Using LinkedIn for Business
24 May 2021
LinkedIn is one of the world’s largest professional networks and whilst many people perceive the platform as a place to simply create an online version of your CV, LinkedIn is in fact one of the most cost-effective tools that businesses of all sizes can utilise to grow their business and generate potential sales.
With many businesses missing out on the chance to promote their products or services through this platform, we’ve outlined some simple steps that can be followed as a guide whether it be for those thinking about creating a LinkedIn account for the first time, or for anyone simply looking to optimise their current profile.
1. Create a strong profile, both for personal and business use
When running a business, it is extremely beneficial to set up both a personal LinkedIn profile and a Company Profile to reach your target audience if you haven’t already done so.
Company Profiles rank highly in search engines and so by creating one for your business which has strong content and accurate company information, your page is likely to gain more hits which will help to increase brand awareness and potentially generate new sales. Additionally, LinkedIn Company Profiles have some great features which businesses can also utilise including the ‘Analytics’ tool where admins of the Company Profile can view data on page visitors, followers, post engagement and more. Using this tool will help you better understand your audience and make any necessary content changes going forward to encourage better engagement.
To support your business’s Company Profile, there is also value in having a personal LinkedIn profile. Personal accounts allow you to connect and engage with current and potential clients and can help show a softer and more personable side to your business by being able to put a face to the name. When creating your personal profile, we would recommend that you:
- Use your full name and include a headshot image – this will help you build connections as individuals are more likely to accept your connection request if they recognise your name and/or can see your profile image
- Add an inspiring headline – instead of typically adding ‘Business Owner’ into your headline, think of something that is inspiring and will attract attention
- Have a detailed ‘About’ section – this section is great for supporting organic SEO and so making sure the information within this is detailed and uses keywords will help your profile to be found more easily when people search the type of keywords or phrases which match that within your profile
- Include previous work history – by including this information, viewers of your profile can easily see your employment history which will help them to gain a better understanding of your experience and knowledge within the industry.
2. Make connections
Once you’re happy with the setup and content of your personal profile, you can now start making ‘connections’. Building up your connections on LinkedIn allows you to widen your network and make yourself known to any potential customers whilst also maintaining key relationships with current customers or suppliers.
Many business owners use LinkedIn as a way to build up their connection list and then opt for a ‘warm sale’ approach by messaging their connections to engage in conversation. The idea behind this is that the interaction and communication between both parties will then allow the business to grow its brand awareness and hopefully result in a sale.
3. Join relevant groups
Engaging in LinkedIn Groups will allow you to share your expertise and expand your network further. Picking groups to join that are relevant to the industry in which you operate will allow you to engage in conversation with other likeminded individuals who share common interests as yourself and can lead to growing your brand awareness and the number of connections you have.
4. Engage – Comment, Like, Share
Participating in discussions and liking, sharing, and commenting on posts showing in your newsfeed is a great way to grow your presence on LinkedIn. By doing this, your reach will become bigger and more people will become aware of who you are and the products/services you offer which is invaluable to your budding business. The more you engage, the stronger your working relationships with your connections will become and ultimately, should they require the product/service you offer, the chances of them turning to you as their supplier of choice is more likely.
Get creative with your content by posting information that your connections or followers will be interested in reading. Whether that be posting about topics specific to your industry, or general subjects that will get the conversation going, ensuring the content on both your personal and business profile is posted regularly and with a friendly and personable tone will help to increase your audience reach.
Additionally, it is important to make your content as visual as possible by adding in images or video footage with each post as this will help make your content become more appealing and eye-catching to your audience which in turn will also help to increase engagement and brand awareness.
6. Add LinkedIn icons to your marketing materials
Another great way to grow your audience is to incorporate the LinkedIn icon on your company website, email signature and any other relevant marketing material that will help grow your brands online presence. By doing this, people will become aware that your business is present on that social platform should they wish to follow your Company Profile to stay up to date with all of your latest content.
With almost all businesses nowadays using the internet as a tool to promote themselves online, SMEs can often find it extremely challenging to get their brand noticed above all the online ‘noise’ generated by larger organisations. LinkedIn is therefore an invaluable tool that small businesses, which may have little or no marketing budget, can utilise to expand their network, increase awareness of their product or service and most importantly help towards generating leads which will could ultimately lead to an increase in sales and profits.