Social Media

Stop lurking, and start leveraging (LinkedIn, that is)

- April 26, 2024 3 MIN READ

LinkedIn is now a strategic tool for business owners, not just its inaugural use which was pretty much a glorified digital CV.

Hi, I’m Friska, founder of Fresh by Friska, a multiple award-winning boutique change management consulting, advisory, capability building and facilitation service for leaders of global businesses.

Since its inception in 2003, LinkedIn has evolved from a mere professional networking site to a dynamic ecosystem that empowers business owners to connect, engage, and thrive in the digital age. Today, with over 850 million users worldwide, LinkedIn offers a plethora of opportunities for business owners to expand their networks, enhance their brand presence, and capitalise on emerging trends.

I went from backpack to bestseller with the power of the community I built on the platform, which I’ll discuss in more detail in future columns.

But first, let’s start with a comprehensive look at why active participation on LinkedIn is indispensable for the success of your business, along with practical examples:

Networking hub:

LinkedIn serves as a virtual networking hub, enabling business owners to forge valuable connections with potential clients, collaborators, and industry peers. You can join relevant LinkedIn groups, participate in discussions, and connect with potential clients seeking your services – directly! No middle man! By actively engaging with your network, you can establish trust and credibility, ultimately leading to new business opportunities.

Brand building platform:

Maintaining an active presence on LinkedIn is essential for business owners to establish and enhance their brand identity. Consider the example of a tech startup founder who regularly shares insights and updates about their company’s innovative products and solutions. By showcasing your expertise and thought leadership, you attract the attention of potential investors, customers, and industry influencers, ultimately elevating their brand’s visibility and reputation. Just like L’oreal says, ‘it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen’.

Professional development resource:

LinkedIn offers a wealth of resources for business owners to stay informed and continuously develop their skills. A small business owner looking to enhance their digital marketing skills can leverage LinkedIn Learning courses and webinars on topics such as social media marketing and search engine optimisation. By investing in ongoing learning and development, you can adapt to evolving market trends and gain a competitive edge in your industry.

Opportunity Generator:

Active participation on LinkedIn can lead to serendipitous encounters and lucrative business opportunities. Take, for example, a freelance graphic designer who regularly shares their portfolio and client testimonials on LinkedIn. Through consistent engagement with their network, these one-man bands CAN catch the attention of prominent design agency owners who offer them high-profile projects. By seizing such opportunities, the freelance designer expands their client base and boosts their revenue. This isn’t a hypothetical tale, I’ve seen it happen time and time again.

Market intelligence portal

LinkedIn provides business owners with valuable insights into market trends, competitor activities, and industry developments. For instance, a retail store owner can follow key players in the e-commerce space and stay updated on emerging consumer preferences and buying behaviours. By leveraging this market intelligence, they can refine their product offerings, optimise their marketing strategies, and stay ahead of the competition. Bonus: You can ask for feedback directly from your target consumers.

Active participation on LinkedIn is not just a discretionary activity—it’s a strategic imperative for business owners looking to stand head and shoulders above the competition. By leveraging LinkedIn as a networking hub, brand building platform, professional development resource, opportunity generator, and market intelligence portal, business owners can unlock new avenues for growth, innovation, and success.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, embracing LinkedIn as a strategic tool will be essential for staying relevant and resilient in the ever-changing business environment. Stay tuned next month for more wisdom on how to make the world’s largest professional networking platform work for you and your business.

Want bespoke help with your brand building activities on LinkedIn? Connect with me there and let’s chat further.

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