LinkedIn was founded in 2003 and so is not a new social platform. However, to many business professionals, especially small business owners and entrepreneurs, LinkedIn is still “new” because it’s a different type of platform. Many have told me that they ‘get it’ with some of the other platforms, but are not quite comfortable with how to use LinkedIn.
One result of this is they have a LinkedIn profile but it does not say what they do and whom they serve. It’s not optimized.
Let’s take a look at LinkedIn in more depth. It’s the largest professional networking platform in the world and according to www.expandedramblings.com currently boasts over 347 million members with an average of 2 new members per second. In addition, there are 2.3 million professional groups on LinkedIn – groups that have members who may be your peers, Influencers, clients and customers, or potential clients and customers.
The Decision to Use LinkedIn in Your Small Business
Before you decide to use LinkedIn in your small business, it’s important that you consider some points. Why do you want to join a professional network? How do you want to position yourself so that your business and personal brands will be clearly reflected? Whom do you want to serve, how do you serve them, and how can you convey this effectively on LinkedIn? Is your business one that services or provides products only for your local area, or do you have a business that could benefit from exposure to members in approximately 200 countries, islands and territories?
Advantages of Using LinkedIn in Your Small Business
Connect with New Business Partners: Connections are made on LinkedIn daily which would not have been made otherwise. Because of group dynamics, you can introduce yourself to others or be introduced in a way that would have been challenging outside of LinkedIn. You’re able to bypass Gatekeepers in traditional business setting and get access to the other person directly.
Communication with your Audience: Once you become a member of LinkedIn you may find that many of your customers are already there. It also opens you to communicating with potential customers. This gives you the opportunity to share your message with both groups and build a relationship with them. LinkedIn also offers a number of tools that can help you to not only empower your audience, but allows them to share your content with others.
Hiring New Employees: If you have specific needs for new employees to fill, LinkedIn has powerful filters that make it easy to narrow your search down and find exactly the people who carry those set of skills, live in your area and are available to work.
Advantages of an Optimized LinkedIn Profile
- An optimized profile allows you to be found by those who are searching for your skills and a solution to the problems they have
- Customize your url so that you can promote your LinkedIn profile on your business card, in your email signature, etc.
- Give and receive recommendations and endorsements
- Find new connections and renew old ones
- Builds your business and personal brands.
These are but a few of the advantages of an optimized LinkedIn profile. Many people find that they do not have the time to revamp their profile or they’re not sure what to do, and so they need help from someone who knows what to do.
I have been teaching LinkedIn classes since 2012 and am offering a limited number of openings to get your profile optimized. If you’re not happy with the results you’re having on LinkedIn, you may want to take advantage of this special offer. Learn more at www.YvonneAJones.com/linkedoptimization.