Civil/Structural Engineering, Vashon, Washington, USA 206-463-5311
Ellisport Engineering Blog
LEADS and LinkedIn

After the market crash of 2008, I wondered how to protect against an occurrence like that again.  Among our actions, we’ve attempted to work “smarter” in our marketing.


A few years ago, I joined a group called LEADS, a sub-group of the Vashon Chamber of Commerce.  LEADS is a group of trusted businesses serving our community and acting as a referral sales force for each other.  There is no competition within the group, as only one industry is represented by each business: our present group includes a contractor, accountant, architect, landscape architect, business CFO, structural engineer, kitchen designer, insurance broker, mortgage broker, and business banking officer.  We meet once per week at 8:00am; during that hour, we rehearse our elevator speeches, share client referrals, review projects’ status, present informational group talks, and socialize.  This year, we even planned and executed the first Vashon Home Fair; surprisingly successful, it will be a yearly event.


Coincidentally, my Lehigh University Alumni Association presented a set of 8 – ½-hour webinars about LinkedIn and how to use it effectively.  As I viewed these webinars, I realized that LinkedIn accomplishes the same thing as my local LEADS group, but on a larger industry-wide scale.  Since I’m a registered Professional Engineer in several states, it makes sense for me to implement a stronger presence on LinkedIn to attract work from clients in other states.


Though still a “novice” with LinkedIn, I see many advantages if used effectively.  However, both LinkedIn and LEADS take time, as they must be “tended” weekly at a minimum.  I judge these methods to be “smart targeted marketing”, worth the time, and one of the new ways of doing business.  In this tough economic environment, I hope I’m right.  300 million LinkedIn users can’t be all wrong.


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