Building an online business requires hard work and the ability to tap into the minds of your target audience. Knowing how to effectively market yourself and the brand you represent with tools such as LinkedIn is essential to truly experience success online. Using LinkedIn is not solely for job seekers. It is a powerful tool for savvy business owners to use to connect with others in their industry while spreading the word of their business products and services.
LinkedIn is not only appealing for those who are currently in the market for new jobs, but also for employers and recruiters who are seeking new hires for a position they have available. Understanding how to use LinkedIn marketing like a pro will drastically increase the number of connections and influence you have, regardless of the market or industry you represent.
The Marketing Power of LinkedIn
Although LinkedIn may not be as popular as its competitors Facebook and Instagram, it is still the most popular social networking platform specifically designed for professionals. At least 92% of Fortune 500 companies and INC 5000 Fastest Growing US Companies use LinkedIn for networking, recruiting, and hiring purposes. Did you know that the network currently has more than 300 million active users logging in each day to check for leads and to learn more about their current connections and online prospects?
Choosing to market with LinkedIn is highly recommended whether you are currently searching for qualified candidates to fill a role you have available or if you are looking to connect with others in your market and industry. Using LinkedIn is beneficial for both individuals and business owners alike, regardless of the niche market you represent or want to get involved in.
How to Use LinkedIn for Your Own Success
Using LinkedIn for your own success is possible by first familiarizing yourself with the platform and defining your wants and goals.
Consider why you are using LinkedIn and the type of users you intend to reach with your updates and promotions. What are the demographics of the audience you want to appeal to online? How do you intend to appear professional and attractive to users of LinkedIn who are otherwise unfamiliar with you as a professional or as an entrepreneur?
Some of the steps to take to get started immediately with your new LinkedIn account as a professional include:
- Create and Complete Your LinkedIn Profile: Filling out your LinkedIn profile is essential to maximize your online reach. Simply follow the on-screen guide that is made available immediately after registering your new LinkedIn account to complete the process.
- Streamline Your Profile’s Image: Upload a professional photo of yourself along with high-quality logos of your brand and other photos that are relevant to your business. Use a background image or color scheme that blends with your logo’s current scheme.
- Connect With Your Contacts: Spend time connecting with your contacts once you have your new LinkedIn account. Use LinkedIn’s contact wizard to connect with users manually or by linking your phone or social media contacts.
- Promote Your Official Website or Blog Using LinkedIn: Add your website’s official URL to your LinkedIn profile for additional exposure and to help with boosting SEO (search engine optimization).
- Join Communities and Groups That Are Relevant to Your Business: Join many LinkedIn communities and groups that are suitable for entrepreneurs, your brand and the type of information, products, or services you provide.
- Link Your Twitter Account: Link your Twitter account to drive additional traffic and new followers to your Twitter page each time you post an interesting and intriguing update on LinkedIn.
Advanced Tactics for LinkedIn Lead Generation
For those who are familiar with the basics of LinkedIn marketing and lead generation, there are additional advanced tactics to keep in mind. Some of the most notable and effective tactics used to promote businesses and individuals alike with the use of LinkedIn include:
- Search for Targeted Users and Prospective Customers: One of the best ways to take advantage of LinkedIn’s search platform is to search for new prospective followers and connections using targeted criteria. Search for users based on their age range, location, skill sets, and even specific interests.
- Build Up Your Current Email List: Use LinkedIn to not only connect with other professionals you already know or would like to get to know but also to build up and expand your current email subscriber list.
- Launch Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn: Use LinkedIn to launch sponsored updates, providing you with the opportunity to promote a post, product, or service to a set number of LinkedIn users depending on the budget you have available. Using sponsored updates is one way to implement A/B testing into the LinkedIn platform, providing you with valuable insight into the wants and needs of your current contacts and followers.
- Craft and Post Unique Content Consistently: Providing followers with unique and engaging content is imperative as an entrepreneur starting out for the first time or as a small business owner. Research unique topics that are not expounded on while searching the internet or traditional resources. Providing in-depth articles that are difficult to find anywhere else both online and off is a quick way to garner a following of users with a genuine interest in your business.
- Join and Launch Your Own Social Groups Using LinkedIn: Join and launch your own social or business groups using LinkedIn. Run your own groups to build connections with locals and other professionals who are most useful to the growth of your business.
Running your LinkedIn account as if you are a business tycoon is a great way to make new connections while establishing yourself as an entrepreneur or even as a local business owner in your area. Understanding the benefits that LinkedIn has to offer and how to make LinkedIn work best for you is essential whether you are promoting a small business or a mega-corporation.
With the right LinkedIn marketing strategy, you will establish yourself in less time while captivating the attention of not only customers, but also prospective associates, partners, and potential investors.
About the Author: Marsha Kelly
Marsha Kelly sold her first business for more than a million dollars. She has shared hard-won experiences as a successful serial entrepreneur on her Best4Businesses blog, where she also regularly posts business tips, ideas, and suggestions, as well as product reviews, for business readers. As a serial entrepreneur who has done “time” in corporate America, Marsha has learned what products and services really work well in business today. You can learn from her experiences to build your business.