Using Linkedin In To promote Your Small business
I seem to be writing a lot of articles on Linkedin, this is because it’s one of the best ways to promote your small business. It’s a much more professional version of other types of social media like Facebook. Think of Linkedin as a networking business after hours function and think of Facebook as more like a social party. Linkedin is a place to show only your professional side and to connect to people who are serious about business. To use Linkedin to promote your small business try the following.
Create a Linkedin Company Profile
It’s easy and free to create a company profile and it allows you to separate your business from your personal profile. To create a company page you must first have an individual profile. Then under the Interests link you can see Companies, when you click the Companies Link find the link that says Add a Company and simply follow the prompts. You’ll need to use a confirmed business email address but it’s all pretty easy and painless to set up.
Complete your company profile on Linkedin as fully as possible, add in video and images and other details to try and make your company profile stand out. Ensure that you choose the right industry as that is very important and can make the difference between someone locating your business or not, so look through all of the choices and select the most appropriate.
Ask for Linkedin Recommendations
One you’ve got a company page created, ask your connections for recommendations by looking under services, then clicking Request Recommendations. Don’t send out one mass email to everyone, instead personalize each email to help remind the person exactly what you did for them and why they should recommend you. This will provide a nice template for them to write an excellent and telling recommendation for you.
It might make you a little uneasy to ask for recommendations but the secret is to only ask for recommendations from people you know and who you have actually worked with. Don’t fall in to the trap of sending out a mass message to people you don’t really know asking for recommendations as this will damage your reputation as no one will believe any other recommendation you have on your company page.
Linkedin Recommendations are the key to success, since no one is anonymous on Linkedin, recommendations are taken very seriously. If you can get everyone you’ve ever worked with to write a recommendation your profile page will look very impressive.
Post Status Updates Often
It’s important to provide status updates and I would recommend at least once a day, this is what I do. An update can be a link to a great article you read with some commentary from you about the article, or it can be something you wrote yourself. It can even be a question to help you with research on something you’re currently working, the secret is to get involved and post updates.
Don’t however put up unprofessional status updates about your kids, your spouse, your trip to the gym or anything personal. I would also advice against trying to actually sell, instead try to educate your audience, this is the approach I have found works the best.
Participate & Create Linkedin Groups
Join a few relevant groups and you can also create your own niche specific group. Then, be sure to participate often by answering questions, contributing to discussions, and being open and honest with the information you share freely within the groups. You don’t want to appear as if you’re spamming so make your participation count and leave off trying to constantly close sales, as I mentioned earlier try to educate and share the information you have freely and you’ll reap the rewards.
Consider joining groups that consist of your target audience and groups that consist of your competitors. You’ll end up with a well-rounded group of contacts that you can turn to when you need them. Remember to frame your sharing in each group based on what the group wants and needs. Always remember that it’s about them, not you (notice the theme here).
Advertising on Linkedin
Once you have a company page there are many things you can do, one of them is to advertise your company. Ensure that your profile is totally and completely filled out for best results with images, videos, and more before you start creating advertisements. Then, look under edit, and at the bottom you’ll see the option to create an advertisement.
Follow the prompts to create an advertisement within your budget. You can use text, text with images and even video advertisements. You can also super-focus the audience in which to target using the tools available while setting your own budget that works for your business.