Confucius famously said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I can’t claim to feel that way all the time but I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked in a highly creative industry with many talented people. In over 20 years in marketing I have learned a lot, made mistakes I would never repeat and certainly can’t share here!
After a long career working for large corporates and business start ups I believe I have earned my stripes. I genuinely enjoy sharing my experience with others and am privileged to be a mentor for the Entrepreneurial Spark Programme and the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce. Many people come to me for advice and I make my living from being a marketing consultant. So that’s why I think I can be a worthy trainer but why LinkedIn:
I hate cold calling. When I set up my marketing recruitment business in 2000, LinkedIn wasn’t invented and online marketing was in its infancy. Although my business was one of the first to have a content managed website, potential clients were just starting to use the web to find suppliers. I had to do it the old fashioned way; a direct mail piece followed by a call. Although I hated it, I persisted and sometimes it worked but I would rather wash the windows than make those calls. But now it’s different; LinkedIn is a one stop shop for researching and identifying potential clients, raising awareness of your business and building your brand. By the time you pick up the phone to potential clients you are connected, perhaps through an introduction, they have read your blogs and may have interacted with you in Groups. They see you photo so often they think they already know you so when they take your call it feels familiar and makes easier for you to ask to meet them in person. Since I started my consultancy in June 2014, 70% of traffic to my website is from LinkedIn and most of my clients found me because of it.
I mentioned at the start of the article find something you enjoy and it doesn’t seem like work at all; that’s how it feels for me with LinkedIn. Saying ‘I enjoy it’ may make me sound a bit sad but as a lifelong learner the news I subscribe to keeps me up-to-date with industry trends, the blogs I read make me more knowledgeable and it satisfies my natural curiosity by being able to find out easily what my peers and competitors are up to!
I also admire LinkedIn as a business; since their launch in 2003 they have acquired 374 million users with 18 million in the UK alone. They have successfully monetised their business where others have failed by providing premium services worth paying for and introducing highly targeted advertising. Their customer service is excellent and they provide nice little touches. For example, as a premium customer you are given a certain number of ‘InMails’ per month which allows you to get in touch directly with members who are not connections. But if you sent an InMail and the member does not respond within seven days, LinkedIn credit it back to you so you can reuse it – a nice touch.
Before embarking on any business venture you must to do your research. I always recommend this to clients and I practice what I preach. Too often business owners think it’s a great idea because, like me, they love it and can do it but there also needs to be a demand for it. During February this year I contacted 400 of my connections to complete a survey about their attitudes and usage on LinkedIn. Over 100 responded and the results confirmed what anecdotally what I knew to be the case; many were aware of the business development and marketing potential of LinkedIn but didn’t know how to use it properly.
82% people preferred to use LinkedIn for business connections than traditional forms of networking. With 25% saying it's essential to their performance and a further 57% saying it keeps them in touch with business connections, only 18% preferred just to use traditional methods of business-to-business marketing.
31% use LinkedIn on a daily basis with 3% confessing to be ‘addicted’ and a further 33% are engaged a couple of times a week. The majority (66%) know there is a lot more they could do if they knew how. With these findings, I decided to become a LinkedIn trainer so I can share what I've learned with others.
So it is with much energy and enthusiasm I embark on providing LinkedIn training courses both public and in-house tailor made for businesses. Initially, the public courses will be held in Edinburgh then Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee and who knows where after that! Those attending will learn:
If you are interested in attending a half day workshop the next sessions are being held in Edinburgh on 18th August and can be booked through Eventbrite or contact me directly firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be very grateful if you could ‘Share’ this article to help me spread the word.