Last week I gave you two easy Business Development (BD) wins you could make in 20 minutes . Now, I’m giving you three more you can complete in 30 minutes.
After all, many of us are still caught in that same COVID-inspired funk. We’re in a trackies state of mind and we simply don’t have the ability to take on big BD tasks.
So the good news is that each of the tasks below is so quick that they’ll probably take you less time than it will to make that seventh cup of coffee for the day or watch that seventh YouTube video. If you’re spending more than 10 minutes on any of them, you’re doing something wrong.
1. Come up with three article ideas
Most professionals know the importance of writing articles about their areas of expertise and yet so few get around to doing it. One of the main reasons for that is that it can be a daunting prospect to come up with something to write about.
Even when you do have a solid idea, it can still be difficult to get the words out onto the page. You can often get stuck, waiting for something to happen while the minutes and then hours tick away.
That’s why I’m a big believer in treating the ideas phase separate from the writing phase. Generate some ideas now, write them down and then give yourself some distance from them. Your mind will be thinking of what to say while you’re doing other things without you even knowing it. You’ll also find you now have a bank of articles just waiting to be written up. So you can hold yourself to account and start publishing regularly.
So brainstorm some ideas, put them on the back burner and just jot down notes about each topic when thoughts come to you. Then, when you do get around to writing them you’re likely to find your thoughts have better crystallised and it’s easier to get words down.
2. Find someone else’s ideas to read or listen to
Have you ever noticed that some of the best people at BD in your firm are also the most receptive to others’ ideas? That’s because perhaps the best source of BD inspiration is other people. There are a lot of people with a lot of good ideas out there, both from within your sector and outside of it. Tapping into their experience and insights can be a shortcut to coming up with great BD ideas of your own.
So get away from the keyboard for 10 minutes and read that article you’ve been intending to read. Alternatively, spend 10 minutes finding something new – jump onto Spotify or YouTube and search for subjects that you’re interested in. You never know what you might learn or what it will stimulate within you. And if you need some recommendations, here’s where I suggest you start for some different thinking:
99% Invisible – Roman Mars’ podcast on the things we don’t think about https://99percentinvisible.org/about/the-show/#faq
The Authority Gap: Why Women are Still Taken Less Seriously Than Men and What We Can Do About It. – M A Seighert (Sept 2021) . London School of Economics interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYXG7jsxg8g
How To Build A Life – a weekly column about happiness by Arthur C Brooks
Preposterous Universe – Sean Carroll’s Mindscape Podcast https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/
The Pinkcast – by Daniel H Pink, best selling author of ‘To Sell is Human’ https://www.danpink.com/pinkcast/
Granted – Adam Grant’s monthly newsletter and podcast https://www.adamgrant.net/podcast/
3. Polish up your LinkedIn profile
If you’re not paying attention to LinkedIn, I think you’re missing a trick. That’s because it’s one of the first places Google searches will send many clients and potential clients for confirmation about who you are, what skills you have and even who you know.
What’s more, LinkedIn is often a chance to step out from behind your firm’s branding and to inject a little of your own personality into how you sell yourself to the world. It also provides the chance to publish your own articles (see above) and have them reach an immediate audience of like-minded people. What’s not to love?
So if you haven’t paid any attention to your profile for some time – if you’ve even moved roles or firms or specialties since you last edited it – change that now. Check the contact information on your profile – it’s the one area I find most overlooked.
It won’t take you long to bring it up to date – again, 10 minutes at the most. And, given others can be notified about the changes you make, you may even catch the attention of the right people in the process.
There you have it. A total of 30 minutes of BD that will set you on the right track and help you make the most of the current environment.
And, if you have 45 minutes to spare and want a big BD win register now for a BD-45 session.
Sue-Ella is the Principal of Prodonovich Advisory, a business dedicated to helping professional services firms sharpen their business development practices, and attract and retain good clients.
Two Big BD Wins in Just 20 Minutes (October 20201) https://www.prodonovich.com/blog/2021/10/7/two-big-bd-wins-in-just-20-minutes
Urban T (2013) TEDTalk – 14 minutes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arj7oStGLkU
Hallowell E (2005) Overloaded Circuits: Why Smart People Underperform, Harvard Business Review
Morten Hansen (2019) How to Work Smarter not Harder
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