.
If you have ready-made content pieces you can meet these prospective clients and contacts at their individual pain points. This insight is a valuable resource yet it is one so rarely used by online business users – where else can you find your target market, discover their pain points and engage with them on a level that you are already aware they will find useful?! When you add on top of this the capabilities of answering direct service requests in the ‘answers’ section, LinkedIn really is a fantastic tool to meet clients, create brand loyalty and raise industry awareness for your business.