When I first signed up for a LinkedIn account, I’ll be honest, I was not really sure why or what I’d be doing with it. Initially I saw the value in connecting with others in my industry and experimented with the tools that were there.
I began to meet a lot of interesting people via discussions in groups relating to my industry. I eventually stumbled upon Lewis Howes and a group called The Sports Industry Network. Still curious to how I could use this tool to help myself professionally and my current position, I thought Lewis might have some useful tips. Then I saw the guy wrote a book on the topic…
Lewis and I met up for a Cubs game (full disclosure, the White Sox were out of town) and enjoyed a day of baseball and conversation about what some of this LinkedIn stuff was all about. I think around that first weekend in May, I had around 140 connections. Most of them people in my inner circle or current and former colleagues.
After a few innings with Lewis and reading his book, I started to see it working.
Fast forward to the first week in September and I now have over 525 connections. Now, most people may think that these are just contacts I’m linked with and don’t interact with. Not true. The key to getting the most out of any connection on LinkedIn is relating it to real life networking situations. Most of the people I’ve made connections with have commented on my work, interacted with me via discussions, met me in person or found things that may be mutually beneficial to the both of us. Some even found me from Twitter, another great Networking resource if you know how to use it correctly!
In setting up a local group or two of my own, I was able to empower those features on LinkedIn. As my Network grew and expanded from participating in groups. I then got to a point where I could really see the massive value in LinkedIn.
Using LinkedIn & Facebook events I was able to generate over $10,000 in incremental revenue, while creating new personal relationships with those customers. My contacts have also provided over $5,000 in additional group ticket revenue as well. Personal benefits also found me, including sports tickets, free concert tickets, Broadway plays and relative job opportunities (for the record, very happy with my position for the Sox, working for some of the best guys in the sports business world, see last article).
While continuing to develop my network, I also realized the importance and value that LinkedIn can provide anyone looking to sell group tickets to any sporting event. LinkedIn groups provides ample opportunities to get your group sales pitch out there. There are loads and loads of groups out there to help with your Law Night, Teachers Night, Alumni Nights, Heritage Nights and more. Being a part of these groups is the first step, establishing a relationship with those groups’ leader(s) will help get your message across or whatever it is you are hoping to accomplish.
In the end, the message is simple and as Lewis states, “It’s not who you know, but who knows you.” Being active on LinkedIn has helped people find me and that in turn became business or will become business for my company. All salespeople need a stable of tools in their arsenal. LinkedIn is one of the best ones out there, it’s free and everyone in sports business world should take advantage.
Photo Credit: LinkedIn