Finding new and innovative ways to grow your business and reach your ideal customers and clients can be quite a challenge. With all of the noise out there on the internet, it can feel like you’re yelling into an empty tunnel and no one is hearing what you have to say.
LinkedIn is one of the best places to connect online with professionals in a wide range of industries. The platform has more than 722 million users in over 200 countries. LinkedIn has 310 million monthly active users, and two new users join the platform per second.
LinkedIn has several features you can leverage to grow your business by increasing your visibility, connecting with and getting to know potential clients, and showcasing your products and services. Elevate your business on LinkedIn by following these strategies:
1. Optimize your profile to enhance visibility. One of the first things to focus on for LinkedIn is optimizing your profile by making sure each section is thoroughly filled out. When it’s only partially complete, people are more likely to click away and move on to the next profile. However, when they see all of your information filled out, especially in your About, Experience, Skills & endorsements, Accomplishments, and Contact info sections, they will be more likely to stay on your profile and potentially reach out to you if they are looking for the types of products or services you offer.
If someone is searching for you or your business on Google or another search engine, your profile will likely appear in the search results. That’s why it’s especially critical to thoroughly fill out your profile in order to present yourself in a positive manner.
A professional profile photo is another important component of your LinkedIn profile. It’s best to add a photo of yourself instead of your business’s logo or a photo of yourself with other people. This space should be used to show the face behind your business, so make sure you’re using a photo that depicts your personality and professionalism.
Throughout each section of your profile, be sure to include keywords related to your services and industry. This increases the chances of your profile appearing in LinkedIn search results when a potential client is searching for those particular keywords. For example, if you are a social media manager, consider including keywords like “social media management” and “social media marketing” throughout the sections of your profile. Your headline under your name at the top of your profile is a particularly good place to include these keywords.
Your background photo, which appears at the top of your profile, is another excellent space to maximize on your LinkedIn profile. Consider creating a background photo with a design tool like Canva with pre-sized templates for LinkedIn, and include your social media handles and website on the image.
2. Take advantage of the free LinkedIn Premium trial. LinkedIn allows you to test drive one of its Premium plans, which give you access to more robust features, for a month. The platform offers a handful of paid solutions, including its Premium Career, Premium Business, Sales Navigator Pro, and Recruiter Lite plans. This is a great way to get a feel for the features of the Premium plan to determine if it’s something you would like to use long term. I recommend small business owners try the Premium Business plan because it allows you to browse more profiles up to your 3rd-degree connections and gives you 15 InMail messages per month to send to professionals you aren’t connected with.
If you decide you don’t want to continue using the Premium plan, it’s easy to cancel before your trial has finished, and you can avoid having your credit card charged. All you have to do is click ‘Access My Premium’ underneath the ‘Me’ section in the menu at the top right of the page. On the next page, click the ‘Manage Premium account’ drop-down arrow that appears on the right-hand side of the page. Then click ‘Cancel subscription.’
3. Focus on expanding your LinkedIn network with quality connections. Some people avoid connecting with people they don’t know on LinkedIn and only accept connection requests from professionals they’ve worked with. However, this prevents you from being able to expand your network with potential clients.
Use LinkedIn’s search function to find professionals in the niches you serve and send them connection requests. Instead of simply sending the default connection request message that LinkedIn provides, take the time to craft short and sweet personalized messages that will make them more likely to accept your connection requests.
4. Consistently share content with your audience. LinkedIn isn’t simply a place to display your professional skills and experience. It’s also an excellent social media platform to post quality content and serve as a thought leader in your industry. Take the time to develop and share interesting and relevant posts that demonstrate that you’re an expert in your field. Article links, industry insights, and case studies are just a few of the content pieces you can post on LinkedIn to capture your audience’s attention. Share this content on both your LinkedIn profile and Company Page to expand your reach and make a bigger impact with your posts. Make sure you’re using relevant hashtags to increase the chances of your content being seen.
In addition to posts that appear in your connections’ news feeds, LinkedIn also allows you to write articles, which is a great way to gain visibility for your brand. Articles give you a platform to showcase your expertise to your audience in more depth than the posts on your connections’ news feeds. If you write blog posts for your website, LinkedIn is a good place to repost them. Just make sure to use canonical tags on your website to tell Google to index the blog post on your site, and link back to the blog on your site at the bottom of your LinkedIn article.
Your posts and articles also appear under your LinkedIn profile, so people who view your profile will see that you’re active on the platform when you take the time to consistently publish content.
LinkedIn rolled out its new Stories feature to all users at the end of September 2020. This is another content tool you can use to reach and engage with your connections. LinkedIn Stories are similar to Instagram and Facebook Stories, where you can share an image or video that disappears in 24 hours. LinkedIn allows you to share Stories from both your profile and Company Page via the mobile app. Posting Story content like quick tips, client testimonials, and a peek behind the scenes in your business can help you leverage this tool in a way that draws your audience to your brand and helps them get to know, like, and trust you.
5. Regularly engage with other LinkedIn users. Some people simply post on LinkedIn, forget about their posts, and don’t check back to see if anyone has commented on them. This is a great way to turn off your audience by demonstrating that you don’t really care about them. Avoid doing this by regularly checking back on your posts to maintain a reliable level of engagement with your connections.
Also, don’t just publish your own posts. Take the time to interact with your connections’ posts by reacting to and commenting on them. A good way to tackle this is by taking advantage of a few extra moments you have, such as waiting in line at the grocery store or waiting to pick up your kids at school. A reaction and a comment here and there can go a long way on LinkedIn!
Using LinkedIn’s messaging feature is another way to interact with people in your network. Consider sending messages to professionals who could be potential customers or clients to ask them how you can be of service to them. Avoid coming off as spammy and trying to sell your products and services directly in the messages that you’re sending. Instead, use LinkedIn messages as a place to learn more about the professionals you connect with and develop strong business relationships. You never know when a connection that you’ve been building could turn into a lucrative contract for your business!
These engagement activities will help you build stronger relationships with your connections, and therefore, open up your business to more opportunities, including new customers and clients.
When you spend the time to develop a consistent strategy for using LinkedIn, the platform can be gold for your company. Take your business-generating efforts to new heights by leveraging the wide variety of features that LinkedIn has to offer. Focusing on the platform is an excellent way to gain more visibility for your brand, connect with potential clients, and build a community that knows, likes, and trusts you.
Owner/Digital Marketing Strategist
Radiant Digital Solutions LLC
Jaclyn Baldovin is the owner of Radiant Digital Solutions LLC, a company dedicated to helping businesses leverage digital tools, like social media, email and blogging, to grow their businesses online. She offers online marketing services, including social media management, email marketing setup and implementation, and blog and website copywriting. Jaclyn has presented several workshops and webinars on social media marketing for the Specialized Information Publishers Association (SIPA), Business Management Daily and the Prince George’s County Connections business group. She is also the winner of three SIPAwards on social media. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication with a concentration in Journalism