Small Business Saturday Blog
Demystifying LinkedIn for Small Businesses
Thursday, February 08, 2018 at 10:46
Ifyou are not yet familiar with LinkedIn – or are one of the 1 in 2 LinkedInusers who have joined but not finished setting up their profiles – it’s thepreferred social media network for business to business marketers and one ofthe leading job search sites in the world, designed with professions andbusinesses in mind and with 500 million (and rising) users who are all focusedon creating a business network.
Ifirst started using LinkedIn on my own behalf during the early days of settingup Pink Spaghetti, using it to network and build my business. Although anewcomer to LinkedIn, I quickly learnt how to perfect my profile, attendingcourses and keeping an eye on what successful users were doing.
As my business has grown, I have used my knowledge of LinkedIn to helpother businesses build their networks. The search function is excellent and aneasy way to find and connect with prospective clients; you can start aconversation with a potential customer online before suggesting a meeting inperson to further the connection.
Aswell as creating your own personal profile and thus marketing yourself to theworld, you can also use the platform to join groups, collect information, findout about local events, share articles, and add your own professional comments.
LinkedIncan also be used to find a completely new role, by changing your profile toreflect that you are looking for a new opportunity, connecting with recruiters,and asking previous employers for recommendations.
Agood profile is a powerful tool and a definite must if you want to get ahead,helping you to grow your network strategically so that it works for you.
Michelle’s top tips onusing LinkedIn for your business.
1.Start with the basics. Join LinkedIn as yourself, not your company – you will be able to build out a company pagelater, but should always join on your own behalf.
2.Make sure that your basic information is completed and that your contactdetails are up to date, with your phone number and email displayed – if you aretaking the time to network, it’s vital that you can be contacted.
3.A picture truly is worth a thousand words. Be sure to add a photo, and makesure that it’s professional looking, high resolution and recent.
4. Ensure that yourprofile is kept up to date and that your skills and experiences are displayedcorrectly. Got a new role or completed some training? Don’t forget to put it onyour profile.
5. It’s particularlyimportant to make sure that your headline explains exactly who you are and whatyou have to offer – people will make a decision on whether to connect withinseconds, so first impressions are vital.
6. Once you have yourprofile set up, you can create a company page if appropriate, which allows youto post job openings, create content highlighting your products or services,engage with your followers and share key updates.
7. Understanding theetiquette of any social media platform can be intimidating at first. Spend sometime familiarising yourself with the site and watch those using it successfullyto pick up tips – then take a deep breath and dive in.
8. Build your networkslowly. First connect with people you know, trust and value on a professionallevel. Always use a personalised invitation rather than LinkedIn’s automaticdefault, and take the time to explain why you want to join their network.
9. Try to go onto theplatform every working day, even if you don’t have the confidence to post atfirst. Join in a conversation - it’s agreat way to make yourself visible to others. Join groups relevant to yourindustry, or start your own.
10. If you’restruggling then attending a course can help to build your confidence and learnto make the most of this exciting platform, there are 34 Pink Spaghetti franchisesacross the UK who can offer this training or can assist by creating orenhancing your profile or I can be contacted directly for onlinetraining.
Michelle Collins isthe owner of Pink Spaghetti Chester and North Wales, a virtual PA service whichoffers flexible, efficient support to small businesses (and homes), freeing upclients so that they can make the most of their time. Michelle also worked inHR in a public-sector organisation for 12 years before moving on to become a Pink Spaghetti franchisee and, with two youngchildren, also juggles a busy home life. http://www.pink-spaghetti.co.
· LinkedIn: in/michellecollinspspag/
· Twitter: https://twitter.com/Michelle_Facebook: @PinkSpaghettiChesterandNorthWales
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