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Most people think of LinkedIn as an online resume – but it is also a great tool for small business owners. With up to 85% of business conducted via referral, you can’t afford not to build your business profile on LinkedIn.
When someone hears about you or your small business then the first thing they will probably do is ‘Google’ them! If someone Googles your name, then your LinkedIn Profile, is likely to come up on the first page of Google Search Results. If you have also created a LinkedIn Company Profile, there is a good chance that this will also appear on the first page of Google Search Results – provided you have an active LinkedIn Company Profile.
Adding your small business details to your LinkedIn profile
You can add your business website in your Personal Profile ‘Contact Info’ section – but when you add your website, choose the Option ‘Other.’ This way you can write the name of your website in the box and also add your link.
In your current job section, if you have already added your small business as a ‘Company’ on LinkedIn, when you start typing the name of your company name, it should appear as a choice in the drop down box. In the Description box, then it is a good idea to provide a brief description of your business, then describe your tasks and achievements and then include your small business website link.
Create your LinkedIn business profile
You may already have a LinkedIn Company Profile, but LinkedIn often changes the range of information you can include on your Company Profile.
It is a good idea to:
- Supply very good quality logos in the dimensions requested
- Provide an excellent quality Company Description that includes your key message, keywords, a call to action and contact details
- Include the various specialties you have
- Fill in all of the other requested information (founded, operating status, industry etc)
Connect your profile to your other online content
Every business needs to have a digital footprint that they eventually build into a digital asset that constantly generates business opportunities. If you have gone through the process of creating a company page, make an effort to link to it on your other online content including:
- Business website
- Google+ Brand Account
- Google+ Personal Profile (so that you can tell Google to present your profile in the search results for your name as content)
- Encouraging your business clients, suppliers, stakeholders etc to follow your profile
Decide on your update posting schedule for your profile
Many small business owners are disappointed that their profiles doesn’t always generate as much interest as their personal profile does. For example, most business owners have a lot more connections associated with their personal profile and a lot less followers of their company profile so when they send out a personal update, it goes to a lot more people via a personal update.
LinkedIn encourages you to post an update via your company profile every day. I do not recommend this level of frequency in Australia. It is better to post good quality content less often than poor quality content regularly. Always provide content that is of benefit to your target audience. This may include either new original content (70%), shared content from somewhere reputable (20%) and if you absolutely must, sales content (no more than 10%).
Choose your overall strategy
Web developers, marketers and advisers often suggest that you need to constantly create online content to build your brand, reputation and eventually leads. However, there is a lot to be said for considering some of the other options on LinkedIn like:
- Liking, commenting or sharing other people’s great content
- Making sure you include images and/or videos and sometimes hash tags in your Updates to increase your views and conversions
- Saying thank you on a regular basis
Review and reflect on your performance
Check out what your competitors or fellow entrepreneurs are doing. Monitor the analytics from your company updates and see what performs well. You may like to consider paying for sponsored updates.
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