Three great business tactics

LinkedIn trainer Mark Williams delivered some fascinating insights at yesterday’s Business Skills Forum in Manchester. The BSF is a personal development club for business people and includes a guest speaker slot and a facilitated discussion.  Mark engaged well with the audience of 30 or more business owners, and gave some valuable tips for using this fantastic on-line platform to promote your business.

Like everyone there, I benefited from Mark’s advice but I was drawn to comment on three aspects of the event – for me valuable lessons in good business practice.

First, Mark is a great ‘giver’. To me he exemplifies the principle of giving-creates-gain, offering snippets of advice freely and openly on the basis that this builds relationships. Of course, Mark wants you to attend his paid LinkedIn workshops, but he doesn’t hound you and he’ll still give of himself in order to help people. It’s a great way to do business and those he’s helped (payers or otherwise) will look out for him and happily refer clients.

Second, Mark uses LinkedIn as a platform to establish his credentials and his reputation. Again, through the process of giving (via the Discussion Forums for example) he builds his guru status, his reputation as an expert in his field. And of course appearing as a guest speaker (and a generous and helpful guy) further enhances his credibility. It’s a great strategy for becoming a ‘pull person’ instead of a ‘pusher’ of things.

Finally, I was impressed with his method of delivery, the way he got his message across. He could have projected a live LinkedIn page and showed us how to navigate its features. Instead, he prepared a ‘LinkedIn Stories’ book (binder included!) and delivered three fascinating anecdotes, case studies of people who’d used LinkedIn to great effect. People love stories if they’re well constructed, have a relevant point – and of course if they’re delivered with aplomb. Perched on his stool, he reminded me of the late, great comedian Dave Allen – without the whiskey and cigarette!

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