Every single business needs to be on Linkedin, it allows its members the chance to connect with decision makers, conduct research, display their experience, seek recommendations, establish themselves as experts in their field, and increase their reach. By seeking out the right connections and asking to be introduced to new connections you can benefit yourself and your business and expand your Linkedin network.
As a business owner you should all be members of your local Chamber of Commerce, well Linkedin is like an online Chamber of Commerce meeting that is more focused, highly targeted and that you don’t have to get dressed up for. However, while you can create your profile in your pyjamas your Linkedin profile and activity should be as buttoned up as they come. It’s a network of professional business people, who want to know you as a professional. They don’t want to know what your dog is called, how many times a week you go to the gym or what you ate for dinner last night, they care about what you can do for them to make their business or themselves better.
Everyone wants to expand their Linkedin network and fortunately for everyone, Linkedin provides you with all the tools you need, such as profiles, company pages, groups and now publisher pages. This gives you the opportunity to virtually interact with people who may become valuable connections. Unlike other social networks, it’s important to be selective about who you connect with. You can help yourself by:
Craft a Compelling Profile To Expand your Linkedin Network
Include a great picture of you and fill out the profile completely from headline to extracurricular activities, as long as they’re business related. Remember to use keywords in every part of the profile that you can. Choose bullets and lists over long sentences, allowing for plenty of white space as people will scan your profile rather than read it. Include various forms of information such as links to presentations, PDF’s, videos and more.
Create a Company Page
In addition to a personal page, create a company page on LinkedIn, this will give you a chance to showcase what your business does without showcasing yourself. You can include Videos, images, text and more to describe and demonstrate what your business does. You can also use paid LinkedIn advertising to promote your business page if you wish, although I personally have had mixed results with this.
Once you create your company page ask people with whom you’ve worked for recommendations through the “Request Recommendations” link located under Services but only asked people who you have worked for. Over the years this feature has been abused and if you’re like me, then you take these recommendations with a pinch of salt.
Join Groups Strategically
Groups on LinkedIn offer an extraordinary opportunity to anyone to establish their expertise. Once people see you as an expert in your niche they’ll start asking to connect to you. Within Groups on LinkedIn, once you join, you can contribute to discussions, and start discussions. You can even create your own niche group on LinkedIn in order to go even farther with establishing your expertise.
The secret is to join relevant groups that consist of your target audience for marketing purposes but also include a couple of groups for educational purposes that consist of your competition and peers.
Expanding your Linkedin network is almost as simple as just asking to be introduced, but do make sure that your profile is perfected before you get too active. You can always update it as you go but make it as complete as possible in order to give the best impression on anyone who looks at it.