Your phone and/or tablet probably have an application dedicated to Facebook or Twitter and you have probably never thought of downloading LinkedIn. Turn to your left and ask Tom and Dick if they have LinkedIn on their phones and their answer will probably be the same, no. Their buddy, Harry, is probably off somewhere playing Angry Birds or Candy Crush as you read this, which means he probably isn't on LinkedIn either.
Many other business owners and entrepreneurs have also overlooked LinkedIn to focus on other social networks. These people do not realize that LinkedIn can provide the best opportunities for business owners and is the most professional social platform that small businesses can use. This is because it connects professionals with like-minded people. It's also a great way to possibly land jobs for freelance designers, developers, etc.
Unlike Facebook or Twitter, individuals on LinkedIn don't post selfies accompanied by all sorts of hash tags, well most people don't. People interacting here do so in a professional setting and for business purposes only. LinkedIn helps you reach your online marketing goals and places you before a larger audience. But you may be asking, "Doesn't Facebook and Twitter have larger audiences?" Well, they have a larger amount of users, but most of those users are not there for business purposes and your ads will most likely get lost in the mix of every other ad and random selfie out there.
So if you are interested in getting started with LinkedIn for your professional side, let's get started!
Why Small Businesses Need to Say 'Yes' to LinkedIn
To reiterate, if you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, and you are not on LinkedIn, you are doing it all wrong. Business owners are failing terribly by thinking about Facebook and Twitter as the only platforms to use for social network marketing. In truth, these two social giants are the biggest networks worldwide, but LinkedIn has something they do not.
It allows an individual to connect with many like-minded professionals that will enable them to work with result-oriented people, grow their network and be amongst other professionals. Most business owners find that this is easier said than done. The task of setting up a profile seems like a monumental task that is better substituted with blog posts and tweets. Yes, the setup for your LinkedIn profile can be a bit taunting to say the least, but it will be well worth it in the future.
Individuals spend too much time thinking about how involving and time consuming LinkedIn is, instead of spending those resources on actually setting up their profiles in the first place. Being on LinkedIn is like being in a candy shop with the knowledge that everything there is free. There are potential clients, prospective business partners and many service providers that can help you move forward in your business.
It can help you with recruiting talent and services from other like minded individuals or companies. You will be able to use it as a blog, access expert advice from others and use it as a website promotion tool. You will also be able to give and find recommendations, start and join groups, practice SEO, and so on.
How Small Business Can Reap Rewards on LinkedIn
LinkedIn allows small businesses to post products and services they offer, thus exposing them to a larger market. This social platform has a separate tab where they can post their products and share them on other social media networks, so you can post on LinkedIn and share that post across your other social platforms to help drive traffic to your LinkedIn profile.
It is also a place where you can gain new business partners. Gaining new clients and partners is a definite thing on LinkedIn. Once your account is up and running, you will be exposed to more professionals who will be interested in what you offer.
One really great feature and benefit of LinkedIn is that your peers and clients can verify your skills. This can be a very beneficial feature to help showcase your talents and skills.
The Do's and Don'ts of LinkedIn
There are things that will absolutely help your progress on LinkedIn while others will kill it. The things that help your success include:
Answering business related questions. Do it to show your knowledge and not how better off you are than everybody else. You don't want to seem like a 'know-it-all'.
Joining groups, this opens you up to other like minded professionals.
Link status updates to other social media accounts. As we talked about before, this helps get the word out about your LinkedIn profile and can attract more people to it.
Write recommendations for others. This is a great way to interact with other professionals if you have used their services or can speak directly about someone. It looks good on you as well to put our positivity into the business world, people will want to work with you.
Major NO-NO’s include:
Hard selling- This is very frowned upon in the LinkedIn world...Just don't do it, leave that for your Facebook and Twitter ad campaigns.
You should try to avoid personal questions, either asking or answering. This site is for professional purposes, so we need to keep it professional. Keep the cat videos and selfies on Facebook and focus on intellectual discussions.
To Wrap It All Up
Deciding to use LinkedIn may be the best awakening small business could ever have. There are tons of other benefits in addition to those already discussed above. Just like all other things in life, this social platform needs work.
If you are willing to put in time and effort into creating a LinkedIn page that stands out, you will have endless possibilities. Those that cannot begin to fathom the work that needs to be put into this may consider hiring experts to do it for them. The right social media consultants can be quite expensive, but worth every penny. So start right now! You, as a business owner or freelancer, know how critically time and money relate. So don't waste any more time, and get to work on starting your LinkedIn profile today!
Don't forget, here at HiveHustlers, we are dedicated to you as a small business owner and entrepreneur! Let us know what in the comments what other kind of material you would like to see us create that can help you on your journey!