LinkedIn Case Study and ROI: Business Development in Professional Services

LinkedIn Case Study and ROI: Business Development in Professional ServicesSteve Shimek, SVP at PR firm Ruder Finn, claims that he has generated $250,000 in new business by developing relationships via LinkedIn.  Specifically, he references LinkedIn Answers, in which executives post questions and the LinkedIn community of experts responds to them. Prospects post questions “in their own words,” unvarnished, and they ask for help and advice.

LinkedIn Answers is a golden opportunity for other LinkedIn members to help one another while showing their expertise–to the person who asked the question and to other members. It is particularly well suited for professional services marketing, which features thought leadership and expertise and education of prospects.

The Significance of Case Studies

Case studies are emerging about the financial return on investment of using LinkedIn and other business-oriented social networks.  I predict that dozens will emerge in 2008-09 because people are only now starting to use LinkedIn seriously, proactively (in fact, that’s our mantra at EGLI ,-).  You can read more about/see this one on LinkedIn’s blog (see below).  Try to look beyond its presentation (it’s too obvious an ad person produced it; it comes across to me as very Web 1.0) and look at the fact that people are starting to realize serious revenue through their LinkedIn activity.

Parting Shots

  • Regarding social networks, we are in the early days; remember, there were few ROI case studies for the Internet in the late 90s
  • If you believe that finding and interacting with people in digital Web 2.0 venues can be far more economical in many cases, that means that the practice will increase over time; therefore it is a skill you will have to learn at some point
  • Networks are hub and spoke organizations, and the people who establish themselves early as helpful, effective and smart will be magnets for other people who adopt later; right now, you have the choice to be a magnet now or an iron filing later ,^)
  • Check out Steve Shimek’s video on LinkedIn here
  • What are your best experiences on LinkedIn?

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