If you are an entrepreneur looking to network with business professionals, make new business connections, build new leads and lists and become a leader in thought sharing in your industry, then LinkedIn is the right platform to be using. Indeed, Linked is a valuable asset for business to business (B2B)
LinkedIn provides, and allows you to contribute to, educational and thought leadership articles, top industry news, company news and updates, entrepreneurial business stats, quotes and resources for entrepreneurs.
Though statistics show that LinkedIn is still most popular among Gen X (45-54yrs) in Canada, it is a growing trend in younger generations and has proven to be beneficial for a younger audience as well. Indeed, 53% of Canadians aged 25-34 are now using the platform.
LinkedIn users include 46% of Canadians earning between $100K and $250K and 49% of university graduates. Statistics also illustrate that 4 out of 5 LinkedIn members drive business decisions. (statista.com 2020)
Not only does LinkedIn allow you to network and connect with other business leaders, it also tracks you business insights so that you can measure your successes and adapt accordingly.
With LinkedIn, you have the opportunity to build a professional network and a trusted brand, become an authority in your industry and follow and research other companies and people that align, or are in direct competition, with your business.
By posting, interacting with others and joining groups you can expand your network and create more opportunities to directly engage your ideal prospects. Your credibility is developed through endorsements, recommendations, messaging, article posting, thoughtful commenting, among other things.
Should you set up a Personal Profile and/or a Company Page?
The short answer is both. A Personal Profile is a reflection of your experience while a Company Page provides credibility for your organization.
A Personal Profile is an active account that allows you to build your network and connect with people in your industry with experiences and goals that align with, or compliment, yours. With a profile, you are able to private message, post, share or reshare articles, comment on posts to build connections, tag and mention others or be tagged and mentioned, follow organizations, join various “groups”, and utilize sponsored InMail Messaging. You are also able to see the last five people to view your profile.
In order to set up a Personal Profile that maximizes your potential success it is important to complete all of the profile sections. Start by adding a professional profile picture and background. Add a concise and informative About Section. Then include your experience with a link to your Company Page and your skills and categories for endorsement.
It is a good idea to customize your URL so that it is easy for people to use. In order to do so, click on Me – View Profile and then in the top righthand corner choose “Edit public profile and URL”. From there edit your URL by removing all of the numbers after your name.
Another key step is to go through your Privacy Settings and determine who can see the different types of information that you are providing. For example, we recommend limiting your email address and phone number to those you have connected with.
A Company Page is a passive account that demonstrates the reliability and integrity of your business. It is through this page that you can highlight what your company does, the successes you have had, and the knowledge that you hold. It allows employees to connect to the company through their “Experience” section and showcases other businesses that you may to business with. For example, by showcasing a page that spotlights your products or services.
It also allows you to create paid ads, including sponsored content, test ads, and sponsored InMail for employees. With LinkedIn’s Analytics section you can determine whether this type of advertising is successful and how to target your ideal clients.
Though you cannot publish articles directly through your company page, you can share them from your personal profile or website. This is indeed still beneficial as people can interact with what you have posted and reshare it to their own pages.
To set up your company account, go to https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/linkedinpages. When entering your company name, be sure that it is correct as you cannot go back and change it.
It is very important to add a cover image and your logo as LinkedIn reports that company pages with a logo have six times the amount of traffic. Include a company description, details such as your website URL, industry, size, location, and contact information and then add team members including yourself.
The Basic Account vs paid options
You have the option of choosing between a Basic (free) account, a Premium Business (paid) account and Sales Navigator Professional (paid) account.
A Basic Account allows you to create a personal profile, build up credibility through recommendations, network and find prospective employees and clients. It also allows you to create a company page to promote your business and drive traffic to your website. You are able to join groups and message people within groups even if you are not connected.
Premium Business includes the following features; 15 InMail messages which allow you to contact prospects you are not currently connected with, engage with business insights to measure company growth and trends, engage with career insights, see who’s viewed your profile in the last 90 days, view unlimited profiles, and receive online video courses.
Sales Navigator includes 20 InMail messages, sales insights, and an advanced search filter which permits building lead lists and saving lead lists for future outreach and communication.
Understanding the Algorithms
Search engine ranking is very important as it directly impacts the volume of traffic to your site. Indeed, the click rate significantly reduces from the 1st to the 5th position on the first page of Google search. Moreover, 75% of web users do not visit the 2nd page of Google search. (Hubspot 2018)
In order to satisfy the algorithm you should be creating user-relevant content. The more engagement you receive, the more your post will be shown to your relevant audience. Ensure that you are providing value to your viewers rather than spam-like content. Most of your content should inform, educate or entertain your audience, for example, original blog content, industry news and statistics, tools or resources relevant to your clients (perhaps a checklist or an ebook), or entertaining articles.
About 20% of your content should be directly promoting your brand and what you offer. This can include promoting your products or services, showcasing your clients’ successes and sharing comments, referrals or testimonials from clients.
Building your Network
Once you have started generating meaningful content, turn towards creating a powerful professional network. If you connect with people and add value to their lives, you can expect the same in return.
Stay tuned for an upcoming article where we discuss who you should connect with, which companies you should be following, how to engage with your audience, how to use your newsfeed to network and how to market with your Company Page.