The social network for professionals we all love to hate isn’t the tired old site it once was. LinkedIn offers more than daily email spam to your connections and a digital resume. It’s a platform that offers genuine relationship-building and industry insights if you let it.
As a small business professional, relationships both with other small business owners and clients are key to your success. In today’s digital age, those relationships need to keep growing, even after you shake hands and part ways. Staying connected online is a must these days and LinkedIn has you covered. Here are five tips to make the most of LinkedIn for the small business professional.
1. Recommend and get recommended
You may have heard this one before as 86% of US consumers are influenced by recommendations. The most beneficial tip for any LinkedIn user is to use the platform’s recommendations feature. For small business professionals, this is a no-brainer. Reaching out to any professional contact, client, or partner to receive kind words about your products or services makes you stand out from the competition.
If they scratch your back, you should be back-scratching as well. Return the favor by providing positive feedback for your own connections. Not only does it direct readers back to your profile to learn more about your relationship, it boosts your credibility as a real person in the online world.
2. Post updates about your company
Nobody is a better spokesperson for your work than you. Since you’re not at a whopping corporation, getting the word out about your business becomes part of your job description. Share wins, struggles, and snippets from your personal story. As a small business professional, connecting with your audience through shared experiences builds trust and lets your readers see you as a personable leader in your industry.
3. Niche down your profile
Working with a small team may also mean you bring a large amount of varied experience from prior jobs. That’s terrific for your position, but confusing for clients to see. Sift through your skills and experience on your profile and list only the skills that pertain to your current work. This ensures your profile only shows in related searches and not random results from a summer job. It also clarifies your message and, though you’ll have fewer items listed, presents a more impressive and cohesive picture of your expertise.
4. Interact on your company page
Many businesses on LinkedIn have an entire page dedicated to that company. You may have already visited that page when you added the company to your experience. What some users don’t know is that updates, posts, and interactions are all available on the company page in addition to your own profile. Check out your company’s page and add some insight into your day-to-day work life. You get to share these stories and articles directly with folks already interested in your company while boosting your visibility and credibility on LinkedIn.
5. Engage with related LinkedIn groups
As you begin to interact more on LinkedIn, you’ll notice categories displayed when you search for different items. One of those categories is Groups. LinkedIn groups are invaluable as a small business professional. And luckily, there are already groups out there created specifically for your niche. When you find a few to join, be sure to share a quick intro, goal (like meeting other locals in your industry), and cheery thanks to the creators and moderators. Groups put you smack dab in the middle of live conversations around your niche. They offer a space for you to ask questions directly to those who have been there and done that, as well as give advice to those seeking help.
Groups put you smack dab in the middle of live conversations around your niche. They offer a space for you to ask questions directly to those who have been there and done that, as well as give advice to those seeking help. Get inside those LinkedIn groups, make yourself and your business known, and grow like you’ve never grown before.