This article was originally published on Business Review Australia.
Picture this: You’ve got an eight-month old baby on your hands, you’ve just taken on a dauntingly huge mortgage. Your partner isn’t working and you just got back from annual leave to be told you don’t have a job anymore.
How would you feel? What would you do?
Coming from a sales and customer service background, I did what I knew: I pounded the phones — calling friends, previous colleagues and even recruiters to try and get in front of hiring managers.
After four weeks of this, I had only landed one interview (which was a disaster) and if I thought I was desperate and panicked before – this was a whole new level of hell. I’d never felt so useless in my life! I didn’t feel like I was worthy of being a parent, a husband or even as a person.
Just when I was at the end of the road, with the last of our “rainy day funds” all wiped out, I got a message from a recruiter on LinkedIn offering me an interview.
Up until this point I hadn’t paid much attention to LinkedIn at all. I thought it was just another social media tool, and I was busy enough on Facebook. The last thing I needed was more distractions.
I went to the interview and didn’t get the job — but it got me really curious.
Here I was, cold calling for hours every day. Spending up to four hours a day chopping and changing my resumes and cover letters — and this thing I had left to just sit there had given me an interview with a company that was relevant!
As I often tend to do, I dropped everything and started to consume as much content on LinkedIn as possible.
I must have read every single post or article out there – most nights falling asleep with my iPad browser pointed at another blog post.
As I consumed the content, I started to change my profile and build my networks. And as my LinkedIn networks grew, so did the offers for interviews.
By the end of the month, I had optimised my LinkedIn account to the point where I was getting three emails or calls from recruiters a week!
I couldn’t be happier: Or so I thought.
Amongst the offers for interviews, I got one connection request from a small business owner. She owned and operated a small mortgage brokering firm, and was looking for some outside help growing her business (how she even found me, I have no clue as my entire profile was based on being a “Business Analyst”, not a consultant or freelancer).
At first, I thought she was offering me a job. But long story short, she became my first “proper” consulting client.
Can you imagine how confused I was? Here I was, trying to use LinkedIn to find a job and I get approached out of the blue by a business owner who wanted to give me the equivalent of a month’s pay for something I found super easy to do.
Just like the one offer to interview sparked my interest in LinkedIn as a job seeking tool, this one consulting offer showed me first hand that LinkedIn is not just a social network for job seekers and recruiters, but a viable lead generation platform for B2B companies!
In fact; for me, it is THE Lead Generation platform!
Since that first consulting job, I’ve used LinkedIn to grow my Lead Generation and Marketing Agency from the ground up.
At my company, Growth Labz, we use a variety of methods and tools to help our clients get high-value clients and grow their business. For the clients who are primarily B2B focused, LinkedIn is our “go-to” way of generating quality leads.
In my own business, it’s a system that’s proven the test of time, and to this day, we get 60- 70 per cent of our new, non-referral leads from LinkedIn.
For part two of this article on how to gain connections on LinkedIn, check out Business Review Australia on Friday!