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52 The PCB Magazine • December 2016 by Dan Beaulieu My friend and business associate Bruce John- ston was named one of the LinkedIn Thought Leaders—The USA & Canada List (100+) by Andy O'Hearn, an expert LinkedIn coach and social media analyst. When you consider that there are over 467 million LinkedIn members, being in this list of approximately 100 is a pret- ty big deal. Bruce is the owner of Practical Social Media Marketing, our industry's first and foremost so- cial media consulting firm. His expertise is cen- tered on LinkedIn, where he focuses most of his time teaching his clients how to greatly improve their marketing and sales efforts by fully using the power that LinkedIn can provide them. As Bruce says, "If people are willing to do the work, LinkedIn can be an invaluable resource for growing their sales. As the saying goes, I can teach them how to fish but I can't do the fishing for them." Bruce sat down with me recently to explain why LinkedIn is a much better database than yours, and why PCB salespeople must embrace social media or go the way of the dodo bird. Dan Beaulieu: Bruce, can you tell us something about your background? Bruce Johnston: I started in high-tech sales in 1985, working f or a small manufacturer of tele- com test equipment. After a couple of years sell- ing the company's low-end products through catalogues, I was sent to Chicago to open the company's Midwest sales territory. It was the pro- verbial desk, a phone, and me all alone. After a good stint in the Midwest, I was moved to our At- lanta HQ and tasked with building the company's rep network across the U.S. So I found, hired and trained a dozen rep firms and went ever ywhere with them on sales calls. I think I have called on prospects and customers in 44 or 45 states. After a couple of years, the company was sold, so I moved back to Toronto. In Toronto, I got together with an old mentor who had a rep firm and he hired me and immediately shipped me to Vancouver! I spent a couple of years do- ing the now familiar "build the territory for us" routine. Once I got the territory on solid foot- ing, I was brought back to Toronto to start a sep- arate division of the company. We had landed the exclusive rights to a very promising prod- uct line of local area network protocol analyz- ers. In four years, we went from a few people selling that product line part-time and bringing in $300,000 a year to 14 full-time staff bring- ing in $8 million a year. We were so successful the company we were representing bought the whole division from us and turned it into their Canadian subsidiary. I then spent several years building the rep and distributor channels for another test equip- ment company based in Chicago, and after that spent several years as my own one-man rep firm. FEATURE INTERVIEW Catching up with LinkedIn Expert Bruce Johnston

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