How to use LinkedIn for your business

LinkedIn is a valuable tool for connecting to professionals, building your personal brand, and growing your business. The key to using LinkedIn is having authentic interactions with your connections.

Making sure you have a strong LinkedIn profile will offer you a ton of benefits including:

  • Increased awareness and credibility of your experience, skills, and quality of work
  • Potential leads for new work, projects, and partnerships
  • Potential leads for prospective employees
  • Connections with journalists and their editors (90% are on LinkedIn)
  • Increased opportunity for search-engine optimization, which drives traffic to your website

GET STARTED WITH THESE 8 STEPS

Step 1: Complete your personal profile

  • Think of this as your online resume. Add an overview summary of who you are.
  • Add two or three details under each prior work experience, going back 10 years.
  • Write a headline for yourself that makes you stand out. Give people a sense of who you are and what you do.

Step 2: Complete your company profile

  • Create a page for your business as well. This is a portal you can use as an extension of your business website and brand.
  • Make sure to personalize your profile with a logo and a background image. This should match the key message of your business and your brand.
  • Write a company description that makes you stand out, again giving people a sense of who you are and what your company does.
  • Customize your LinkedIn URL so you can be found more easily. Use the URL on your e-mail signature, website, and sales materials.

Step 3: Strengthen your profile

  • Add any authored articles, presentations, and reports under Publications, or use the Slide Share app.
  • Add photos, videos, and images to display your work.
  • Add or revisit your skills list, making sure they are authentic and true to you.
  • Showcase your volunteer experience. What you do outside of work says a lot about you.
  • Use recommendations and endorsements. Ask previous clients, colleagues, and managers to provide you with a recommendation. These can speak volumes about the type of person you are and the type of business you run. In turn, make sure that you also provide your partners, vendors, and other industry connections with recommendations as well.

Step 4: Broaden your reach and connections

  • Connect with as many industry peers, clients, and previous colleagues as you can.
  • Endorse connections’ and colleagues’ relevant skills; provide recommendations.
  • Join relevant LinkedIn groups. Answer questions!
  • Check out who has viewed your profile. It’s like caller ID and is a great opportunity to reach out to people who viewed your profile.

Step 5: Take 15 minutes per week to invest in LinkedIn

  • Update your status at least once a week. Post insights you want to share with your prospects. Ideas include sharing your helpful blog article, trends, reports, upcoming events, or even presentations you’ve given that someone might fund helpful.
  • Make sure that when you do post, you tag people or companies you mention in your post. Do this by inserting @ into your status and selecting the person/company you want to tag. This increases the reach of your post.
  • Each week, post questions and respond to conversations on the discussion boards of your LinkedIn groups. This will help build your personal brand and enhance your businesses reputation.

Step 6: Find customers and partners.

  • Develop advanced and saved searches to allow you to quickly see who knows the people you want to know, so you can ask for introductions.
  • Follow organizations of interest to get updates from them.
  • Consider following your target customers’ business page. You’ll receive updates from LinkedIn about their latest activities and you can keep track of new hires and former employees.
  • Follow and research potential partners for your business. Think about who can help you make the connection to similar target audiences.

Step 7: Share valuable content

  • Start blogging! Blogs drive traffic to your business website and provide help to your prospects. You can use it to promote your business on all your social media profiles. Be sure that you are genuine and authentic, while also aligning with your company’s mission, vision, and voice.
  • Use visuals. Images, video, and podcasting are innovative tactics to use in your LinkedIn content strategy. Video is a rising format and will provide you with greater visibility.

Step 8: Measure and monitor

  • Make sure you use the valuable (and free) LinkedIn analytics to determine what posts and content are resonating with your audience. Use it to inform what you post and how to improve your clicks and views. You may even want to consider advertising once it proves to be a valuable tool for your business.

Have questions? We’re happy to help you get started!

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