LinkedIn isn’t just for big companies, recruiters, and job seekers. LinkedIn is also a great place for business owners to form partnerships, find subcontractors, and get more business.
Maybe you’ve decided LinkedIn just isn’t for you or your business: you don’t like it personally, you don’t ‘get it’, and it just seems like another way to waste time.
Even if you aren’t loving LinkedIn, a LOT of other people are. And they’re getting business from it. I get business from LinkedIn regularly, and I don’t do business with someone unless they’re on LinkedIn. Being on LinkedIn is kind of like having a business address or a business card: if you don’t have it, then it’s hard for people to take you seriously.
So let’s take a look at 3 things you can do that are painless, quick, and likely to help your business.
Your LinkedIn Personal Profile
1. On your LinkedIn personal profile, edit your title next to your photo to say exactly what you do and why you’re great– in 5 words or less – as a title. This is where you want to include both words that are commonly searched on LinkedIn AND differentiating words. For example, if you’re offering leadership workshops but your differentiator is that you’re focused on the franchise world, then you want to have a title like: Leadership and Team Development for Franchise Success. Or if you’re offering accounting and tax services specializing in medical practices: 10 Year Specialist in Medical Accounting and Tax Services.
The choice you need to make, aside from choosing your differentiator that pertains to being found on LinkedIn, is which order to put your title in: your specialty first, your business focus, your geographic area, your credential, or something else. The best order is the one that seems the most natural in your field and one that people would most likely be searching for. Imagine your favorite client finding you on LinkedIn – what would they put into the search field to get you?
(NOTE: If you don’t have a personal profile, then get in gear and put it together – include the last 10 years or so of work you’ve done and definitely add a headshot photo of you.)
Your LinkedIn Company Page
2. Your business company page needs to have a great cover photo AND a good description so people know exactly what your business does and how to reach you. Pick a photo 646px by 220px – you can use a tool like www.Canva.com for this. Add a call to action or a defining tag line to the photo so people can know at a glance what’s great about your business.
Then make sure your business description on the company page is complete. Include the services you offer, the results you help people get, how they can do business with you, and an invitation to call or visit your website to learn more. You’re going to connect this business company page with your personal profile, so make sure it can really work for you.
Add keywords in your company description AND into the keywords fields LinkedIn offers. Use words people would use in searching for your type of business. Add as many as you can.
(NOTE: If you don't have a company page, make one. It's important: for visibility, for search, for credibility. Just do it.)
Your Business on Your Personal Profile
3. Add your business as your current job on your personal profile. And when you describe your current job, put a description of what your business does right there! And it can be the same or an abbreviation of what you’ve put on your business company page. When you add this on your personal profile, you’ve got a much better chance of having people read it and understand your business without requiring them to click through to the business page.
However, part 2 of putting your business on your personal profile is to CONNECT them. You do this what you add the name of your business to the position description in the experience section. In the space for Company Name, start typing in EXACTLY what you put into the name field for your LinkedIn business Company page (#1 above). Type slowly so that LinkedIn can offer up to you some choices that match the letters you’re typing in – until you see the company page listing you just created come up – then click on that to choose it. That will connect this job and experience entry directly to your company page.
Now when you save your personal profile and look at the public version of it, hover over your business name in the experience section – the popup should be a small version of your company page listing! Voila! You are connected.
This is a start
These 3 improvements will go a long way towards creating your LinkedIn success. Of course, there are so many more actions you can take, but let’s not get overwhelmed. The basics are enough unless you’re going to invest some time each week on LinkedIn. When and if you’re ever ready to do that, take some time to learn about groups, posting, sharing, liking, endorsements, recommendations, discussions, and optimization of your profile and company page.
In the meantime, you now have a professional presence that can start getting your business some visibility and credibility. Remember to ask your professional contacts and customers to follow your business on LinkedIn and connect with you personally there as well.
You can post a new message in the Community or find us on Twitter Mon-Fri 8am-8pm ET, Sat 10am-8pm ET, & Sun 10am-6pm ET. We've got real people waiting to help you out. Click below to start a conversation!