How to Use LinkedIn for Your Small Business
Small Business Marketing Strategy Using LinkedIn
This step-by-step guide will teach owners and managers of small businesses how to utilize networking in LinkedIn for marketing purposes. This guide will take you through creating a profile and implementing a basic marketing strategy that will help you to produce new leads and new business!
Setting Up a LinkedIn Profile
Creating a new LinkedIn profile is easy. You’ll be connecting with colleagues and making new connections in no time.
Creating a Profile
Follow the steps below to create your LinkedIn profile.
- Go to https://www.linkedin.com/
- Enter your First Name, Last Name, E-mail Address and a Password and click the Join Now button.
- You will then be taken through several pages to collect information about you. This will include providing your location, current employment information, and providing an e-mail address. If you have a Google, Yahoo, or Hotmail e-mail account, or use the Outlook e-mail client, LinkedIn will ask to have access to your contact list. It will check your contact list to identify who is already on LinkedIn and make adding these contacts to your profile quick-and-easy. You can also invite contacts who don’t already have accounts on LinkedIn.
Once your profile is created, really spend some time to fill out all of your profile data. LinkedIn also has a Help Center for new users. The Help Center has a lot of useful material to help you to get your profile started and use LinkedIn effectively.
There are a few options for adding contacts (known as Connections) to your LinkedIn profile.
- Import contacts from your e-mail’s contact list/address book. If you have multiple e-mails, try this method on each to quickly add people in your contact lists to your Connections in LinkedIn. You can also invite contacts to join LinkedIn if they don’t already have an account.
- Upload a contact list as a CSV or Excel file.
- Search LinkedIn for contacts by name or enter e-mail addresses manually.
Networking on LinkedIn
One of the best features of LinkedIn is the ability to view other people’s contact lists. When you see contacts you are interested in you can request to be introduced to them. This is a great tool for building your network! Most people on LinkedIn are there to network, and like you, are interested in building more contacts. So don’t be afraid to connect with new people. Just make sure you follow the rules of networking since the same rules apply online as offline!
Joining a group on LinkedIn is a great way to network, find industry partners and expose yourself to potential new customers. Look for groups that are specific to your industry and local area, as well as groups that appeal to your target market. Get involved in the conversation and become a regular contributor. Make contributing to the group part of your online communication plan! The more involved you are and the higher quality your contributions, the more you will stand out in the group. Getting noticed will allow you to build your reputation, number of followers and your business.
Creating a Group
Creating your own group is very easy to do in LinkedIn and can have many benefits. For example, you could be the first to create a group for your company’s area of expertise; helping to validate that you are a subject matter expert.
To create a group:
- In the LinkedIn menu bar, select Interests->Groups
- Click the Create a Group button. Provide all of the information requested to make your group easy to find.
- Once the group is created, invite contacts you think would be interested in joining.
LinkedIn Article Sharing Tips
Don’t forget to use LinkedIn as a way to keep followers up-to-date on news about your business. Either post snippets from your newsletter or notify people of new blog posts on your website. Don’t just add a link to your website though. Make sure you add an introductory paragraph explaining what the article is and why members of the groups would want to read it. This is a great way to turn LinkedIn followers into web traffic!
LinkedIn Professional Account?
All of the above is possible with the free basic account. If you are interested in seeing what a paid membership gives you, check out the features for the Premium Account: