“If you aren’t on LinkedIn you aren’t in business!” – Dan Sherman
Okay, granted he is the founder of the training program Linked Success, so he may be just a touch biased, but I do think he has a point!
Arguably the most business-focused social media outlet, LinkedIn is a network about just that - networking.
For small business owners, it is a gold mine of contacts, potential investors and partnerships and of course, leads and referrals.
And for that reason, as a business coach, I am surprised that more small business owners do not invest in appropriate amount of time into leveraging this opportunity.
LinkedIn allows for both personal and business pages, much like Facebook. As a business owner you should have both. Start with an engaging and informative personal page. Number one mistake? The photo.
You are the face of your business - have a professional photo taken; don’t crop your face out of last year’s family reunion!
Interesting fact-skimpy or unfinished profiles get far less views AND can portray a lazy and uninterested vibe.
According to one study, 68% of professionals look up someone they are about to meet on LinkedIn.
Give people the right impression from the get-go, the impression that you take pride in your work. Yes, a simple profile can speak volumes!
Much like your business plan, your LinkedIn strategy should start with an objective. With a goal clearly defined, you can work up a detailed plan of attack, including tasks, deadlines, and reminders to keep you on track.
Utilise the LinkedIn Groups feature to get your name out there, establish yourself as an expert and to generate leads and relationships. Treat these as you would any in-person networking events.
Remember what you have learned (or brush up!) about Search Engine Optimisation and key words - these are how you and your business page may be linked to others in this network. Again, artfully cultivating your profile is the key to success.
LinkedIn is also an expert way to recruit new hires, conduct surveys and gather market information and to check out and stay ahead of your competitors. Make sure you are utilising all of its capabilities to see the most tangible results.