Most professional services firms are conservative by nature. For your average law, accounting, or management consulting firm, ‘wait and see’ is a time-honoured strategy. Why risk putting yourself out there as a first mover?
In social media, the time for early adoption is well past. Many of the big players in professional services have a digital strategy and a presence on multiple social media platforms.
We’ll talk about how they use social media in an upcoming post but, for now, let’s talk about your firm. Why would you consider setting up shop on a platform like LinkedIn? Here are five reasons that firms in our network have made the leap.
1. Understand the social connections of your peers and industry
LinkedIn is primarily a business networking tool. The majority of users are professionals. LinkedIn enables you to see how your peers or others in your industry may be inter-connected.
Understanding and making connections is an essential part of business development. Before you go into that sales meeting or networking function, wouldn’t you like to know who knows whom?
2. Gain valuable information about senior decision-makers at your customers
More than likely, senior decision-makers within your existing or target customers have a LinkedIn profile. Some will be more active and forthcoming with their information than others.
Do you share a passion for cycling or both sit on the board of a similar not-for-profit? Does their profile link to a professional blog of which you were unaware? Does their career history point to affiliations or loyalties that would be useful in your pitch?
3. Look good to your current and prospective staff
Take a minute or two and search for your key staff on LinkedIn. The chances are that you’ll find them there. We’re finding that professionals are increasingly tech savvy when it comes to online networking.
This can be great news for your business. Yes, your best staff can be easily found and head-hunted. But that top talent is there, whether you are or not. What you can do is set up a regularly monitored and actively managed page and ensure your staff members are listed as employees. Their networking efforts then help to build the credibility and profile of your business.
And of course, your future employees might be on LinkedIn too. Do they see a professional outfit when they look you up?
4. Seize opportunities to give
If your business associate is looking for an employee or potential collaborator, consider if you can put them in touch with a good candidate or another associate who might be able to.
If you’re not on LinkedIn, you are missing opportunities to connect and pay it forward. Don’t wait until you need assistance to develop your networks.
5. Repurpose and promote existing content
Professional services firms are content rich. You already produce newsletters and alerts for your clients. Many firms already collaborate on white papers or issue papers. Your partners and sometimes more junior staff are published in trade journals.
LinkedIn provides you with the opportunity to repurpose and promote this existing content. It pays to tailor how you present it, but the bones are already there. Turning what you have into fodder for a LinkedIn presence can be well worth the marginal effort. You can try it out before you take any big decision to invest significant time and resources.
Are you considering LinkedIn for your professional services firm? What due diligence are you doing before you decide?
Want to talk?
LinkedIn could be the start of, or an important element in, a broader social media strategy for your firm. Your executives, partners or senior managers are undoubtedly aware of social media and are almost certainly asking themselves, and the people around them, if and how they and their business should get involved.