What’s the Deal with LinkedIn?
LinkedIn’s mission is to connect the world’s professionals. I know it might be painstaking to think about, but it is a necessary tool in the work world today. Can you be successful without it? Probably. Will you be more successful with it? I would give that a huge, YES. Keep reading to find out how LinkedIn can help make your business a huge success …
Ladies and gentlemen, LinkedIn has power!
Why is LinkedIn just as, or perhaps even more important for your business than Facebook, Instagram or Twitter?
The answer: It facilitates professional connections and followers. Sure, friends, likes and retweets are fantastic, but LinkedIn empowers your business to grow via building professional connections you wouldn’t necessarily be able to connect with on other social media platforms or in your everyday neck of the woods either.
Social media platforms, whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others, are all valuable when establishing and growing a business. But this post isn’t really about comparing and contrasting all of the platforms out there. It’s about how LinkedIn, on its own, can help your business be even more successful.
Studies show that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, and 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content.
~ Alex Rynne, Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn
Below, I’ve drilled down on a few different areas that I would recommend you explore and focus your attention on.
Your LinkedIn Profile:
Your journey on LinkedIn starts with your profile. Maximizing the potential of your profile is very simple to do and is so simple that you can actually get it accomplished today! Think of your LinkedIn profile as your storefront. You are able to shine and draw attention to your business’s strengths, experience and highlights.
One of the easiest things you can do to enhance your profile and demonstrate credibility, is to customize your LinkedIn URL. If you haven’t done this already, you may or may not have noticed that when you joined you were provided with a very long URL. I recommend that you change that URL to best reflect you and what you do, while keeping it on brand and professional of course. To update your URL, just follow these quick 3 steps:
- At the top of your LinkedIn homepage, click on the “Me” icon
- Click on “View Profile”
- On the right-hand rail of your profile page, click on “Edit public profile & URL:
- By clicking on the edit button under “Edit URL” go ahead and update the end of your personal URL
- By clicking on the edit button under “Edit URL” go ahead and update the end of your personal URL
Here are some other things to keep in mind in order to have a tip-top profile:
- Your profile photo: Be mindful of your photo. It should be professional and not a low-resolution selfie. It’s fine to show some personality, but you definitely want to allude trustworthiness, confidence and success as well.
- Your Headline: Your headline is how you first captivate your audience. Write a unique and compelling headline for yourself that highlights your strengths, how you can help and one that sets you apart from others.
- Your Current Position and Summary: Be sure that these are kept up-to-date and that you’re best conveying your title, responsibilities, skills, and how you help and solve problems for others. Yes, this section by definition is all about you, but make sure that you’re not making it be all about you — also focus on who you are speaking
Consider Creating a Company Page:
Company pages on LinkedIn aren’t necessarily just for medium or large businesses. Quite a few small business owners utilize them as well. The important thing here, just like with your profile, is to make sure that your company page is complete and updated regularly. A company page allows you to post content and gain followers – you’re able to raise brand awareness and educate your followers, along with potential customers, on what your business can offer them. You definitely want to post content (or articles) regularly, just make sure that it’s full of value as well!
Networking and Joining Groups:
Growing your connections is simple on LinkedIn. If you are new to LinkedIn, first start by adding connections you already know. You can search for friends, family members, past colleagues, current and past customers, and clients, etc. Basically, what happens next is that your connections continue to grow – you continue to invite others to connect and others will request to connect with you.
Focus on building a network of connections with business growth in mind. You’re able to connect with individuals within your industry and also with others you consider as leaders and influencers. This will not only keep your newsfeed filled with relevant content, but also content that is filled with inspiration and advice.
LinkedIn also provides access to (and hosts) thousands of groups. Not only are you able to network with other professionals in groups within your niche, but you’re also able to join groups that promote professional development, volunteering and philanthropy, and your likes/interests. Joining a group is another way to showcase your personality and interests that are important to you
It's not who you know, it's who your connections know that matters most. ~ Michael Yublosky, LinkedIn Specialist
Establishing Credibility and Authority in Your Niche:
How you do this is by publishing compelling content and having testimonials and recommendations on your profile.
