Tag Archives: Linkedin

Nicola Peaty

Top tips for successful networking

By Nicola Peaty

Networking groups have become increasingly popular and readily available in recent years. If used effectively, they can be a great way to meet contacts that can either help your business or become potential clients.





Here are some top tips in how to make the most of networking groups:
1. Decide which groups are best suited to your needs. Before you turn up at each and every group going in your area, make sure you know the type of people attending the groups. There are some specific to just business women, some just for a local town, some for selected industries, and some for start-up businesses. So it’s important to chose the ones which closely match you and your company.
2. Know why you are going. This possibly sounds a bit strange but you must know why you are attending so that you come across as focussed and with clear business intentions. Is your goal to generate a specific business link to help a particular part of your company? Or, are you purely marketing yourself and raising brand awareness? Whatever your goal, be prepared and stay with your intended purpose.
3. Have a clear message. Once engaged in conversation, it’s so much more professional to convey your purpose if it is thought through. Waffling will get you nowhere and it doesn’t reflect well on you or your company.
4. Listen as well as you speak. All attendees will be there to communicate their intentions. It’s important to listen to others in order to properly engage and ascertain whether they are of any interest. Do not go round like a walking advert announcing the wonders of your company without giving others a chance to talk.
5. Ask relevant questions. A clever line of questioning will allow you to dig a bit and find out potential useful connections. Avoid closed answers questions which give you a yes or no and ask open-ended questions which stimulates more conversation.
6. Give some free advice. If the opportunity arises in your discussions where you are able to impart snippets of useful business information that could help your contact, then that will show your expertise and how your company could be of use to their company, without any overt selling.
7. Be genuine. People buy people and first impressions matter. So make sure your manner is friendly, calm and professional. This will immediately put the other person at ease and allow the conversation to begin much more easily.
8. Move on politely. Let’s face it everyone at the networking group wants to get the most out of it, so if it becomes quite clear in any discussions with new contacts that there is little potential or relevance between you, then it is perfectly acceptable to politely end the conversation and move on.
9. Follow up with contacts. If you manage to make some useful connections at the groups, then don’t wait too long before you follow up and make the next contact with them. This is especially true if you at any point, mentioned you would send them details or call them for a specific purpose.
10. Convert contacts into database and LinkedIn. Post event, make sure you make use of the business cards you collected by entering details into your contact database with relevant notes attached. Plus, if applicable, link in on social media such as LinkedIn and invite contacts to like your social media pages.



Nicola Peaty

The Dos and Don’ts when using LinkedIn as a marketing tool.

By Nicola Peaty

LinkedInNetoworlProfileSocial media platforms like Facebook and Twitter tend to market to consumers who are already familiar with the company and its products/services, and can potentially mix up the tone and content of their marketing messages. LinkedIn is a purely professional social network. LinkedIn concentrates on business networking by building useful contacts and leads which can influence their company and convert into paying customers.

Here are some ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ to get you to get your business started using LinkedIn:

Do: Create your company page in line with your brand. It should be an extension of your website in terms of how it looks and what you say.
Do: Ensure all employees have created their profile on LinkedIn. They should include details about their current role and how they help your company, complimentary references, job history and experience and a suitable photo. The summary part is very important and gives ‘outsiders’ an insight into the people behind the company, so ensure this is done with careful consideration.
Don’t: Blatant promotions will not go down well on LinkedIn. This is a professional platform which conforms better with exchanges of useful content and contacts.
Do: Use the search facility to your full advantage. This is the chance to find key individuals or companies who you wish to target. Even search by keywords relevant to your business to see who are connected or subjects being discussed.
Don’t: Marketing rules still apply, so don’t forget to follow the same etiquette when generating and nurturing leads. Think about how you wish to make contact and keep the messaging professional and relevant especially with the first email message. Think about the reasons for making the contact and include mutual benefits to encourage the connection.
Do: Invest time and effort updating your posts so that you are front of mind and staying part of topical issues and discussions.
Do: Plan who you wish to target. LinkedIn can open the doors to current and potential customers, stakeholders, industry bodies and associations. You can even target companies by type, size and market.
Don’t: Posting for the sake of posting is not the ideal plan. Quality content is what will help you stand out and position you as a voice of authority and with a good knowledge of your market.
Do: Make the most of the Groups either by following them or creating your own group. You can join groups of your target audience to follow their discussions and offer advice. You can join peer to peer groups to help each other and exchange opinions. Once you’ve been accepted as a member you can message other members which gives you the opportunity to connect with useful prospects and influencers. You can also invite these contacts to your own Group. By administering your own group, this is a great way of offering quality content, finding out thoughts on topics and targeting a key audience to its full potential.
Don’t: Don’t ignore what connections are saying about your company or market. Use LinkedIn to listen to what is being discussed on posts and group so that you are aware at all times. You can then join in and offer your view, acknowledge and challenge if necessary.
Do: Integrate LinkedIn as part of the overall marketing mix with other social media messaging. Be consistent with content across all platforms and monitor and measure response where applicable.
Don’t: Chances are that you can use LinkedIn to keep track on competitor activity. Don’t take your eye off what is being said or discussed about them so that you are aware of how they are being viewed and their influence within your market.

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