How to Use LinkedIn to Grow your Small Business

Chances are you’ve already set up a LinkedIn Profile.  You connected with some people you have in your network and then, likely, have just left your page laying dormant on the site.  Using LinkedIn to promote yourself and your small business can be very beneficial and even lucrative.   When used properly, LinkedIn can help you gain leads, generate real business, meet others in your industry, and create a forum for collaboration with like-minded business people.

 

Here are some tips to help you utilize LinkedIn to grow your business:

 

 

Complete your personal profile.

Half of the profiles on LinkedIn are no complete.  That means they are not showing up on a LinkedIn search and should someone actually find your profile it will look incomplete as will your products, services and credibility.

 

It is essential to list your past work experience; include any major projects or successes, and education.  You want to look like the well-rounded, well educated, industry expert that you are!  To show up on more LinkedIn, and even Google, searches try to incorporate a mix of relevant keywords people might search for regarding your industry in your profile.

 

LinkedIn will automatically generate recommended skills to include when you type in your professional categories.  Use these words as LinkedIn changes them frequently according to what is trending online in that industry and having them in your profile can be beneficial.

 

Create a Company Page.

Where your professional and personal page can be about your skills and experience, your company page is your opportunity to showcase your products and services.  Include relevant keywords or phrases in your company description to optimize your LinkedIn and other search engine results. 

 

Include as many products or services that you can, make sure the proper contact information is on your page and that it’s well decorated with a professional profile picture and header image.

 

Make regular posts with your Company Page.

Keep your LinkedIn Company Page alive and active by regularly updating your status.  This is not as time consuming as you think.  You can updated it with what is currently happening in your company or industry, link to interesting articles and use other content to generate more ‘likes’ and followers of your content. 

 

If you get more engagement with your updates, even your 2nd and 3rd connections (followers of followers) will start to see it on their networks.

 

Join in conversations, groups and share ideas!

LinkedIn is full of industry specific groups.  From creative writers to web designers, safety advisors to silk screen producers, HR consultants, book keepers, child care providers and more!  This gives you an opportunity to share ideas and to network with like-minded people.

 

To find a group access the Groups Directory through the “Network” link on the top of your LinkedIn homepage.  Select “Groups” and you will be brought to a page that will allow you to search for specific group categories.

 

You can even start your own group and specifically aim it to attract customers.  Being the leader of a group can help you become a leader on LinkedIn within your location in your area of expertise.

 

Request recommendations from employees and customers.

LinkedIn has a function that allows others to give a recommendation to your Company Page.  Ask your employees and your best customers to take the time to recommend you.  These are like referrals, and word of mouth marketing is still the most effective.

 

Getting started!

Being active on LinkedIn will help your business expand its network, generate new contacts and leads, improve your credibility and search engine optimization. 

Need more help? 

 

LinkedIn offers free training webinars through the help centre.  Click here to learn more!