6 Ways LinkedIn Can Help Grow Your Business
LinkedIn is often overlooked by business in favor of traditional social media platforms. Today, we’re giving you a glimpse at 6 ways LinkedIn can successfully grow your business. Let’s get started!
No, not for gold. Clients!
The sheer volume of leads that are available on LinkedIn are one of its many benefits, but it can also be a drawback if you let it. After only a few minutes of browsing profiles, you can connect with dozens of potential customers.
Connecting to the right potential customers is the trick. In this way, maybe there is a connection to be made between looking for business leads and panning for gold. Much like the prospectors of 1849, you have to sift through lots of rocks and sand to get to the thing you desire: new customers.
The key to finding the right prospect is carefully reading each individuals’ profiles. What field do they work in? How much influence do they have at their company? What are their personal and professional interests? If something in a profile looks like it aligns with your company and its goals, that’s probably a good indicator for you to connect and start a conversation.
Connecting seems pretty basic, and it is; but it is crucial to both your growth on LinkedIn and your business as whole. The more meaningful connections you have, the easier it is for prospects to see that you are worth their time.
Even on a platform like LinkedIn, it can be easy to be lost in the crowd. Besides forming meaningful connections, the most important thing you can do to establish yourself on LinkedIn is to post, and post regularly. Why? Because of the fact that if you post more, you are creating more opportunities to be discovered.
When we say post, we don’t mean filling your feed nonchalantly with things like your results from your Hogwarts House quiz (unless your target audience really cares about that). Posting on LinkedIn should be intentional and more professional than other platforms.
So, what should you post? As we always emphasize, share content that your audience cares about, not simply your product or service. Find out what your target audience wants to consume online, find that relevant content and share it with them on your personal feed. Our product, Soundboard, streamlines this content-sharing process into a few simple clicks, while still targeting your audience’s interests every day (a shameless plug, we know).
Regardless, if you share 3rd party content, you will receive a much better response than pushing your sales pitch.
Remember when we said LinkedIn was a professional environment? That’s especially true when it comes to your personal profile. Very few users take the time to click on your profile, but you want the ones that do to be impressed with what they see.
Your page’s bio should quickly describe who you are, what you do and what value you and your company offers to potential consumers. A huge wall of text will cause viewers to click away; not enough text and they will think you are unprofessional. Find the happy medium: a good rule of thumb is at or below 100 words.
The rest of your profile should be seen as an exhibition of your personal background and skills (work experience, proficiencies, etc) and a promotional opportunity for your business. Again, not an blatant ad with price points, but a general overview of your company’s values and specialty.
If your profile is set up strategically, more users will connect with you. That means more conversations happen, which in turn means that you have more chances to build relationships with content and turn a prospect into a paying customer.
4. Direct Messaging
After you have connected with a prospect, do some more research on them. Find information about their personal and professional interests. It could be anything from a hobby like sailing to the more practical, like an article they have published related to their company’s industry. The important thing is to collect information that they will respond well to.
Once you have your “in”, send a personalized message or an article based on the prospect’s interest. This starts a conversation, a concept that many businesses ignore in favor of a straightforward sales pitch.
Don’t get us wrong, there is a definite need for a sales pitch – but a LinkedIn direct message conversation is just not the place or time for one. The direct messaging phase is a time to impress the prospect by showing them you care about their interests and concerns.
Then, after you have built a rapport with them, ask for a phone or Skype call to discuss how you could help the prospect achieve their business goals.
A simple yet practical way to keep you relevant to prospects is to leave comments on their LinkedIn posts. Commenting is a subtle reminder that says, “Hey, I exist, and I think what you shared is cool.”
When done properly, commenting on people’s LinkedIn can keep you in conversation with potential customers. When done poorly, commenting can seem almost stalker-ish. Imagine if everything you posted had a comment from the same person saying almost the same thing. It would be annoying, if not slightly off putting.
A key to good commenting is being selective. Not every post deserves a thoughtful comment. If it is something big, like a job change or an article they published, a comment is probably appropriate. But other posts with less personal significance to the prospect might only warrant a like.
Sincerity also goes a long way. You could simply say something like, “nice post,” but doesn’t it sound better when you actually include details from the original post itself? This shows that you actually read the post and cared enough to respond meaningfully (aka, winning brownie points with the prospect).
Comments often don’t lead directly to a sale, but they do maintain a relationship that could one day turn into a sale. The little things add up.
6. Business Oriented
We’ve already touched on LinkedIn being a professional platform. Some think of LinkedIn as simply a resume-building site, but in reality it is much more than that. It is an online community of professionals and businesses operating within the context of social media.
Looking at it in this way, LinkedIn cannot afford to be ignored by any business owner that wants to be successful. Identifying leads and potential partners is easy on LinkedIn because the website is designed to cater to people looking to grow in their profession. It is an extremely useful platform for anybody looking to expand their business interests.
LinkedIn is just as important to your social media outreach as Facebook or Twitter, and maybe even more so, since it creates an environment that encourages building leads. If you are interested in taking full advantage of LinkedIn’s features, consider upgrading to their premium options like Premium Business or Sales Navigator.
If you are interested in learning more about how Soundboard can grow your business with fresh content to create meaningful conversations with prospects, click here.