WHEN I JOINED PSA IN 2019, I quickly learned how valuable LinkedIn was for making connections, promoting business and becoming more educated about the security industry. Almost two years later, I now find that LinkedIn has become my social media outlet of choice. I had previously spent a large deal of time networking in Chambers of Commerce and other organizations when I worked in the B2B space in a community setting, but for security, LinkedIn feels like a must.

Many of the best-known integrators and manufacturers in our space have built a large following and an impressive personal brand on LinkedIn as well as in community groups, using one to supplement the other. As a business owner, one may wonder what relevance a personal brand has on an organization, but I’d argue it’s hugely important. The co-founder of one of PSA’s owner organizations comes to mind: Andrew Lanning.

Most in the industry are familiar with Andrew and probably connected with him on LinkedIn. I reached out to Andrew and asked him about his personal brand and how it affects his company, Integrated Security Technologies, in Hawaii. Andrew shared an interesting perspective.

“I set out to share other professionally admired industry perspectives with our Hawaii security customers, and anyone who may find the information useful,” he said. “Not many of our local practitioners, managers, officials or business owners get to travel to the mainland and attend all of the amazing learning opportunities that are shared at our industry events.”

Andrew shared that IST has gained awareness through his online activity, and even driven new project opportunities from the mainland through PSA’s own National Deployment Program. Andrew also believes in supporting his business on LinkedIn by sharing the accomplishments of his team. Similarly, the Lannings and the IST team are quite involved in their local communities.

“We support IST’s vision statement, ‘Leading Hawaii to a Safer Place,’ through our mission to educate the Hawaii community about security,” Andrew said. “To that end, we participate in literally dozens of community groups at the board of directors, committee and member levels. This helps us meet influencers across the spectrum of industries in Hawaii; and although we primarily service DoD, municipal government and critical infrastructure, we do get opportunities to perform for others once they learn what we do.”

Staying top-of-mind for customers is the best way to ensure continued business, as well as receive referrals. Sharing your expertise, branding yourself as a thought leader or even just making a personal connection (both online and in-person), is a great way to drive opportunity for your organization. Next time you feel like LinkedIn is a chore, think about how existing or potential clients could be viewing you on the platform.

Likewise, if you are referred potential business and they conduct a Google search, any of the content you share online will be available to help someone form an opinion. Relationships of any kind are the leading driver of business, so one must engage in both spaces. Especially in times when we may not all be able to see each other as often, reminding clients of your vast knowledge or important connections is paramount.