In response to my appeal this morning for LinkedIn success stories, I got this fantastic response from Brad Elliott.

I thought I’d share it with you.

This is great! I was just voted onto the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Committee recently and I submitted a Social Networking Session for next year’s conference. It looks like it will be approved into action… It has to go through another round of votes first. I was gearing it mostly towards using LinkedIn as this seems the most “professional” venue for and well adopted by our industry. Though, I will gear the session towards communication for S&Der’s, I want to show them how to get the most out of this tool.

  • LinkedIn is a rolodex of the internet age! Not only do you get contact info but, most individuals post their “elevator pitch” on their profile.
  • I attend lots of conferences in the aviation industry and meet/network with hundreds of folks at the events. I come home with tens-to-hundreds of business cards and recently I have been “linking” with them on LinkedIn. Why? It can keep the conversation rolling in a less formal/relaxed atmosphere than emailing. After finding that casual acquaintance you met at the conference (community lunch table, was with a client you greeted…) on LinkedIn you learn from their profile they are qualified customer. Maybe they provide a service a customer has been looking for. You want to use the conference as a way to create relationships and the best way is not to come off to “pitchy”. Sometimes, you find your way in a discussion and the opportunity never comes up to get the full introduction. LinkedIn will help you learn more about the person and give you medium to continue the conversation. I have started many conversations on LinkedIn and moved them to email to share attachments and other business.
  • As for “ethically stalking your ideal clients”, it is just like being in person! If you see an ideal client at an event, how would you approach them? Maybe you know someone they are with(actual)… or you are “linked” with(online) get introduced through them or mention your mutual friends.
  • I could be completely wrong but, I believe the best way to optimize your profile is to provide as much information as possible. Yes your competition can learn lots about you and try to use it to help them. Remember, the client would also like to know exactly who they are dealing with as well. Therefore it should help alleviate some doubts a client may have.
  • I went crazy with adding aviation groups when I first started LinkedIn to find out where I should be but, the best strategy is to be in groups that you already participate in. (NBAA, HAI, etc)
  • You should post and be active in groups but, just be cautious and strategic with your information. You want to be a leader that posts relevant useful information! Your post should receive some feedback or participation. That should give you sign that you are posting quality subjects.

Pet peeves – irrelevant, self promotion, advertisements in your status posts. Yes they can be useful and have a place but, target those accordingly. Someone is looking for a great deal on that multi-million dollar jet but, I am sure everyone in your network is getting tired of those posts and will eventually delete you. Only send those out to the qualified network.

Remember this is a conversation. If you constantly get annoyed by someone in person you walk away… You don’t want to be that person!

Hope this helps!

Brad Elliott

Director of New Business

Showalter Flying Service

(P) 407-894-7331 – (F) 407-894-5094