Guide to using LinkedIn for Business
With over 300 million and counting active users on LinkedIn it is difficult to ignore the power of the world’s largest professional social network. From finding jobs to expanding your network of contacts, LinkedIn presents countless opportunities to business people.
Lot’s of people are members on LinkedIn but they don’t have a complete understanding of the true capabilities of the platform and how they can best use it to serve their business objectives. So here is a post to teach you EXACTLY how you can use LinkedIn for business and get the most out of the platform.
Get your profile right
The most important part of your LinkedIn experience is your profile. It’s the shop window of who you are and what you do.
A strong profile is fully optimised for search (both on LinkedIn and via search engines) and clearly highlights your current and previous experience.
Your headline summarises you in a few words. Some people choose to put their job title in here, but as this is the first thing people will see in search results and when they land on your profile it’s good to be a bit more creative.
For example, if you are a freelance marketing consultant you could use this space to make your initial sales pitch. Something along the lines of “I help businesses just like yours to exceed expectations”
This is a quick and easy way to summarise your interests, experience and key skills. The goal here is to give the reader an insight into exactly who you are from just a few short sentences.
It’s easier said than done but it’s worth taking time on this section to ensure that you properly sell yourself. People in employment might use this space to talk about their job role whereas business owners might choose to focus more on what their business offers. The choice is yours.
Your experience is the meat of your profile. Just like on your CV you want to include the companies you worked for, job titles and what you did in each role. The key here is to summarise and not write an essay. Nobody wants to read through paragraphs that seem more like a wall of words.
Remember to get job titles and company names correct to ensure that your profile has maximum visibility within relevant search results.
Making the right connections
Now that your profile is complete you’ll want to start thinking about adding connections and expanding your network of contacts.
Searching for connections
Before you go off searching for the Managing Director of Coca-Cola and asking them to work with you there’s a bit of groundwork that we need to do.
Start off by searching for people on LinkedIn that you already know. These could be previous colleagues, friends from school or even your next-door neighbours.
Once you have added some friendly connections you can then start to search for people that you that you would like to get to know on a business level.
The beauty of having already added people you know is that as you search for new connections LinkedIn will tell you if you have any connections in common. It could just be that one of your friends from school knows the Managing Director of Coca-Cola and they will be able to introduce you. That is far better than just randomly adding someone and hoping for the best.
LinkedIn has countless groups where you can communicate with like-minded individuals – this also presents a fantastic opportunity to expand your network of contacts.
Search for some groups that you have an interest in, join them and start interacting. You’ll probably learn a thing or two and you might just find your next client! As you build your network of connections and start interacting you’ll find that you are able to generate a strong number of leads.
Success on LinkedIn isn’t achieved overnight. You’ll need to ensure that you have patience and develop a strong profile. Everything stems from your profile so if it isn’t up to scratch you are already putting yourself at a disadvantage.