Yes, You Need a LinkedIn Page
January 27th 2022
Although we’ve been hearing a lot about video and image-based social media platforms, like TikTok and Snapchat and Instagram, LinkedIn is where you can make valuable business connections.
Becoming active on LinkedIn can connect you to people who may want to do business with you, as well as with potential new hires, with potential joint venture partners, mentors, and colleagues. Yet many entrepreneurs overlook this decidedly less flashy platform.
If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re not on LinkedIn, it’s likely you’re missing out on making new business connections that can help your company.
Here are some basic tips for tapping into LinkedIn’s powerful network:
Make your profile stand out
Whether you’re setting up a new profile or you’re updating one you’ve had for a while, take a close look at your headline, which is the two lines right underneath your name.
Think about the keywords someone would use if they were looking for your products or service and try to use those to describe who you are and what you do. Can someone read your headline and understand what you sell, or what your skills are?
Just listing your job title as “CEO” or “Founder” or “President” tells an outsider nothing about what you could potentially do for them or their business.
Instead, could you say that you’re an “Award-Winning L.A. Dog Groomer,” “Certified SEO Expert Specializing in the Telecom Industry,” or “Personal Trainer for Busy New Moms in Boston?”
Combining keywords and your location (if that matters) will attract notice from people in your local area and industry.
Then spend a little time filling in the other sections of your profile, including past jobs, education, and any interests you have, such as hobbies or other LinkedIn organizations you like or admire. This helps others get to know a little about you before they connect.
Expand your network
After you’ve tweaked your profile to make it immediately clear what you offer, it’s time to add new connections. You’ll get noticed faster, the more people you’re connected to.
Doing that is as easy as searching for people or companies you want to network with, or by searching for specific titles, such as “CMO” or “CFO,” if those are your target clients, for example.
You can also go to the profiles of people you admire, or even your competition, and see who they are connected to, and then ask to connect with important people in their network.
If you spend a few minutes each week asking to connect with more people, you’ll see your network size expand almost exponentially.
Ask for recommendations
Near the bottom of your profile, you’ll see a section for recommendations, which are words of praise and compliments written by people you’ve worked with, current or past clients, or people who know you through volunteer activities or school.
Ask people who you know would say nice things about you to write recommendations. And then return the favor by writing one for them.
With your profile looking more robust and your network growing, it’s time to start making some waves. By that I mean, creating and sharing content with your network.
Under the Activity heading in your profile, you can write articles right on the platform, or you can share posts others have written.
Both are smart to do, but you’ll likely attract more eyeballs if you write an original article related to your business and post it with an image right on LinkedIn (rather than sharing from your blog, for example). The topic should be something that your target audience would be interested in, and maybe has been asking about.
For example, if you run a temporary staffing company, you could pen an article on why temp work is a smart choice right now, as workers decide where they want to work next. Or if you’re trying to attract more corporate clients, you could write something about how retaining a temporary staffing firm as a partner can help avoid any staffing shortages.
Or if you run a retail store, how about an article featuring a company that you carry, to talk about how their products are among the best. You could do profiles of your different product lines, to encourage your shoppers to consider buying them. Doing that also encourages your wholesales to potentially share your article with their network, which then expands your reach considerably.
Create a company page
Since business gets done on LinkedIn, setting up a LinkedIn company page is a good idea, too, in addition to your personal profile.
It’s a separate account on LinkedIn, which you can use to promote your business. HootSuite has great step-by-step instructions on how to set it up.
There are so many social media platforms today that it’s hard to know if being active on them will be worth your time. LinkedIn is one where you will likely see a payoff if your goal is to connect with fellow business people.