LinkedIn. What? Why? How?

are-you-on-linkedin

If the answer is no, then you should be!

If this is the first time you have heard about LinkedIn, you may be wondering what on earth it is and how could it benefit you and your business? If so, then have a read of this post and hopefully it will answer both of those questions. So, without further ado…

What is LinkedIn?

The best way to describe LinkedIn would be to say that it’s like Facebook but only for professionals. It’s a social community for business people looking to network and build up their connections. It’s free to join and takes just a few minutes to create an account.

Why should I have a LinkedIn account?

Where should we start!

First and foremost, Sales opportunities. Now, you’d have to be crackers to turn down any free sales opportunities. However, before you go creating an account and start trying to hard sell your product/service all over LinkedIn, you need to be aware that you would be completely wasting your time. Sales opportunities will only come as a result of all of the other reasons listed below and you will only gain those benefits if you use LinkedIn wisely.

Relationship building. There probably isn’t a better platform out there for developing relationships with other businesses. Whether you’re a B2B or a B2C this social networking site can be hugely beneficial. For B2Cs, LinkedIn can help you to find other companies that you can work in partnership with to raise awareness of each other’s products/services. On the other hand, if you are a B2B then you have an opportunity to get noticed and build a level of trust between you and your target audience.

Brand awareness. LinkedIn has thousands of groups, most of which are made public. This means that you can join with just the click of a button. There tends to be groups for whatever industry you are in. So, whether you are an accountant, property manager, training provider or a self employed window cleaner, there is bound to be a group that you will fit into. This will then give you the opportunity to start discussions and have your opinion in discussions that are specifically relevant to you and your industry. Whilst this isn’t going to make your sales go through the roof, it will help you to get recognised.

Finally, something that a lot of people don’t think about when they first join LinkedIn, is that it is also a brilliant way to increase traffic into your website. Now this is a post for another time, but it’s always good to put content up on your website on a regular basis. So, every time you put up a post, whether it’s a case study or something that’s been in the news that affects your industry, get it shared on LinkedIn as well. In fact, just get it shared everywhere! For every person that clicks through to your website from your post on LinkedIn, that’s one potential lead. Even if they themselves aren’t directly interested in your product/service, that doesn’t mean to say that they don’t have a friend or work colleague that they know may be interested in what you have to offer.

How do I get started on LinkedIn?

As I mentioned above, it does only take a few minutes to get registered onto the social networking site. You can create an account here.

Whilst it is quick and easy getting an account set up, at the beginning, you will need to devote a good chunk of time to building a strong profile for yourself. This is very important, because unlike Facebook where every post would come from your company profile, on LinkedIn it will be your personal profile that will be linked with every discussion you start and join in on. You will only be able to post as your company on your company page. That will be the next thing you will need to get set up after your personal profile.

Anyway, what we’re trying to say is… get you and your company on LinkedIn now!