Loading

Grow Smart Business


teaserInfographic
Close

Search Articles





Case Study: How One Small Business Used LinkedIn to Grow to $5Million in Annual Revenue

October 16th, 2012 ::

MoneyI love case studies, and this is why: where else would you learn how someone grew a business from nothing to $5 million in annual revenue using a social media site?   (This blog post is based on one that originally ran in Social Media Examiner.)

Here’s a little background: James Filbird moved to China in 2006 to work on a venture that fell through after only 9 months.  He wantd to stay, so he became a business consultant who helps inventors source products in China. He used LinkedIn to generate leads and grew JMF International Trade Group into a successful company.

Here are 7 things that Filbird did – all of which are easy to do:

1. He completed his profile.

Yes, that sounds like a no-brainer, but is your profile complete? The more information you can add, the better, as there are so many ways for people to find you – by location, areas of expertise, groups, alumni networks.

2. He kept his profile up-to-date.

Again, sounds basic, but it’s easy to forget to add a project win or accomplishment. Also, the more recommendations and endorsements the better, as that outside validation adds to your credibility.

3. He uses it every day.

This is something we should all do! Filbird spends up to 2 hours on LinkedIn every day, participating in group discussions and looking for people to connect with.  Instead of 2 hours every day, carve out time daily or weekly to use LinkedIn, whether it’s for 15 minutes or an hour.

4. He joined 50 groups (the max).

Filbird said that groups are “where the gold is – people looking for help.” Find relevant groups to join by searching with keywords on the Groups page.  Join the active groups that have more comments than discussions (look at the Activity tab in Group Statistics).

5. He takes part in discussions. 

He looks through the group digests he receives by email for a handful of groups, and adds valuable insights to any discussions he finds interesting.  The more you chime in, the better your chances of being viewed as an influencer in that group.

6. He connects with relevant people. 

This is a tactic I use as well – Filbird only connected with people who are relevant to his business, rather than anyone and everyone.  When you ask to connect with someone, it is always a good idea to personalize the message and remind the person how you know them or explain why you’d like to connect.

7. He moves conversations offline.

If a LinkedIn conversation is going well, Filbird asks them to connect via Skype.  For every 10 people he engages on LinkedIn, 1 develops into a relationship; when that conversation moves to Skype, 1 in 3 results in business.  That is a pretty good conversion rate!

Now are you convinced that spending time on LinkedIn is worthwhile?

Image courtesy of library.thinkquest.org

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

Get more small business resources from Network Solutions

Web.com is now offering forums designed to support small businesses in cities throughout the US. Learn more about these forums here: http://Businessforum.web.com/

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Marketing, Social Media | 6 Comments »

  • http://www.microsourcing.com/ MicroSourcing

    Making the right connections is essential to landing high-profile clients and growing a business. Being active in social media sites may seem like a drag at first but when done strategically, it can pay off.

    • Anonymous

      Totally – and I honestly think LinkedIn is the best social media channel for networking for most businesses – not all of course, but most.

  • amf

    i agree. all u need to do is being active and have fun doing so.

    • Anonymous

      I like what you said – have fun doing so – I think people forget that part!

  • John Carter

    Money makes your business go. But don’t try going to a bank to get it when you’ve just started in business. Banks normally make loans only to businesses with operating histories. This section will give you some alternatives, some strategies and some things to think about as you go about finding the money to make your business work.

    Small Business Loans

  • John Carter

    Money makes your business go. But don’t try going to a bank to get it when you’ve just started in business. Banks normally make loans only to businesses with operating histories. This section will give you some alternatives, some strategies and some things to think about as you go about finding the money to make your business work.

    Small Business Loans