How to Market Yourself and Your Company on LinkedIn
This article is an overview of LinkedIn and how you can use this social networking site to become known as "the expert" and to grow your business.
LinkedIn for businesses is a free and effective way to market yourself and your business to become known as “the expert“, to get sales leads and grow your business.
LinkedIn is a professional social networking site used primarily by business people for business reasons. It was created based on the concept of "six degrees of separation." You connect with people you know and then they may allow you to see their connections. On LinkedIn, you can connect with professional colleagues, meet new people, join groups and look for new business leads. They also sell advertising.
LinkedIn describes themselves this way, "LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 180 million members in over 200 countries and territories. The company has a diversified business model with revenues coming from member subscriptions, marketing solutions and talent solutions. LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions business enables marketers to reach the most affluent and influential audience on the web through display media and social media products."
The CEO of LinkedIn wrote a blog post on LinkedIn About the Future of LinkedIn and within his own blog post he added this very interesting comment...
LinkedIn is also becoming an influential content "curator". Aarticle, dubbed LinkedIn "the perfect morning newspaper." Most articles promoted on LinkedIn are tailored by industry so someone in the automotive industry is shown relevant articles than someone who is in real estate. Then there are general "Editor's Pick" articles which get the most views. Those stories have the ability to be seen by all 175 million members (plus the two new people signing up every second).
MarketingZone.com How-to Guides on LinkedIn to help you with marketing yourself and your business
MarketingZone How-to Guides:
LinkedIn Advertising How-to Guide - learn the pros, cautions, costs and how to do this effectively
LinkedIn Company Pages How-to Guide - learn about the pros and cautions (there are a lot of them) before setting up a company page
Tips from Small Business Owners About LinkedIn - We asked more than 100 small business owners what their experiences were with LinkedIn and to share what was working and what wasn't. Here's a summary of the findings along with the best tips and insights on how to use LinkedIn as a small business to get new business.
How to Use LinkedIn for Marketing
1. Stay connected with people you've met or worked with
As people change emails, change jobs, change positions, change names, move, they (generally) update their LinkedIn profile, so you'll have up-to-date information on how to contact them and they'll know how to contact you.
LinkedIn makes it easy to stay up-to-date with your connections. You can export your email connections to LinkedIn so you can invite them to connect on LinkedIn. LinkedIn's tool will also show you people who you may know. They make it easy to send people emails through LinkedIn (you check off who you want to send a message to).
There's also a way to export your LinkedIn connections and their contact information to create your own email list in Microsoft Outlook and other popular email services. At the bottom of the page of your connections, click "Export Connections".
Know this: You can get kicked off of LinkedIn.
2. Ask your connections for help, advice, introductions, connections...
You can send all your LinkedIn connections, or specific people who are connections of yours on LinkedIn, an email to tell them about something you're doing or to ask them for help or for a referral.
LinkedIn is especially helpful when you are hiring someone. Instead of contacting the three people they list as references (who will all say very nice things about them), you can instead do a little "detective work" to figure out what shared connections you have and then contact your connections (first or second degree) to ask them about the person you are considering hiring.
Best to phone people vs. email them to get for the most honest feedback.
3. Use LinkedIn as a tool for new business development and sales research
- How to Get Sales Leads Using LinkedIn - this 4 page how-to guide has specific and practical advice on how to generate new business and attract new clients and customers through using LinkedIn. This takes time but it's free.
4. Promote yourself as a personal brand and expert
Through endorsements and recommendations people make about you and showcasing your personal and work experience. Keep your contacts up-to-date with your accomplishments and activities through your status updates.
5. Generate website traffic and support your SEO efforts
Through links from LinkedIn to your website or blog. We'll explain how this works later in this article.
6. Increase the visibility of your business and brand
7. Create a Company Page on LinkedIn (it's free)
LinkedIn announced on October 6, 2011 that company's can add status updates to their Company Page. It's now working a lot like Facebook!
- LinkedIn Company Pages How-to Guide covers the pros and cautions (there are 14 of them) of setting up a Company Page for your business
8. Get job offers and find people to hire
If your profile is up-to-date, you can be found by recruiters who use LinkedIn extensively. You can use it yourself this way too for hiring. Post and distribute job listings to find the best people to hire as employees and freelancers.
9. Get Found! Get new business leads!
LinkedIn is now offering something called "Services". It's under development and in beta testing so not everything works perfectly yet but it's something to try (it's free!).
10. Accelerate your business networking
- LinkedIn is NOT a mass-market platform. It is intended to make it easy for members to identify key business contacts and establish one-to-one relationships with them. Instead of reaching a few million people, the vast majority of whom may not be interested in your service, LinkedIn allows members to target and reach individuals.
- It's primarily used by F500 companies and companies that sell to them. Many small business owners and partners don't find it as indispensable a tool as people from larger companies do. That could change if more small businesses start using it the way the large companies do.
- You can tell how valuable LinkedIn's tool is to someone by how many connections they have. If they have less than 50 connections, it's probably not used much or very valuable to them. If they have 200, it's a valuable tool to connect with their extended network. If they have thousands of connections, it's like their blog and they're not very "exclusive."
11. Use LinkedIn Mobile - LinkedIn has a mobile application. If you haven’t already
downloaded it to your smart phone, go to your app store and download it for
free. The LinkedIn mobile app is useful at a trade show or an event where you’re making one-on-one contacts. During a conversation with a prospect, ask them to turn on LinkedIn on their smart phone. Then, bump your phones together lightly. If they have their settings correct, then LinkedIn will transfer your contact information between phones using Bluetooth. No typing, no misspelled words -- just instant transfer of information. Pretty cool!
Next page - more about marketing yourself and your business on LinkedIn
See the last page of this article for a list of other professional networking sites...
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