I value LinkedIn. If you think of LinkedIn as a large database of resumes and nothing else, you’re so wrong. It’s a rich source of information and a social network. If you’re in sales, and you’re not using LinkedIn, I’m surprised. If you’re hiring and not using LinkedIn, I’m even more amazed at you.I Here are the ways to strengthen your business using LinkedIn.
Use Linkedin To See What Your Competitors Are Doing
What your competition is up to should shape your business strategy. If you don’t know much about your customers’ other options, you can’t develop an edge and keep gaining market share.You can use LinkedIn to unearth answers to many of your questions about competitors. Here’s some basic information that a LinkedIn search will reveal.How many employees does a competitor have? How many did they have six months ago - in other words, how fast are they growing? What kind of employees are they hiring? In general, recent hires provide clues to a company’s current focus. Furthermore, in many small-to-medium businesses, there are star employees, who are responsible for significant amounts of development, sales, marketing and other important aspects of the business. Knowing who to target and getting them to defect and work for you instead can really help your business.
Use it for networking.
“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” sounds a bit redundant these days but that’s mainly because the website is so ubiquitous. Every professional has a LinkedIn profile.Some are better than others. I add people I know to my network, but I also turn to Linkedin to find "key" people I know who will help my business grow and help me find contacts. Many of your contacts will get you an introduction to other people you might want to network with.
Use it for advertising.
LinkedIn Ads enable excellent targeting for any kind of enterprise outreach. They provide roughly the same media options as a Facebook Ad, with an audience of purely professionals. You can narrow down that audience by using criteria like industry, company size and job title. The fine-grained targeting means that none of your ad spend is wasted on people you don’t care about. Let’s say you’re selling software to make real estate agents more productive. Target every real estate agency in whichever geography you want, and then drill down to specific job titles so you’re reaching the people who make purchasing decisions.LinkedIn Ads are the quickest way to contact this audience without doing hundreds of hours of laborious legwork.
Use it for recruiting.
This one should be a no-brainer. LinkedIn is the first place I look for specialists. No better way to target specific skills and experiences so that you find exactly who you’re looking for. LinkedIn is also a great way to find desirable hires who aren’t actively seeking a job. If you’re the one looking for a job, keep your profile updated, add a summary, and add depth to your list of previous work experiences. Make sure to include a professional photo. I have seen some images on Linkedin for head shots that I could not believe. And these so called business professionals think anyone will take them seriously? Time to grow up and get into the real world. You are not in college anymore my friend. LinkedIn is much more than just an online resume database. The information and network can used for all sorts of different purposes, Take advantage of what Linkedin has to offer in research, their internal website for your business and groups you can join.
LinkedIn has come a long way since launching as a job referral site. It still has it's roots embedded in that but we all know LinkedIn is doing so much more for business professionals. You might just call it the Facebook of Business. We share our ideas, we network, we look for sale opportunities and the list goes on. If you are somewhat new to LinkedIn or you are asking yourself, "How do some of these people have over 500 contacts on their site?" well maybe I can give you some help here.
You are selling yourself on LinkedIn. Consider yourself you are your brand. Sure you can promote your company but at the same time, you are promoting yourself as to your level of expertise in what you do. This begins with your Photo. Make it professional. Don't use some backyard shot of you holding your latest fish catch or you smiling at the bar with a drink in your hand. You get my drift. You can do custom backgrounds on LinkedIn to show what you do. Take advantage of it. You can also have your own website on LinkedIn. This a little secret many do not take advantage of. Market your business! Your profile header needs to jump out at potential clients or if you are looking for work it needs to say, "Hey, stop here, hire me!" Use good keywords so when people or businesses are searching, they will find you. Keep it professional! Finally, always update your content. Fill out and use everything LinkedIn has to offer. Check your site at least twice a week and respond to people. They want to network with you and you would not be on LinkedIn if you did not want to network back, right? Oh be visual. Post images and videos. Be Seen!
FDMC Social & Digital Video
I recently did a keynote on LinkedIn. I love that platform for networking with other professional people. After the presentation, I met a few folks who thanked me for helping them find ways to get themselves and their business or practice noticed. Putting your business on the web or on a social media platform is one thing. Expecting results from it is another. Too many people have this mentality that "Well I did it because my competition is doing it but I am not getting results." You have to add content, you have to maintain it at the very least weekly, and you really should have multiple platforms to work from that all connect to each other. You yourself also have to get out and network to get noticed. If you want to be in business, you can not be a wallflower. If you hate meeting people then send a representative from your business who does that can professionally convey your message on your behalf. Here are a few pointers that I suggest you try to embrace.
Get out and be a part of your community If you don't have the time or just hate crowds, then send a company rep on
your behalf. Volunteer!
Attend and be a part of a chamber or civic group
Join your local chamber, leads group, Rotary Club, or other professional organization
Develop a LinkedIn profile Using LinkedIn will allow you to network with other business professionals from the
comfort of your office or home.
Keep a marketing and social media plan updated
Use social media to keep your brand out to the public but keep the content fresh!
Keep your website updated I have actually found websites with old pictures of former employees, outdated
addresses, old phone numbers, old logo brands, I mean seriously, if you can't even manage your website, how to you expect to stay in business? (I did eventually find the businesses new locations)
Business Cards Keep your business cards
fresh. It is your brand and it should define what you do. Ever consider a QR code on your business card?
Trade Shows-Conferences While this can be cost prohibitive to some SMB's, try to attended a conference or trade show relevant to your business. The networking you gain from these can be rewarding. If money is a factor, find one close to attend that you can travel to and from within day to save hotel and airfare costs.
I hope you find this informative and helpful to your business. Drop me a line via my website and let me know. Now go out and get noticed!
I recently read an interesting article about Linkedin. Here is the link which features an interview with Mr. Dan Roth, Executive Editor with Linkedin. Linkedin . What Mr. Roth explains is the growing popularity about Linkedin as not only a social media tool, but as a business within your business. Anyone who has been on Linkedin for any time has seen how this platform as evolved from up and coming business professionals posting their resumes to a huge network of groups learning from each other about their respective trades. It is business professionals helping other business professionals.
I love this tool. I can find more information about my various business interests on one platform instead of searching all over. I find most people on Linkedin are happy to exchange their ideas with you and give you references to help you solve a problem you may have or get more information about a particular topic. You will find everyone from CEO's to a department head on Linkedin. While Linkedin did get it's roots as a resume posting site (and it still does this) Linkedin remains a free social networking site. (They do offer a paid pro version upgrade) Thousands of people have found white-collar jobs using Linkedin but more importantly, just as many if not more have found professional connections from within their community to around the world using this popular platform. It is not Facebook, It is not Twitter (but you can post daily subject matter if you wish). You do not talk about your kids, your movie you went to last night, but you post about business related information you might helpful to your peers. Chamber of Commerce's, retail outlets, services, doctors, lawyers, almost anyone in business can be found on Linkedin. If you have not signed up for Linkedin, I encourage you to do so.