Do you want to improve brand visibility and boost business growth? Well then, listen up. If you're operating B2B, you need to be confident using LinkedIn. This is the first in a series of LinkedIn for Beginners blog posts explaining exactly why and how...
For those of you who haven’t yet got the memo, LinkedIn is a business ‘social network’ with powerful SEO and thought-leadership capability. It is THE platform to share your business content for B2B relationship building.
Think Facebook, but for professionals.
LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network with around 500 million members. Whether you’re an entrepreneur operating a small business or startup, an HR Manager or Marketing Coordinator in a medium sized company, or an individual job seeker, you need to know how to use LinkedIn to stay ahead of the competition and strengthen professional relationships.
Below we’ve broken down our top 10 reasons why using LinkedIn will super-charge your business. And to help you get the most out of your LinkedIn account, we've also created this free LinkedIn checklist...
photo credit: marklordphotography
You're an HR or Marketing Professional
Did you know, there are over 39 million students and graduates on LinkedIn? It's the fastest-growing demographic on the platform, so it's an extremely powerful recruitment and job-seeking tool.
But for HR professionals, its value doesn't stop at the hiring process...
1: Better Staff Retention
LinkedIn can be incorporated into your HR strategy to help improve staff retention. By supporting your staff in the improvement of their LinkedIn presence online, you're demonstrating that they're of value to the business.
2: Clever Employee Engagement
LinkedIn can also be used as the basis of a powerful employee engagement program to increase culture and ownership of company values and position your business as an industry leader. More coming soon on the blog about how to use LinkedIn employee engagement to improve your HR strategy.
3. Symbiotic Benefit
In fact, it's a win win situation, a symbiotic benefit: For individuals, LinkedIn is a platform that can champion you as an expert in your field; this adds value to the business as ‘the employer of experts’. If you're seen as employing industry specialists, you're more likely to attract the customers (and staff) that you want.
4. Differentiate From Your Competitors
Henry Ford said, "The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay." (Tweet this!) By providing your employees with LinkedIn Training, you're doing something that the majority of your competitors aren't. Be smart; follow Henry's advice. Stand out from the crowd.
5. Improve Brand Visibility + SEO
And as part of your marketing strategy, if each staff member has an optimised LinkedIn profile, with clear association to the business, that means more brand visibility.
Think of each LinkedIn profile as ad space; the more appealing and active a LinkedIn profile is, just like an eye-grabbing billboard in an area of high traffic, the more visible it will be to other LinkedIn members. This also equates to higher ranking in Google.
You Work For a SME to Medium Sized Business
You're a successful corporate professional (or one in the making), so you probably already know deep down that LinkedIn is where you need to be showcasing your skills and experience...
6. B2B Storytelling
Nowadays, the smart brands are focussing on storytelling to cut through the noise, get the attention and engagement of their target audiences. As the most popular business communications platform in the world, LinkedIn is all about B2B storytelling. And it works in just the same way as B2C storytelling, leading to increased sales leads and more business growth.
7. Digital Eye Contact
These days, connecting with your customers and contacts is often a question of how you can "look your audience in the eye, digitally".
In the world of B2B, your LinkedIn profile is your first impression, your handshake, eye contact and business greeting. A few simple LinkedIn SEO tricks and proper advice on how to sell yourself online is all it takes to transform your profile from pointless into performing.
For example, did you know that your LinkedIn Headline is so much more than your job title? Update this now to include some relevant keywords and you could be found by more of the right business contacts.
You Own a Small Business / You're an Entrepreneur
No doubt, some of the above also applies to you. You've also got the below to think about...
8. Networking With More Reach
With only a small supply of staff at your back to be your brand ambassadors, small business owners know just how important it is to sell yourself. If your knowledge, skills and experience are not adequately reflected online, you could be losing business.
And make no mistake, the first thing a new business contact does when they meet you offline is to look you up online. But with an optimised LinkedIn profile and an ongoing commitment to use the platform, you can connect with hundreds more potential business contacts than through networking events alone. Yes, and build business faster.
9. Become Recognised As An Expert
We live in a world of bloggers and YouTube sensations. An individual now has the power to be a publisher. If you regularly share articles, insights and news of value to your customers, you can become a thought-leader; maybe get asked to speak at events or even interviewed by the media as an expert in your field.
Remember: Consistency is key. If you stick with it and spend some time developing what we marketers call a content strategy, faster than you might think, you can become the 'go-to' source of relevant information for your business contacts, customers and clients.
10. Become A Brand
Take this a step further and you're into the world of "personal branding". A strong personal brand can support and boost your business growth. Think of Steve Jobs. Everyone knew who he was; he was more than the Founder/CEO of Apple. He had a personal brand as a speaker, innovator and business expert.
"In every job that must be done there is an element of fun."
We like that quote. And it fits well here because we've been having a lot of fun with LinkedIn lately... no really, we have! We deliver LinkedIn Training for individuals, entrepreneurs and small to medium sized enterprises. So we've been playing around A LOT with LinkedIn.
And we're here to help you reach LinkedIn Superhero status!
STEP 1: Subscribe to the blog, so you don't miss any of our LinkedIn for Beginners blog series.
STEP 2: Click the banner below to download our FREE LINKEDIN CHECKLIST, which will take you through 7 simple steps to turn your LinkedIn profile from pointless into performing!
Want more tips and insights into modern storytelling and business? Join us for the Be The Drop podcast - a brand new interview with a killer communicator or community builder is released each week!
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CONTACT US at firstname.lastname@example.org.