Wednesday, December 20, 2017

"Want A New Year's Resolution For Your CAPS Business That You Can Keep?"

In the 10 days that are remaining in 2017, many of us are looking forward to the new year and are making plans as to what we want to accomplish - call it a plan, a resolution, a goal, or another term. It's something that we want to complete to get the year off to a good start.

Some of us haven't thought about what that needs to be just yet, but the new year will be here in a little over a week - ready or not.

If we look at our list of new year's resolutions - for those of us who make them - one thing that may not be on that list that should be is having a LinkedIn presence. This is one new year's resolution that can be kept!

It's simple to be on LinkedIn, and it's highly beneficial. It just takes a decision to do it, and there's the new year's resolution already completed. Of course, it's much more than just deciding to use this versatile and necessary - yes, it's essential - social media platform.

Being on LinkedIn is different than other social media platforms. Here it's not so much about keeping up with family and friends and sharing personal stories but about having a business presence. Let the other social media sites take care of our need to share family photos, personal stories, and interact with our friends and family. This site is for business friends, clients. and ones we want to work with as clients, customers, strategic partners, or referring professionals. Whatever we do, there's something in it for each of us.

LinkedIn has many distinct advantages for our businesses - especially our aging in place businesses. LinkedIn is arguably the number one ORM - online reputation manager. This means that as we add stuff to out profile - testimonials and endorsements as well as solid profile content, people reading it will give it additional credibility since it appears on this site. It doesn't matter if we create the content or if it's furnished by clients, colleagues, or associates (or if it's voluntary or requested). The point is that the search engines and the viewing public give credence to the information when it appears on the LinkedIn platform. There are other ORM sites, but LinkedIn is probably the strongest and most well-known.

Additionally, LinkedIn is in the top five of search engines in the world. While we may not think of it in these terms, it allows anyone to search for a profession or person by name, city, school, or other criteria. When we need to find a professional to connect with in a certain market or with certain credentials, we can perform a search an locate someone to reach out and make a connection. 

Contractors need to locate occupational therapists or designers. Others need to find contractors. We may need home inspectors, insurance adjustors, durable medical equipment providers, lift and elevator specialists, and others who can assist us with evaluating, designing, creating, and installing improvements and solutions for our clients. They may be in our local market - or in the one we are attempting to serve - or they may agree to consult with us no matter where they are. The point is that LinkedIn is an enormous database of professionals that we can access and use - to the extent that people listing themselves on the site want to work with us.

Back to the new year's resolution. For anyone already with a LinkedIn profile, make sure it is sufficient to inform others of what we can do with them, regardless of our particular area of expertise. Make sure they know we are CAPS-trained, if we are, and any other credentials or special training we have. Include association memberships and affiliations.

For those not on the site or with a weak or minimal presence - or one that hasn't been updated in recent memory, make the commitment to get started, re-engage, or strengthen what's out there.
 And by all means, include a photo.

Have a great new year, and let's use the first part of it to establish connections with each other.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist - Master Instructor and best-selling author of aging in place books. To learn about this and other programs for aging in place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also, check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.