Social media, a term nobody had heard of a few years ago, is now a term from which we can’t get away. What long-term role will social media play in your sales and in life? It is too early to tell. Regardless, tools such as LinkedIn are excellent ways to develop a presence with new people and to reinforce your presence with people you already know. I’m not saying to embrace social media by spending hours a day on it. No, leave that for people who don’t have a life or your teenager. It is worth the time, however, to at least develop a profile on social networking sites like LinkedIn.

When viewed as a professional tool, it is your business cards to millions. Once you have it set up, don’t spend more than 5 minutes a day on it. Or, spend about 15 minutes once a week. This is what I do, typically over the weekend, looking at new connections and checking messages. This keeps me in the loop, without it becoming a time waster. Over the past year, I have used this strategy to develop critical new relationships and renew a number of business relationships with people who had fallen off of my radar screen.

The question you may be asking is has it resulted in business? Honestly? No (not yet, at least). I look at it like building a strong wall. Each brick alone doesn’t serve that great of a purpose, but when they are all put together, they can create something huge. Networking through various avenues builds something larger over time.

By the way, if you’re not connected to me on LinkedIn, send me an invite…. Mark’s LinkedIn Profile

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