LinkedIn: Another Great Way to Network
When Laura Adamson, CEO of Entrepreneur Marketing in Lancaster, first started her agency, she was too busy focusing on marketing her business rather than marketing herself.
Now Adamson admits that she should have created her LinkedIn profile on day one. As they say, hindsight is 20/20.
“LinkedIn has opened so many doors for my agency, and we have gained great clients and business from using LinkedIn,” she said.
Entrepreneur Marketing is a social media and Internet marketing company that helps businesses communicate and engage with their customers online.
With more than 450 million professionals using LinkedIn, Adamson says that it is a way to grow your business by posting relevant blogs, creating discussions in targeted group boards, and educating the public about your business.
LinkedIn groups are a great way to engage with others, particularly those with similar interests, Adamson said. It’s a way for one to interact and network with current professionals as well as with potential leads, which, in turn, expand your business contacts and broaden a network that may include suppliers, distributors, consultants, analysts, and funding sources.
Plus, every time you take part in a group discussion or even start a group, that participation links to your business’s LinkedIn profile page.
For instance, Adamson is active in LinkedIn groups that cater to her industry and takes part in discussions on topics of interest. That is one way she connects with others. But she uses a more personalized approach when a connection might be a potential lead or client for her agency.
“It all comes down to what your goals are for using LinkedIn,” she said. “Whether it is to find the perfect job, network with professionals within your industry, or generate a lead funnel for future opportunities, this will all depend on whom you want to connect with. Don’t just connect with anyone; connect with people who align with your goals.”
Whatever those goals are, Adamson advises there are three components required for a successful LinkedIn profile — the page that other users will see that tells them what they need to know about you and your company:
1. Headshot – Make sure your headshot is professional; no selfies. The first thing people see on your profile is your headshot, so make it inviting and also have it reflect you as a professional.
2. Experience – This is the main body content, so make sure you complete this section of your profile with current and past job experiences. Include three to five keywords that best describe you, your industry, and/or what you would like to be known for on LinkedIn. Using those keywords will help your profile show up when users search for your specific industry.
3. Endorsements – This is part of the profile page where you can list your skills and have people “endorse” you for these skills instantly. It’s a place for you to get creative as well as use skills that people are looking for.
Endorsements are very beneficial to your LinkedIn profile, so don’t just ignore this section. Having a strong endorsements section on your profile can also help your profile be seen by more people, and what they will see will be your specific skills and expertise.
“Everyone loves endorsements,” Adamson said. “They look great on your profile, and it’s also a nice way to get someone to notice you by endorsing them on their skills. I also like to endorse brand-new LinkedIn connections, especially if I see those connections valuable to my LinkedIn goals.”
Once you have your profile updated per Adamson’s recommendations, join some targeted groups and start weekly or monthly discussions to help educate members and make yourself known as an expert in your field.
While LinkedIn’s purposes include marketing and making those important connections, LinkedIn is a familiar place for many jobseekers looking for employment and companies looking to recruit experienced workers.
“Businesses use LinkedIn to recruit, and they also use this platform to post jobs,” Adamson said. “Currently there are 130,000 job postings on LinkedIn — which goes to show this platform is a perfect tool to use to find your next dream job.”
Not only are potential employees a click away on LinkedIn, so are former company employees who may turn into future clients, or a source of referrals, employees, or other business connections that could benefit your business.
There’s another plus to LinkedIn: The profile page and its content are fairly easy to revise and update — a task that could be accomplished by other members of your business team.
Simply put, LinkedIn creates another online presence for a business; it’s further proof that your company exists, is viable, and is active. Customers and investors (as well as competitors) can find out all about you and your company. And that’s a great thing. BW