Digital corridors are piled high with stunned players in professional services who assumed that investing considerable time in online networking would bring in new business. To their shock, that is not happening - at least not enough of it to represent a payoff in the resources invested.
RAINMAKER VT brings up that topic in terms of the legal sector. Here you can read it, which has also become a topic for a LinkedIn community chat site dealing with lawyers.
While it is true that online networking is useful in terms of expanding contacts, keeping up with trends, and gaining insight into your field, it often has no direct connection with nailing down a new piece of business.
Several owners of once prosperous professional services firms have found that out the hard way. They bet the ranch on putting themselves out there digitally. One had to fold up shop and get a full time job. Another has little business.
About 22 months ago I recognized that the entire sales process requires considerably more than a high profile online.
To begin with, thanks to an executive coach, I exited glut areas and built up a knowledge base and a portfolio of samples in marketable niches like technology and personal finance.
Secondly, thanks to a Buddhist monk, I took on a persona of the good listener/wise guide to replace the breezy personality I had honed through social media. Prospects are buying information and insight, not personality. Save the latter for entertaining the kids and stimulating the aging cat at home.
Third, I indicate that I am willing to travel to meet them face to face and to attend onsite meetings. There is a pull back to wanting to get a feel for each other in the flesh.
No question, we have to be active in online communities and, of course, it is an excellent credential, to start and head one. But that tool has proved to be increasingly limited as brandname players occupy that digital space.