The art of LinkedIn for business: The simple guide you need this year
Feel left out on LinkedIn? How to leverage your profile and business
Did you sign up for LinkedIn once, but you’ve never logged back in? Maybe you get the regular updates to your inbox, but between bewilderment at “who found you” this week and wondering what they were looking for when they did, perhaps you’ve lost sight of the actual reason LinkedIn exists? If so, you’re not alone.
Put simply, LinkedIn is the social media platform dedicated to professional development and business networking. It’s about making meaningful connections between all kinds of industry stakeholders, minus the questionable hórderves at awkward business networking nights. So, before another business opportunity passes by – it’s time to get to know a bit about LinkedIn and how to make this important tool for business start working for you.
LinkedIn is a versatile social network, capable of much more than meets the eye. Content tends to be of higher quality, and geared towards a more targeted audience. Users are engaged and looking for opportunities to grow and develop connections and ideas. So if you’re looking for an exciting new way to share your business story online, LinkedIn is the perfect place to start.
What can I use LinkedIn for?
You’ll see your personal page when you sign up and view your account. This is an excellent personal branding tool, and a great way to make a stellar first impression 24/7. You can start to make connections with others (based on shared or common contacts) which form your professional network. As you grow your network it becomes useful for things like gaining freelance work connections, building your customer base, connecting with potential partners, or simply keeping connections open with the view to pursue creative opportunities.
Just like Facebook, you’ll also have a timeline where you can create, view, like and share content, but with LinkedIn it’s less about funny cat videos and more about content that is relevant to your professional life or business. By creating and sharing content that is aligned with your business mission and goals, you can use this aspect of LinkedIn to position yourself as a person of influence; a reliable and trusted source of information.
Simple Tips for Your Individual LinkedIn Account:
- Keep your crazy profile photos for Facebook. High quality photos or professional headshots work best for your LinkedIn profile photo. Just like you wouldn’t wear your scruffy TV series-binging outfit to a job interview or client meeting, put your best foot forward when people interested in you and your business come looking.
- Utilise the customisable aspects of your profile page to make a statement. Using visual media will help set you apart and create eye-catching content that creates attention. Just like Facebook, you can customise your banner image / cover photo, so you can communicate something about your professional and personal brand by using these images intentionally. You can also connect YouTube videos, Powerpoint presentations, PDFs, infographics, header images for your published posts (as your last three appear in your profile), and just good old photos. Check out some examples of visuals here.
- Join groups: Engage with stakeholders while sharing high quality content at the same time.
- Spend just 15 minutes a day engaging with content relevant to you and your business, or allocate this to a staff member. With consistency, you will start gaining traction on the platform.
- Utilise the tools to publish your own blog posts. These posts appear in your profile and will start to build credibility as you position yourself as a leader in the field of your professional experience.
Using LinkedIn for Business
Now LinkedIn doesn’t just stop with individual users. It’s also a place where you can create a Company Page to represent your business, and start to profile your brand more intentionally. It’s a great way to inject personality and also distribute your business’s key messages farther afield.
Having a Company Page allows you to showcase your specialist services, and creates an opportunity to position your business as a leader in the field – building credibility and awareness. It also boosts search engine optimisation (SEO) for your business, as testimonials, recommendations, shared content, and meaningful engagement and connections create high quality traffic and backlinks to your page and your website.
Journalists use Company Pages to find talent as well, so if you’re looking to build your influence within your field, this is a great place to start laying the foundation.
Simple Tips for your Business:
- Maximise ROI: repurpose content for the LinkedIn platform. Most businesses or business professionals are likely to have at least one social media platform in use already, so you can add and populate your LinkedIn account with a small outlay, by tweaking content to suit your stakeholders and connections. There are lots of creative ways business can repurpose and reinvent your existing content for LinkedIn – with little additional time outlay.
- Post according to your target market. Consider what their pain points are, and provide content that enriches their lives. Content ideas include: blogs, articles, training, how-to guides, and video.
- Have a clear call to action (CTA). What is it you want people to do? Go to your website? Like or share? Comment? Watch a video? Make it plain.
- You can assign various types of Administrator Roles to your Company Page, which allow your business to ensure you’re getting the most out of LinkedIn. These roles have various functions from simply posting and editing, to sharing sponsored content to the news feed, downloading lead forms from campaigns, as well as creating and editing other landing pages that are associated with your business. Read more about LinkedIn Administrator Roles here.
- Create a Showcase Page: Showcase Pages are free extensions of your Company Page, designed for spotlighting a brand, business unit, or initiative. Create pages for aspects of your business that use distinct messaging and target specific audiences.
Wherever you’re at with LinkedIn, now is the perfect time to start. It’s easier than you might think, and it’s a surefire way to expand your business credibility.