Content: Sharing your knowledge and expertise can easily be accomplished via publishing articles on LinkedIn. It’s pretty much content marketing at its finest. Not only is it searchable by keywords on LinkedIn, but depending on your profile settings, people can also discover your articles off LinkedIn as well. Keep in mind that the articles you post will also appear on your profile and your network will get updated on their newsfeed when published.
A fun perk … You can view the analytics of your posts and articles right on LinkedIn — you can view your analytics by going to the Articles and Activity section of your profile. LinkedIn will also email you reports which will include your performance metrics such as likes, shares, followers and page views.
Quick Tip: Using hashtags is becoming more and more popular on LinkedIn. You can include hashtags on regular updates/posts, along with articles that you decide to publish. If you decide to use hashtags, I would recommend doing some quick research on which ones are most popular amongst your connections, your niche, and certain influencers you enjoy following. Just be mindful that the hashtags are also relevant to the topic at hand.
“Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.” – David Beebe, former head of Content at Marriott
Endorsements and Recommendations:
I think we all enjoy receiving an endorsement or recommendation from time-to-time. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for you to endorse and recommend others, and hopefully they will return the favor. Another option is to reach out to one of your connections that knows you and your work well and see if they would be willing to provide an endorsement or recommendation of you.
Having endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn will certainly boost your credibility. A potential client or customer who’s considering investing in your service or product will definitely take into account endorsements and recommendations, especially if they are related to your niche or a specific job/project.
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to connect with so many people, regardless of if they’re in your niche or not. Because of this, you might realize that you have a connection, a friend or colleague who would benefit from connecting with one of your connections that they’re not yet connected with. Don’t be afraid to introduce them! It’s a great way to promote professional growth on all levels and shows your willingness to help others succeed too.
One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action. ~ Lewis Howes, Author and Entrepreneur
Keep Up on Your Notifications and Updates:
A lot of times folks in your network are posting about their stories as well as providing tips and advice. (This is also the type of content you should be posting as well.) I recommend that you engage with your connections via their posts and comment on their articles. For example, share how that piece of advice they offered is helpful or if they discussed a prior experience, describe how you’ve encountered something similar.
Notifications will also keep you up-to-date on fun details like your connections’ work anniversaries, birthdays, profile updates, etc.
I also recommend that you monitor, if possible, who is viewing your profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn Premium allows a few different insights and the ability to see who is viewing your profile is one of them. If you see a potential client or customer has viewed it, but perhaps didn’t invite you to connect yet, don’t be afraid to make the first move! Invite them to connect and strike up a conversation over messenger.
My Final Thoughts …
If I had to sum up the three most important ways that LinkedIn will empower your business (like it has mine) to be even more successful:
- Networking – This place is a one-stop-shop for growing an amazing network filled with connections that you’re able to engage and grow with, which potentially could lead to more business for you.
- Free Visibility (and Brand Recognition), but again, do it in a way that is less you focused and focused more on providing value to your audience, and potential customers and clients.
- Knowledge and Inspiration: Three words…. Free learning resource. You can gain insight and keep current with what your normal connections are up to, along with what the influencers and thought leaders that you follow are up to as well.
I definitely understand that we are all busy business owners. And sometimes, the demand to regularly post and engage on a few different social media platforms can be overwhelming, and just another thing to check off your endless to-do list. However, please remember that LinkedIn is designed to promote business success and growth, and because of this, I really think it should be a regular top choice for you.
Keeping your profile up-to-date, publishing relevant articles, networking and engaging with your connections will all optimize your online visibility via LinkedIn. And you never know which connection that next amazing client or customer could be!
P.S. If you are looking for additional training on LinkedIn, I know a guy and would be happy to connect you. Just send me a PM (on LinkedIn of course, LOL).
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