That’s the message being delivered by Kate Nankivell, whose LinkedIn and social selling business Force of Nature has evolved to help business people get the most out of the professional networking platform.
Nankivell told our sister publication, Insurance Business, that many people will Google someone they’re going to meet for business and their LinkedIn profile usually turns up in the top three search results.
This means it has become an essential asset in their range of marketing tools and by not optimizing it they are effectively losing business opportunities.
“It’s like going to the biggest networking event on the planet in your old track pants and standing with your nose in the corner and hoping this will result in business,” says Nankivell. “The person who has taken the time to create a well-worded, well-crafted profile which speaks to their ideal customer and tells them how they can help them is going to win in the professional credibility stakes over the one with the sparse, poorly created or worded profile with no professional headshot.”
LinkedIn now boasts more than 300 million members worldwide with a growth rate of two people per second and unlike Twitter, Facebook or other social media users, LinkedIn members are there solely for business and professional reasons.
Nankivell says one of the first steps a broker should take is to invite their business network to connect with them on LinkedIn.
“I would estimate that many insurance brokers have a far wider network than 150 connections, but they’re currently not connected to them on LinkedIn and so therefore they are missing an opportunity to position themselves as the professionals they are,” she says. “Business success in many industries is all about your networks and the relationships you develop. This is no different in the insurance industry and particularly for insurance brokers.
“If you’ve only got 150 connections and you haven’t been doing a lot to nurture those connections then you’re not making the most of the platform.
“I would be encouraging a person in that situation to grow the number of people they’re connected with and nurture those connections and to have their business connections reflected in their LinkedIn connections.”
The figure to aim for, she says, is at least 500.