Advertising aside, there are plenty of ways to get your business front and centre on LinkedIn. It is widely recognised as a way to showcase an individual person (I often call it like having a resume on steroids!), but it is also an excellent tool to market your business.
When you think of the business name Virgin – who do you think of? Richard Branson perhaps? Likewise, many small businesses are more widely known by the name of the owner or CEO than they are for the brand.
Kerwin Rae suggests that if you are in business, build your own profile first and then use your profile to build your brand. In my view, every entrepreneur needs to have both a personal profile and a company profile on LinkedIn.
As a business on LinkedIn, you can pay for advertising to reach selected audiences. In the first instance, I recommend that you build up your network first as there are many ways to place your business name in front of people without paying for advertising, especially if you are just starting out.
Build your own profile first
However, just like every other social media platform, do not spam your news feed with your latest sales offering, always add value to any conversation you participate in.
How can your small business benefit from LinkedIn?
Comprehensive searching on LinkedIn can connect you with potential suppliers, distributors, strategic alliance partners, mentors, professional associations and international networks. Remember that the population in Australia is very small compared to other countries, so sometimes going internationally can be far more profitable than remaining local.
Establishing local connections can also be extremely valuable – particularly if you are in a face to face business. Searching for as many other local business owners as possible and connecting with them on LinkedIn can help raise your local profile. You can then offer them specials, invite them to events or share information that they may also find helpful.
Turning social media into money for business success
Naturally you must make sure that your website address, location, phone number and email address are all visible so that people do not have to ‘search’ to contact you. If you only include this information in the standard fields, the only people who will see it are your Connections – so be bold and include it in your Summary and even your Experience sections.
use your profile to brand build
Identifying your ideal client or target market is an essential component of any marketing strategy. What you need to do is battletest a search that your ideal client would do on someone else’s account and see if you come up in their search results.
Make an effort on a regular schedule to:
- Contact certain individuals directly via LinkedIn
- Post regular updates (70% information, 20% sharing, 10% sales content)
- Keep your content up to date
- Keep statistics (number of connections, number of views, number of messages)
- Source new connections, new partners, new opportunities
- Read information, articles and other updates
- Review what your competitors are doing anonymously and implement relevant tactics