LinkedIn is a social networking site aimed primarily at professionals who seek like-minded individuals, business, and customers to connect with.
Since its launch in May of 2003, LinkedIn has expanded its online presence and established itself as a leading primary business networking site.
Though its current membership of 225 million users in 200 countries is still dwarfed by that of Facebook, the site attracts an important sector of web users that contribute their efforts to the global economy. LinkedIn’s mission statement is simple: to connect the world’s professionals and help them improve their productivity and enhance their success.
In this age of global interconnectivity and ecommerce, local business owners and managers need to be aware of the benefits social networks provide. In business, establishing one’s presence and earning professional credibility are essential keys to success.
As recently as 30 years ago, establishing a reputation in professional circles was complicated. Networking depended greatly on face-to-face meetings, business travel, and long-distance phone calls. Although some of these steps are still necessary in starting professional relationships, LinkedIn makes it easy to connect to others and help grow businesses.
In business, as well as in other aspects of your life, credibility is what makes or breaks your reputation. You can train for years to learn every aspect of your chosen career, but if you don’t have a set of good recommendations, you may find it harder to get new customers or clients.
Recommendations, especially those from people who know your skills and products, will raise your professional credibility immensely. This, in turn, will help you attract more followers on LinkedIn and be noticed by new clients or customers.
Using LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups are an excellent way to connect with peers in your career field and establish solid connections with potential clients and/or customers.
For example, if you are a certified public accountant or financial advisor, a LinkedIn Group for financial professionals is a good way to start connecting.
LinkedIn has over a million specialized groups on the site. Many of these groups are well-administered and have active members who share ideas and give helpful advice.
Share your ideas and experiences with other group members that may help them and you’ll find that your business connections will expand with time.
To be successful on LinkedIn, you’ll need to make connections, and once you make connections, the potential for your business to grow significantly increases.
The best way to begin is to see if someone you already know is a LinkedIn member. If you find a friend, ex-classmate, or ex-colleague, send out an invite.
Once you have made several initial connections, ask them if you can contact other LinkedIn members from their contact lists to expand your network.
Check out people who are in the same business as you and connect with them as well. They may be willing to share their experiences and know-how with you. In turn, you may have insights and innovations that may help them improve productivity and generate success.
Company Profile Pages
It’s important to make sure your company profile page on LinkedIn is as detailed and as professional as possible.
Be sure to use a high quality company photo and to fill in as many details about your company as you can. The more detailed information you provide about your company and services, the more chances you’ll have of generating more business from the profile.
Although it’s seems like a given that everyone will complete their profile details, LinkedIn has extensive options for profiles that many users neglect. Be certain to utilize every feature on your profile page.
LinkedIn’s advertising options give you a chance to reach a specific audience via job titles, company names, and more. Businesses can set their own budget, and you’ll only be charged when someone clicks on your ad.
Your budget can be as small or as large as you like, as it’s up to you how much you want to spend.
LinkedIn’s free account is a powerful tool for local companies, and millions have success by using the basic account alone.
However, if you need increased visibility, advanced search features, and the ability to contact people outside of your network, consider upgrading to a premium account.
In addition to being recommended, recommending other trustworthy people and companies not only heightens your exposure, but it will also increase your chances of more people and businesses recommending you as well.
As previously mentioned, LinkedIn recommendations are a powerful way to let others know that your company is stable and reliable.
Connect Your LinkedIn Account With Other Social Networks
LinkedIn allows you to connect other social network accounts to your LinkedIn account, which in turn can help to expose your business even more.
For example, if you have a Twitter account, one of your “tweets” may lead people to your LinkedIn page, or one of your Facebook posts might interest someone enough to connect with you on LinkedIn.
Answer Questions Relevant To Your Industry
Located under the “More” section in your navigation bar is a section called “Answers.” This is an area in which professionals can answer questions relevant to their business. Take time to browse through questions in your area of expertise, and if you find a question you are knowledgeable about, feel free to provide an answer.
Answering questions will increase your presence will at the same time helping you establish credibility for your company. Keep in mind, however, that it’s better to provide a helpful answer without advertising your company.
If your answers are helpful enough, relevant people will be interested in your business without you having to pitch it in your answer.
Pictures And Videos
LinkedIn recently announced that members can now add more pictures and use videos to promote their services, company, talents, and more.
It’s important to take advantage of this option as most people are visual and make purchasing decisions based off quality content as well as photos and videos.
There are a variety of ways in which you can utilize photos and videos on LinkedIn in order to attract more business. For example, customer testimonial, how-to, and product demonstration videos can give potential customers a direct glimpse into your business.
High-quality products and services photos allow people see exactly what you offer, which is powerful when it comes to converting them into paying customers or clients.
Thank you for reading our article and hopefully, you have a better idea about some of the ways LinkedIn can grow your local business.
If you would like to discuss using LinkedIn to market your business in particular, contact us at 956-254-7456. We will help you determine your specific needs and a detailed action plan to ensure you get started on the right foot.