LinkedIn is a powerful social networking site that will yield results if you take the time to engage with this community. Like the other online strategies we’ve discussed in this series of posts on how to grow your business online for FREE, LinkedIn can bring you repeat business and referral business if you work it right.
Understanding LinkedIn and Getting Started
LinkedIn, established in 2003, was one of the first social networking sites. Originally designed to connect professional peers, almost like an online rolodex of sorts, LinkedIn has grown to encompass more—a robust Q&A section, group memberships, advertising, job searches, status updates, and more.
To get started, you’ll need to visit http://www.linkedin.com/ to create a personal profile that mimics your resume. Understand that unlike Facebook or Twitter where you may reveal personal information and several pictures, LinkedIn is meant to be your professional front. When you are creating your profile, remember that an investor or potential customer could someday view what you share.
Once you have a personal profile on LinkedIn, visit http://www.linkedin.com/companies and select “Add a Company” (on the right) to create your business page. This page will not talk about you in detail, but rather, it will describe your business.
How LinkedIn Will Grow Your Business
Professional credibility – Prove to customers and prospects that you have what it takes to do the job right. Take the time to answer questions within the Q&A section to really set you apart.
Search engine presence – LinkedIn profiles and business pages come up at the top of search engine results pages, helping to manage your personal and business reputation online. LinkedIn also allows you to add links to your website(s), and every link helps. In fact, the search engine optimization benefits of creating a professional profile and business page on LinkedIn are reason enough to do it! Note: You need to set your profile settings to “public” in order to get the full search engine benefit.
Stay in touch with your peers – The best way to market your business is through relationships. LinkedIn allows you to stay in touch with your network in a non-obtrusive and “non-salesy” way. Foster your relationships, provide testimonials, and make it easy for others to refer you. A LinkedIn account will help you do all that.
Proof that LinkedIn WILL Grow Your Business
Yes, creating and maintaining your LinkedIn profiles may feel like more work you have to do, but it’s not a wasted effort. Smartly, LinkedIn has a page dedicated to LinkedIn success stories that prove it.
LinkedIn press proves it too. In a recent Fast Company article, it was reported that LinkedIn has more than 90 million users and earned $120.13 million in the first nine months of 2010. All this shows that LinkedIn is here to stay. It’s time for you to jump on board.
Lasso Up can give you more detailed advice or handle the job of creating your LinkedIn profiles for you. Contact Lasso Up to learn more.