As you’ve probably read before, an old college buddy and I started up an AutoCAD outsourcing business a few years ago. It’s been successful enough that he’s been able to quit his day job as a Civil Engineer and run the business full-time. We took a multi-pronged approach to acquiring leads and converting them to paying customers. There’s obviously the traditional Google Adsense and Yahoo ad click networks. But then there are multiple social networking approaches as well. Aside from Twitter, Facebook and GooglePlus, we’ve also had success in linking to key clients and business leaders through LinkedIn. We’ve been able to use it for a few other goals as well which I’ll outline below:
- Very Targeted and Relevant Lead Generation – Rather than just reaching out to any old connection or company employee, by using LinkedIn profiles and titles, you’re able to quickly hone in on the key decision-makers within a company. For instance, we targeted CEOs of small firms and heads of Engineering and Purchasing for very large firms.
- LinkedIn Ads – I wasn’t even aware initially, but Linked has its own ad network. The interesting thing here is that it’s more targeted than the typical contextual ads that Adsense will place on any website. In this case, you have an industry professional looking at LinkedIn for their sector and they see ads related solely to their business. While the ads are more expensive, we found the ROI based on conversion to be appropriate.
- Hiring and Outsourcing Through LinkedIn – We were in need of various drafters and project managers, in some cases just on an interim basis. Rather than going through some of the traditional job sites, we found LinkedIn to be very resourceful, even for employees in the Philippines, where we do a lot of our business.
Now that you’ve seen all the practical benefits of getting started on LinkedIn, check out the LinkedIn guide on this page for setting up your profile, using Groups and Networking 101.