5 Tips for Using LinkedIn to Help Grow Your Business
The beauty of social media is that it allows us to extend our network far beyond our physical location. We’re no longer limited to the people nearby.
As a business-to-business tool, LinkedIn is unmatched. 450 million of the world’s professionals and business leaders use it to connect, share ideas, and develop business opportunities. According to Content Marketing Institute, LinkedIn is the most effective social network for sales (63% of marketers report positive results).
Fill out your profile, adopt a professional demeanor, and then use these smart LinkedIn strategies to grow your business.
Speak with decision makers. If you have ever cold called a business, you know how frustrating that process can be. You get transferred around a bit, dropped into voicemail, and you’re never sure if you’ve reached someone who can make actual decisions.
Use LinkedIn to find the decision makers of a business. Many people publically display their contact information. If they don’t, ask for them by name when you call the business. This has a much higher chance of putting you in touch with someone who matters to you. If this still doesn’t work, you can always connect with them on LinkedIn itself.
LinkedIn’s search capabilities are more sophisticated than any other social network. You can add filters to your searches such as job role, industry, and company size. This allows you to put together a list of targeted potential business opportunities.
For instance, let’s say you sell payroll software designed for small businesses with less than ten employees, but only in your own state. You only want to speak to the owners of those companies, because there usually isn’t much middle-management at that size. With proper filters, you can search for those people exactly.
Become active on the network. Having a quality profile isn’t enough- although it’s EXTREMELY important! You have to be present on the social network if you expect to derive any value from it. If other users see that you haven’t posted, commented, or shared in a while, they won’t bother making a connection. This could cost you valuable opportunities.
The solution is take your social media presence seriously. Facebook and Pinterest are fun, but make LinkedIn part of your job. Set aside a little bit of time every day (not much, just five or ten minutes) to look for connections, share articles, images and videos you like, and comment on other people’s submissions.
Use groups to meet new people. A group is a collection of people around a common theme. You’ll find groups for just about everything, and multiple groups for each topic. Some are broad; others are specific. Some are public; others require permission. You don’t have be connected with anyone in the group.
Find three to five quality groups with lots of members. It should be a subject that relates to your business and something you know well. Contribute to this group often. Provide as much value as you can without selling. This will establish you as a thought-leader and expert in your field. Eventually people will clamor to connect with you.
Jump on those new leads. People connect on LinkedIn because they know one another professionally or they want to. If you are extended a connection from someone you don’t know, consider it a lead. This new person is seeking to create a relationship, so don’t waste the opportunity.
After accepting the connection, immediately send a private message – or InMail introducing yourself. If you receive a lot of connections, you can use a copy/paste response, but tailor it a bit so you don’t seem aloof. Ask some questions about the connection to find ways they could help grow your business.
Once you put these strategies in place, always remember to provide as much value as you can. Be a helpful person who’s generous with information. Eventually the connections and opportunities will come to you.
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