If you're not utilizing LinkedIn to network, build and grow your brand, you're missing out on an essential resource. According to Hootsuite, in 2019, 30 million companies were on LinkedIn (and that number is constantly growing) '“ so why not yours?
For a technology software company like mine, LinkedIn has been a powerful tool for growing our personal and professional exposure. I'm creating this article to share a few nuggets of wisdom I've learned throughout years of experience. I am by no means an expert in this realm, but I'm consistently educating myself on how to grow a business successfully and the LinkedIn platform plays a huge role.
Build and strengthen your individual profile before you work on your company page
It's important to establish your individual credibility and personal brand on LinkedIn before creating a company page and promoting yourself as the owner, founder or CEO.
Creating connections, receiving endorsements, recommendations and posting articles indicates that you have experience and rapport in your given field. It establishes trust between yourself and your followers.
Actively participate within the LinkedIn community by engaging in discussions that are relevant to your industry. To find these topics, you can research trending hashtags and see what posts come up. Try and increase the engagement on your individual page by creating poll questions, sharing your thoughts on recent industry news, and sharing about yourself as an individual.
Network to create genuine connections and interdependent alliances with key players in your target market
Do not make the mistake of copy and pasting the same generic message to every prospect you'd like to connect with. Do your research first, as it only takes a few minutes to parse a LinkedIn page and find a topic worth discussion.
Here are a few points of reference that are great icebreakers:
There are numerous to break the ice and start a conversation. The goal when sending a first message should not be to get a new customer (that's way too far down the pipeline), but to focus on getting a response and beginning to build a meaningful connection.
Below is an example of an impressive message our marketing director, Jessica Wein, received. You see how RJ did his research on MaestroVision and mentioned Pitt as a point of reference?
Build and strengthen your LinkedIn business page (visibility comes before engagement)
Once you've established yourself as a professional with your individual profile, it's time to create your business page. Here are some tips for building brand exposure and followers:
Turn on Google Alerts for product-related keywords and business mentions and share those articles alongside your input and its relevance to your business.
For example, Milestone Systems created a poll to encourage followers to vote on what kind of content they're most interested in viewing on their page.
Use it as a hiring tool (if applicable)
According to LinkedIn, top recruiters are 60 percent more engaged with their recruiting tools versus average recruiters. We noticed a drastic increase in applicants when we sponsored a job posting on LinkedIn versus using Indeed.
With Indeed, we had approximately five applicants in total, but with LinkedIn, we had almost 40 applicants in total and scheduled a quarter of them for interviews. Even if you don't have the budget to promote it, post a job on LinkedIn and see how many high-quality applicants you get in a week's time '“ you may be surprised with the results.
Utilize Linkedin as a tool for personal growth and development
Linkedin Learning is a great tool for acquiring new skills and knowledge to make you a better entrepreneur. In addition to reading this article, research ways to leverage the platform to get the full benefits from it.
There are many resources out there to assist you with this, including: