Although a productive tool for any workplace, it is also ideal for home-based entrepreneurs, SME’s and freelancers who are wanting to build their business and stay connected to the outside world. Unlike other social media platforms, the number of connections is less important than the type of connections as LinkedIn is more about building strategic relationships. With over 575 million members across the globe using LinkedIn, it is one of the most influential social media networks and maybe you should be using it.
How does LinkedIn benefit business?
LinkedIn members not only use the site to keep in touch with business associates, clients and co-workers but also to boost their profiles, build brand awareness, credibility and a reputation. Here are some ways that LinkedIn can benefit your business:
- Create a Name for your Business
LinkedIn has a free option which allows you to list your professional profile of skills, expertise, see 100 profiles per search and save 3 searches. The paid options such as Premium Career, Business Plus and LinkedIn Learning allow you to see more information, more profiles per search and includes InMail credits to send mails to people you aren’t yet connected to. Your LinkedIn profile is like a CV or business card for you and essentially a marketing tool. That’s why it’s important to set it up in such a way that you attract like-minded and useful connections. Please ensure you have a professional photo as your profile.
- Reaching Businesses and Clients
LinkedIn makes finding vendors, suppliers and other third-party resources easy. Gone are the days of paging through a phone book or google searching. Now you can use this platform which is designed to connect people and companies with like interests. A well-managed LinkedIn site is a vital part of your business plan and a flagship for your brand. Staying active and keeping your site up to date helps to build the brand bit by bit, gaining trust from potential clients and shaping the brand image you are trying to create.
- Be a Groupie
Joining LinkedIn Groups is another way to meet people with similar professional interests, expand your network and take part in discussions with key people in key organisations.
- Get Creative with Content
LinkedIn allows you to post updates, images and links. You can also record and upload videos directly to the site. By keeping your business page content fresh, relevant and informative, this boosts your brand identity and encourages new connections. It is the ideal way to showcase what you and your service/product is all about.
- Lead Generation
The process of networking and making connections with relevant people and companies works to optimise your account profile. Building relationships and posting unique content that is brand focused assists in generating new leads that come about in an organic way as people find your company page and like what they see. Your connections can also write recommendations on your page and endorse skills that you have listed. These endorsements confirm your legitimacy and boost confidence in new connections.
The benefits of LinkedIn are almost endless. It is a great tool for meeting like-minded business professionals, sharing your brand content and identity, researching other organisations and gaining exposure and credibility.