6 Ways Small Businesses Can Succeed Using Linked-In.

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Overview of Linked-In’s ‘Timeless Guide To Small Business Success’.

 

My company, ActionCOACHMN, joined Linked-In just a few months ago and I have to say I am impressed by all the ways it can be used to market small businesses.

As a former small business owner myself, I have to say I was skeptical as to how Linked-In could work for my small B2C business. Now as the local marketing director for ActionCOACH, the worlds #1 business coaching firm, I can see how it is good for both B2C and B2B companies.

Here are some quick tips on how to leverage Linked-In to market your small business. This is a brief overview of Linked-In’s ‘Timeless Guide To Small Business Success’, which is a series of 6 two minute videos that I found to be quite entertaining.

#1: Posting A Public Profile
The benefit of having a public profile outside your web page is that with Linked-In you are instantly connected to a large network of people. To do this:

  • Create a Personal Profile for yourself and invite all your current customers and reconnect with past connections that are on Linked-In to form your network.
  • If you currently have a website you can create a Company Profile to display more information about your products, services, events and job openings.

#2: Connecting With Customers
This of course is the basis of why any business exists. To do this through Linked-In you can:

  • Post updates about your business with your Linked-In Profile that can be seen by anyone in your network and found by anyone using Linked-In. You can also connect your posts to your Twitter account and advertise your Linked-In Profile in your email signature to make your Profile more viral.
  • Use your Company profile to post updates about your company’s products, services, events and job openings to your connections and your company following.
  • You can also use Linked-In Direct Ads to target your audience by location, industry and job title.

#3: Building Your Team
For small businesses that have employees, Linked-In makes it easier to find more qualified and professional employees by doing the following:

  • Post a job on Linked-In Jobs that can be forwarded by all of your connections. On average these jobs are forwarded 11 times and receive over 30 applications.
  • Use Linked-In’s search tools to find experts and qualified candidates for your position and see what connections you have within your network or invite them to your network.

#4: Building Your Reputation
With the internet there is the opportunity for anyone to post anything about you or your business, good or bad. With your Linked-In profile you can establish a positive reputation that you control and will be seen by all searching for you or your business on the internet.

  • Linked-In profiles rise to the top of searches engines.
  • You can build recommendations on your profile from clients and collogues.
  • By joining Linked-In Groups in your related field or industry you can post comments and join discussions to establish your expertise.
  • With Linked-In Answers you can go a step further and answer questions directly related to your business and connect with potential customers that will see you as the expert.

#5: Find Business Funding
As a small business owner finding the capital to expand can be difficult. However, through Linked-In you may already be connected to potential investors, but also you can connect to Linked-In’s larger community of over 100 Million users worldwide.

  • Post your business proposal to your current Linked-In connections to gain interest from them to have them forward to their connections.
  • Use Linked-In’s Advanced People Search to find investors based on their keyword feature.
  • Upgrade to a Linked-In Pro Account to expand your reach to connect with anyone using Linked-In.

#6: Form Strategic Alliances
Building strategic alliances is good for any business. For a B2C it could be mean a tanning salon partnering with a Gym or for a B2B it could be a business coaching firm partnering with a bank. Either way, you want to partner with other businesses or professionals that can reach your target market. Here’s how you can effectively do that with Linked-In:

  • Use Linked-In’s Company Search to find businesses that service your target audience and reach out to their marketing person.
  • Do a Linked-In people search to find people related to your business that would be in business development, marketing or strategic partnerships.

There you have it. Please let me know if this was helpful by posting a comment or if you have any other suggestions for leveraging Linked-In as a marketing tool for you small business.

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