Number twenty-four of our weekly interviews in which we discover how real businesses are making Social Media work for them. Please meet Philip Arnold.
Who are you and what do you do?
I run my own business – Health Insurance Services (SW) Ltd which is in its 6th year as a franchise and I am an appointed representative for WPA (Western Provident Association). We provide medical insurance to individuals/families, self-employed persons/professionals and businesses.
I have a Facebook personal account and a Twitter account, both of which I use occasionally. I mainly used LinkedIn and find it a fantastic way to connect with people and generate business leads. I use LinkedIn in three main ways:
- To research the right person to talk to in a company. I direct people to look at my profile and in particular my testimonials. I have also optimised my profile so people can find me. This year, the number of people who have looked at my profile has dramatically increased.
- I post information (mainly links) that I think would be of interest to my contacts. Sometimes I add an opinion on the link – but I am always careful to ensure that comments cannot be construed as misleading. I would prefer to give personal advice to clients only when I am aware of their circumstances. I also promote my services and news about WPA’s products.
- People find me through LinkedIn and ask me for advice about medical insurance. Telling people what they should be looking for and questions to ask is a good way of building my credibility without trying to sell.
I use LinkedIn groups to a limited extent, but I do find it difficult to find groups and discussions within groups that are relevant and appropriate for me to comment in.
Can you share a Personal Success Story?
I have generated a good deal of business through LinkedIn, but in particular:
Two years ago, I made a connection through LinkedIn with an HR manager in a firm of solicitors. The firm weren’t able to take out medical insurance as they were cutting down on expenditure, but I continued to keep in contact with the HR manager. About 2 months ago, the HR manager contacted me. She had moved on to a major employer and had shared my LinkedIn profile with a number of people in her new firm. Communication is on-going but it would not have got this far without LinkedIn.
Can you give our readers a top tip?
- When people look at your profile (which you can see from the home page), send them a connection request (when necessary), thank them for looking at your profile and ask if they need any more information.
- When you send an invitation to connect, tell the person why you want to connect, don’t just send a standard invite.