One of my favorite business tools is LinkedIn because it allows you to develop relationships easily with a broad range of professionals your community.
Who is on LinkedIn?
Two hundred thirty-eight (238) million users in 200 countries. You may not consider it necessary to be widely connected outside of your hometown, but you never know when you’ll need a referral in another state or country.
Why is LinkedIn such a good place to be for interior designers?
ASID’s LinkedIn group and the Design Success University group are there, providing advice about business challenges. Plus, you can learn about influential individuals in your metro area or further away.
What types of influential individuals are on LinkedIn?
- Top executives with corporations in your area.
- Realtors and commercial brokers or agents who facilitate the buying and selling of residential and commercial properties near you.
- Financial planners who work with affluent people—those likely to be interested in your services.
- Estate attorneys who work with the same audience as above. Service providers such as personal trainers, stylists (hair and clothes), boutique owners, personal shoppers, personal assistants, personal chefs, and others who also work with affluent clients (see above).
- Local politicians who know everyone.
- Local or regional media (including writers and editors) who can publicize newsworthy efforts.
Here are two ways you can start building a strong network:
- Create your own group of people who work with you or could benefit from a connection to you. You’ll be seen as a leader in your area.
- Reach out to a list of people you want to know and invite them to connect with you.
Remember, checking LinkedIn before meeting with a prospect could be invaluable. You could find key people the two of you know in common, deepening your connection to the prospect and enabling you to extend your network.
Gail Doby, ASID, is the CO-Founder and Chief Vision officer of Design Success University – your shortcut to a more profitable interior design business. Be sure to download your complimentary copy of the 2013 Interior Design Fee & Salary Survey eBook. ($179 Value)