Using LinkedIn and Google for Prospecting

Recently looking at some numbers from Google’s Trend service, I found that I could use these top 10 numbers to help spot potential clients. How?

One way to find prospects is to use the Trend service to find the top ten states and cities for your keywords. You can filter the results by region, sub-region, language, and a number of other criteria.

The results may surprise you, as it did me. I found that although a number of places were expected to show up, the others were informative as to the demographic I need to target as a professional.

By analyzing the resulting data, you can then go to Google+ or LinkedIn and type the combined keywords into the search box and the results will show you people in or interested in those keywords in those places.

For example, I’m a professional genealogist and want to know what other genealogists are seeking, so I typed in “genealogy”, with the quotes, to find out where these potential clients will come from. I also typed in separate queries for “family history” and “ancestry” to get a larger perspective, and also to spot some outliers that others may have missed. Those results were also informative and gave me a broader base to work with.

Using LinkedIn, I was able to connect to other professionals who might want to work with me on trans-continental research projects. With Google+ I was able to connect with genealogists, both professional and hobbyist who might want to retain my professional services.

This form of marketing, while not the trendy organic sort, is necessary to find out where your viewers are and where your potential business is. Decision-oriented-thinking (©) like this is necessary in order to better address things such as knowing your audience and knowing what else they are interested in, the basics of good marketing.

The possibilities of finding your demographic audience for blog and website posts are also great as the numbers, although a bit general, show you details you can use in client and customer prospecting.


© 2012 N. P. Maling — Sea Genes – Family History & Genealogy Research


Professional Genealogy Project Management

For a professional genealogist, project management is a process of determining what can be done for a client within the boundaries of time, scope, and cost. Performance of the genealogist is measured by these variables in the terms of the contract with the client.

The specifics of a project are those laid out in the initial contact with a client. They must be molded into a project with realistic, attainable goals, with measurable results in a time-limited fashion.

For instance, if a client asks that a genealogist find the birth record of John Smith in Oklahoma, in the 1920s, then the genealogist has part of the picture and can give the client some idea of the scope of the project. How long it will take to do the search, however, is difficult question for the genealogist to answer. With John Smith being a common name, there are likely to be several of them in Oklahoma, especially during the early days of the territory and state. Time and cost become factors here due to the number of records to be searched. The more information a client can give about the particular John Smith they are interested in, the better.

Consulting with the client, some of these questions might be answered with more data, such as parent and sibling names. A more accurate estimate of the time and cost a research project may take is possible with more information.

Initially reviewing the information provided by the client is billable time, however, and the client must be made aware of this fact. Reviewing a client’s information limits the amount of real, new research that can be done by the genealogist. The time and performance of the contract is affected by these limits, as well.

Determining the scope of the research within the period of the research request is one other item a genealogist and client must consider when beginning a project. Are primary, original, and direct records available? Are there alternative record sources available if primary, original, and direct records do not exist?

In the John Smith example, if the subject person were born before Oklahoma became a state, some territorial records may exist in the form of census records. The 1900 U. S. census, for instance for the territory would include, most likely, at least the month and year of a person’s birth. The census may also give the genealogist and client with the actual birthplace, other than Oklahoma territory, where the person was born. Mr. Smith may actually have been born in one of the states bordering the territory, or a more specific place may have been given, depending on how the enumerator completed their form.

Informing the client of the results of this preliminary research also takes time away from doing original research for the client. Analysis of the found data, report writing, and administrative tasks are also billable time for the professional. The client must also know this so they are not surprised by the limited amount of information provided in the time allotted for researching a project.