LinkedIn is the world’s leading business networking site. It currently boasts over 100 million members from all parts of the world. Many business owners use LinkedIn to find the right vendors, expand their business globally or find leads.
The following are some tips for using the power of LinkedIn for business.
Complete your profile
Once you have opened a business account on LinkedIn, make sure you fill out your profile completely. Include your business name, location, contact details, industry, summary, headline, photo, past and current positions, and a few recommendations. After filling out all these details, make your profile public to allow everyone to see it.
The size of your network is very important. Find people or businesses in your industry and send them an invitation to connect with you. Work at consistently growing your network to increase your contacts. Keep in mind that your network depends on other people’s networks. When you connect with one person, your LinkedIn page will display names, businesses or photos of other ‘People You May Know’.
Promote your business
You could consider promoting your business by sending monthly or bi-monthly updates to your contacts. This could be a newsletter, notification about a new product or new about recent industry developments. This will enhance the chances of your name appearing in your contacts’ profile pages.
Ask for recommendations
Recommendations are very powerful for making your business appear credible. Ask some of the contacts who are familiar with your business to endorse you. This will help you win the trust of people who don’t know you.
Combine your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts
Combining your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts will ensure that your updates get posted on both networks simultaneously. To pair these accounts, click on ‘Manage your Twitter settings’ in the settings page.
Begin or join a LinkedIn group
To identify industry networks and associations which would interest you, all you need to do is search LinkedIn group directory. Alternatively, you could consider starting your own group and then inviting others to join. LinkedIn groups are an effective way of networking with others in your industry and getting referrals. In addition, you will be notified of industry events happening in your locality. This will give you an opportunity to connect with your prospective customers in person.
Get answers to difficult questions
Every business owner grapples with a wide range of difficult questions on a day to day basis. You can find answers to such questions by going to LinkedIn Answers and Groups. There are several answer categories which are specifically dedicated to business.
Display your expertise
You can display your expertise in the industry by answering questions asked by others. There are many LinkedIn forums where you can share your experience and knowledge. In addition, you can also share valuable blog content by providing links in your LinkedIn profile. This offers you a chance to pitch your business to potential customers.
Monitor your competition
Most businesses and companies have a profile on LinkedIn. These profiles can offer valuable information about your competition, such as recent hires, upcoming events and new products. Such insights will enable you to stay ahead of or at par with the competition.
Identify vendors to outsource services
At times, you might need to outsource services which you are not experienced in to other vendors. LinkedIn enables you to identify and evaluate suitable vendors in your network. In addition, you could also have a mutual referral arrangement where you trade services with the vendors.