In yesterday’s post we looked at how having a completed LinkedIn profile can help save you time with your business development. In today’s post we are still on the theme of saving time with your business development by using social media. In this post we are going to look at what needs to go into your daily routine on LinkedIn to use it as a great business development tool.

Before we do that, let’s consider the alternatives. Face-to-face networking. Yes, the form of professional torture that partners assume that we professionals are naturally born to do. (After all, how much training have you ever been given to allow you to network effectively?)

If you go to a face-to-face networking event, which lasts say 1-2 hours (a conservative estimate). You will probably spend between 1-2 hours travelling there and back. Then, you will probably spend 1-2 hours prepping before the event (you do, do this, don’t you?) and following up after the event (you do, do this, don’t you?)

Totting up the numbers, this means that one face-to-face networking event  will take up between 3 and 6 hours of your time. Ouch! But, as you are always being told by the partners in your firm, if you want to develop your own client portfolio, that’s what you need to do – get yourself out there. (or do you?)

The daily LinkedIn routine I will describe will allow you to ditch at least one networking event a month, possibly more – and if you only ditch one face-to-face networking event a month will save you between 2-5 hours every month.

LinkedIn did some research which found out that the optimum amount of time on LinkedIn per day is 9 minutes. (yes, I know there is a certain amount of conflicting interests here, but let’s go with it) Here is your ideal daily LinkedIn routine (which assumes you have already got a decent LinkedIn profile)

  1. set your clock – as you only want to use 9 minutes of your time (setting a timer can ensure you don’t go over your 9 minutes)
  2. Have a look at who has viewed your profile and send a message/connect with anyone who is interesting
  3. If you have time left, then add a status update, i.e. share an interesting bit of content for your target market or some good news story about you or your firm (new client won, etc)
  4. If you have time left, look down your LinkedIn wall and comment/like some of the updates by important people in your network
  5. If you still have time left, go into one of your LinkedIn groups and leave one comment on one discussion
  6. Job done!

Your effectiveness in using this routine on LinkedIn, will be significantly improved, if you:

1) Commit to your niche – particularly in your LinkedIn Summary and LinkedIn professional headline

[box title=”Improve your LinkedIn Account here” box_color=”#9f9bb2″] For help with your LinkedIn profile download our free guides on LinkedIn from our career Kitbag[/box]

2) Have a well thought out and well written LinkedIn profile, which highlights your credibility in your chosen niche (for a checklist of what should go in your LinkedIn profile, see here)

3) Have carefully researched the groups that you participate in – i.e. they are engaged communities with a large proportion of your target market in the group

Do you have a daily or weekly routine on LinkedIn? I’d love to know what you include in your routine…