Following on from my last article about networking I recently attended a networking workshop for accountants and lawyers. The workshop was excellent and it is clear that networking is an important part of the business development toolkit for professionals.
A few months ago I attended a different seminar about how we should all use LinkedIn to sell our services. Interestingly the main point of the seminar is that LinkedIn should really be seen as a digital form of networking!
Both the networking and LinkedIn sessions were given in the form of seminars. As you will know seminars have traditionally been seen as one of the most powerful marketing tools because they allow the presenter to demonstrate competence in their field of expertise. They are still being used extensively by the leading professional service firms.
This note, you could argue, allows me to demonstrate some competence in the written form. Again writing articles is traditionally seen as a powerful marketing tool for professional service marketers.
The blog is to article writing what LinkedIn is to networking – a digital version of the traditional technique. Twitter falls into a similar category to the blog albeit in 140 characters or less.
What of Telemarketing, Direct Marking and Email marketing – do they really work? Research from the leading US consultancy firm, Rain Group, suggests that they do if handled correctly.
So what’s my point?
Bottom line is that a lot of things work. The critical question is what ones are right for you?
And the answer is…. The ones that you will do!
Of course some tools are more effective than others but there is not much point in knowing that LinkedIn is a great idea if you break out in a rash at the sight of a computer. Similarly trying to force yourself to network if you really really hate it, is going to end in tears and excuses.
So here’s the thing – professionals are all starved of time because they have clients to serve. By definition there are more lead generation tools than you have time for.
So my advice is:
Select a small number of effective tools that you believe in and that you are prepared to do and then make the time every week to do them.
It’s also probably a good idea to test a new idea each quarter too. That way you know you are doing effective things without ignoring some of the new techniques.