Monthly Archives: August 2015

A plea to all those using LinkedIn’s publishing platform

It’s good to experiment.

And it could be argued that there is no wrong way to do things.

But there are two things I’ve seen people publish recently via LinkedIn’s publishing tool that concern me: basically because it’s devaluing what is a great place to listen to people’s opinions and perspectives, to learn and to engage in conversation.

A plea to all those using LinkedIn’s publishing platform

So, if you’re considering either of these things, please think twice:

1. Advertising your new product, service, event, or company

It’s great that you’ve put something new out there or you’re embarking on a new venture but there’s nothing more disappointing than seeing someone’s published a new post in your notifications, clicking on it and seeing this type of message.

If you want people to ignore future posts you publish then you’re going the right way about it.

Save your insights, tips and thought-leadership pieces for this platform and use status updates, LinkedIn email (and even Inmail if you have a premium account and there’s some value to another person in your message) for these types of announcements.

2. Linkbait

You’ve written a great piece? Fantastic.

Copy and paste it in its entirety into the publishing platform.

If someone’s on LinkedIn they shouldn’t have to then click through to your website to read the full piece – yes, I know, you’re trying to get more traffic but the reality is it’s a turnoff and I bet you lose a lot of people along the way.

People are on LinkedIn when they’re reading your piece, don’t make them navigate away (but by all means cross reference to other posts that are on LinkedIn or include a call to action that takes them to your website at the end).

Another reason against doing this: LinkedIn has way more SEO juice than your own blog will ever have as I recently found out and explored in another post, improve your SEO by publishing to LinkedIn.

You can certainly use LinkedIn for both the above things but there are better features than the publishing platform for this content such as status updates, group discussions (if you’re sharing something of value), company page posts, sponsored updates or direct sponsored content (again if there’s value).

It is okay to self promote occasionally but if you want to do it within the publishing platform then please keep it to the end of your post.

I love this feature and there is so much great stuff out there – please help to make it even better by thinking twice before hitting publish!

Thoughts?

Winning work and expanding an accounting practice

Brad Golchin is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) with an extensive background in Accounting, Business, Training and IT. He’s Director of both Wise Advice in Auckland, New Zealand and XO Accounting Pty Ltd in Sydney and Melbourne Australia.

Brad first started using LinkedIn in 2008, having been active on Facebook prior to that. He initially used Facebook to connect personally with friends but soon received friend requests from clients. Both groups began messaging him their accounting-related enquiries through the platform.

Winning work and expanding an accounting practice

As a result, he began using Facebook as a way to position himself and his accounting firm: by asking his clients the sorts of information they would look for online and then answering these questions and sharing them along with third party content that would help people.

He did this via posts and in four Facebook groups for property investors. A few of these investors then asked him to connect and one engaged Brad’s services. Others in the same investment group subsequently engaged his firm too: resulting in fees of around $30,000 per annum and highlighting that clients and prospective clients do use social tools.

Because Wise Advice works with business clients, Brad set up a comprehensive LinkedIn profile when he first joined the platform. He sees this as his online CV. His credibility is demonstrated through his experience, client testimonials (recommendations) and, more recently, content he has uploaded to his profile and posts he’s published to LinkedIn.

Brad’s biggest success was being contacted by a large US corporation who had found him on LinkedIn and were interested in the way in which he used the latest technology in his business. They sent their 2IC to New Zealand to talk to Brad and subsequently flew him to the US to meet their team and discuss collaborating.

As another example of him winning work via LinkedIn, he connected with a Board Member of a New Zealand Charitable Trust on LinkedIn who saw his content and his involvement in the not-for-profit sector and recommended to her fellow Board Members that they move the Charitable Trust’s accounting work to Wise Advice.

LinkedIn hasn’t just benefited Brad and his businesses in terms of generating new work, it’s also enabled him to:

  • Easily keep in touch with his existing network – particularly when they change job. As Brad says “it’s easy to go into LinkedIn and quickly say ‘congratulations’ whereas email and phone take longer. This is often sufficient to stay top of mind.”
  • Set up meetings with first and second degree connections (i.e. your connections and their connections) and to look up people’s contact details if he’s out of the office and wants to get hold of them.
  • Find a licensee for Wise Advice.
  • Find an Australian partner to run XO Accounting. Brad posted in two accounting groups that he was looking for someone, had 10 interested responses and then interviewed these people to find the best partner.
  • Have better new business meetings. Brad always looks at the personal and company profile of people he’s meeting and their LinkedIn activity.
  • Search people who have sent him an email who he doesn’t know so that he knows a bit about them before responding.
  • Find out who key decision makers are in a particular organisation. Brad uses LinkedIn’s Advanced Search feature to uncover this information.
  • Collect debt. Brad’s team have used it to find late payers!

Brad also uses Twitter, primarily as a brand awareness tool and to drive traffic to his blog and website.

Brad’s advice to others?

“When I talk to other accountants they’re usually reluctant to use LinkedIn and other social networks because they think it will take a lot of time. However, if you build it into your daily routine (much like checking your emails) it doesn’t take long and there are helpful tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer to assist.

I believe you have to be out there to get noticed. If you’re looking to build a sustainable practice then the next generation of clients are using these tools – so you need them too. At the very least make sure you’re listening to see what’s trending and what people are saying about you and your firm.

Big companies use social networks for customer service. I’ve found that I get a much faster response if I contact them via Twitter than phoning them. As this becomes more mainstream clients will expect their accountants to respond to them via these channels too.”

This is an excellent example of an accountant using social networks in an integrated way to win work and increase the success of existing planned initiatives.

This case study is one featured in my upcoming book ‘LinkedIn for Accountants: connect, engage and grow your practice’, published by LexisNexis. 

Do you have a good story to tell? If so, I’d love to interview you. Please leave a comment below or feel free to connect and I’ll be in touch.