When used to its full capacity, LinkedIn has the ability to take small businesses farther than ever. It’s amazing how LinkedIn has the potential to connect you with people you would have otherwise never connected. Just recently, I had a call from someone who found me through one of his connections, which resulted in a new deal and a mutually beneficial arrangement. In this article, we will review 12 tips to help get you off the ground with LinkedIn:
1) A fully completed profile
Without a complete profile, you can’t expect people to be able to find you with ease. Do this right away, because this is essentially your resume for others searching for you on Linkedin.
What you include in your LinkedIn profile will determine how others can search for you, therefore, be sure to include keywords in your profile that are related to your business. For example, if your business offers marketing services, include keywords such as “social media,” “reputation management” and/or “internet marketing.”
2) Join groups
LinkedIn is all about networking. This is a great way to meet people and expand your business, growing its capacities. Finding others in your industry helps to build connections that you never would have been able to find on your own.
Within these groups, it is also important to join discussions. This is how people get to know you and become familiar with your business and vice-versa. By joining groups to engage with like-minded people, you can get the support and answers you need to better enhance your own business.
3) Choose an eye-catching headshot
While this may sound silly, your LinkedIn profile headshot is the first thing that others will see. Choose one that is professional, yet encapsulates your personality.
By using a headshot, you can never go wrong. Professional headshots give the impression that you know what you are talking about right from the start.
As LinkedIn thumbnails tend to be rather small, no one will be able to see what you are doing in a full-length photo, therefore, a headshot is best in this case. In the business world, you can only benefit if others know your face.
4) Get recommendations
When people are searching for your profile, one of the first things they look for is recommendations. Recommendations are a digital letter of recommendation, vetting your work, character and knowledge, among other things. The great thing is that these recommendations live on LinkedIn forever, for anyone who stumbles across your profile to see. What could be better than that? Satisfied customers will be more than happy to provide testimonials about their experience with you.
Simply put, recommendations help to enhance your professional credibility. Not only that, but it creates a great first impression for those reading your profile.
5) Make the most of LinkedIn mobile
Smartphone apps can be beneficial and LinkedIn is no different. This helps to keep your profile up-to-date, and allows you to search for others that you may be meeting throughout the day. When it comes to making a great first impression, you can use the app to pull up background information of the person you are meeting on-the-go.
The LinkedIn mobile app becomes incredibly helpful in recalling as well as connecting with business acquaintances at events and conferences.
6) Set up a company profile
A company profile is essentially an overview of your company that other LinkedIn members will see. They can view all of your statistics and numbers in one place — what your business does, how many employees you have and what industry your business operates in. Creating a company profile is essential for increasing the visibility of your business.
7) Include work samples
Work samples are simply another great way to enhance your profile and resume, showing potential customers what you can do for them. Everybody wants to see samples of what people have done — this promotes confidence and excitement.
8) Enlist the right people
LinkedIn has search tools for a reason—they help you find exactly what you are looking for in your business.
By switching the status of your company to ‘hiring,’ hopeful applicants know they can apply. This makes the process much easier and cuts out the middleman.
9) Make messages personal
Rather than sending out dozens of impersonal, formal messages, choose the people you connect with wisely. Let them know you are friendly and that you want to get to know them, and keep those connections close.
While having an infinite number of connections can be ideal, 5 quality connections are worth a lot more to your company than 1,000 connections that you don’t have a relationship with.
10) Share Daily Status Updates
This may be sounding too much like Facebook, but with LinkedIn, it keeps people interested. A stagnant page does nothing to promote business. This shows that you are a real person!
While we would all love to go on-and-on about how great our businesses are people will be more interested in what you can offer them. Include links to blog posts or videos that may help your connections in the future, and don’t forget to shine a bit of personality in whatever you post.
11) Classmates? What classmates?
Remember those people you went to high school with? Well, surprisingly, they may be helpful to your business on LinkedIn. You never know which of these long-lost friends could be in the same line of work– talk about networking possibilities!
By using the alumni network tool on LinkedIn, you may be surprised at the number of people you can find that work in the same field of work, particularly if you are a B2C business.
12) Make your URL your own
Since your URL is what you give to others, you want them to know it’s yours just by looking at it. Add your name at the end to make it personal! Try to avoid coming up with “clever” ways of spelling your name or business — keep it simple!