The Most Powerful Business Tool

NetworkingRelationships_crop380wWhether you recognise it or not, all successful organisations regardless of what they do or sell have one thing in common: their owners, senior management and front line staff know how to build and maintain relationships. Without strong relationships, it is impossible to have success in business.

We’ve all heard it said, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” But what we should be thinking is: “It’s not who you know, but who knows you.”
In fact, I would go as far as to say, “It’s not who you call, but who calls you.”
And thanks to LinkedIn’s powerful platform, reaching out and building your network has never been easier with over 225 million professionals now on LinkedIn. This extremely effective yet largely underutilized resource can become one of the most powerful marketing channels within your business if properly executed, regardless of industry.
With one click of a button you can connect with millions of prospective customers, locate potential partners to grow your organization, connect with the media to build your personal and company brand and even hire new staff. Best of all, every connection you make is targeted.
To compete in a business environment which ever changes at breakneck speed, learning and implementing cutting edge sales and marketing strategies is critical to business success. This is not a choice; it is a necessity if you are to stay relevant.
Gone are the days of spending countless hours implementing strategies to get in front of key decision makers for your product or service. LinkedIn allows you to search, connect and develop relationships in real time with anyone around the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The possibilities excite me just writing about it.  Take a moment now, stop and think about the opportunities this creates for you and your organization. The ‘recruitment’ line can be virtually eliminated from your budget when you use LinkedIn’s powerful recruitment features to search, find and connect with talent all over the world.
No longer will too much of your valuable time be spent travelling to networking functions in the hope of making a worthwhile contact. With LinkedIn you can make hundreds of targeted professional connections every week.
With little to no training available on the effective use of LinkedIn to grow your business, I am excited to be a contributor within this book and share with you the key success factors revealed from my own experience of using this remarkable platform.

Whether you are a complete rookie, have an account which lies dormant or would like to further enhance your LinkedIn prowess, here are my top 4 tips in order to plan, connect and ultimately profit through LinkedIn.

1) Create a Compelling LinkedIn Profile
First and foremost you NEED a compelling LinkedIn profile. In fact if you are not on LinkedIn, I recommend you stop everything you’re doing right now and establish yourself online.
Your profile is one of, if not THE most important aspects of building your personal and professional network. Unlike 5-10 years ago, nowadays people buy into you before they ever look into your company, let alone your product.
“We are CEO’s of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” –Tom Peters

Social media is very different to other forms of marketing you may have tried in the past. Promoting the benefits of your product and what your company can do for them does not work in this day and age. The overt brand plug is something that is, and should be, left in the past.

Whether your aim is to connect with journalists, potential partners or new clients, always look to sell your personal brand before discussing what your company does.

BSMBPersonal branding continues to grow in importance. Today you can barely go online without reading about it. We are now at a point where most professionals and business owners really need to dedicate time and effort to strengthening their own brands as a part of their daily routine……………..

 

This is a sample from a chapter in the brilliant book, The Big Social Media Book.  Available from Amazon.

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