The first step to the long game is the hardest. The first step is visibly negative. You have to be willing to suffer today in order to not suffer tomorrow.
Go ahead and Google “overnight success” and what you’ll find are articles and quotes about how there is no such thing. Every entrepreneur, bar none, that has a successful business that seemingly took off overnight put in years of work before that success materialized.
Using LinkedIn as a lead generation engine for your business is no different.
Sure, you might get a few hot leads in the first few weeks. In fact, if you do it properly, you should see hot leads that soon, and see more and more as the weeks go on.
But a lead is not going to pay your bills.
Converting that lead into a sale is. And this will take longer than you think.
Remember, your new lead has only just met you. Through LinkedIn. They know nothing about you. It’ll take time for them to trust you enough to give you their money.
This is where persistence and patience come in.
This is the difference between the Short Game and the Long Game.
The Short Game is seductive. It looks like this:
Why wait to buy a new TV when you can buy it on credit?
Why go to the gym when you can go out for drinks with friends?
Why invest time in relationships when you can create a slick sales funnel and throw some money at cold traffic?
These don’t seem like major cost-benefit trade-offs. Saving $20 today won’t make you a millionaire. Going to the gym today won’t make you fit. Investing time in a new business relationship won’t bring you a sale this month.
But as the days turn into weeks and weeks into months, the short game compounds into disastrous results.
You end up in debt. You get fat. Your sales pipeline dries up because you struggle to close cold leads.
Playing the Long Game means suffering a little today for outsize rewards in the future.
The Long Game looks pretty boring from the outside:
Saving money and investing it for tomorrow
Leaving the party early so you can get up early for the gym tomorrow
Investing time relationships today so you have a foundation for turning it into business tomorrow
The Long Game is typified by what Jim Collins discovered in his concept of the Flywheel Effect.
Are you interested in how the Flywheel Effect can be employed in 5 simple ways to grow your business on LinkedIn?
Check out this video to show you how.