Breif Overview of Linkedin
Linkedin is a social networking site connecting professionals and employers via its website and mobile app. It’s an american company headquartered in San Francisco, Califronia and was founded in 2002. Linked claims to have 610 million registered users as of March 2019. The USP of linkedin is that allows professionals and workers to create profiles and “connections” to each other in an online social network and registered users can send an invite to anyone to become an connection by signing up.
Linkedin is now owned and operated by Microsoft.
What is the purpose of Linkedin?
Since, linkedin is all about professional networking it can be a goldmine for people looking to advance their careers or grow theie small businesses.
It allows sending direct messages to the connections and start a conversation. Active employers on linkedin are also continuously looking out for professionals that fit in their criteria and this helps professionals land their next dream job.
Linkedin has several advertising programs on its platform that helps small business owners to advertise their products and services to millions of users. If you are a freelancer, a home based business or a own a small business, linkedin can help you connect with thousands of users that might be interested in your products and services.
The sole purpose purpose of linkedin is to help you connect with other professionals.
How to Use linkedin for Advancing in your career or grow your small business?
In order to get started on linkedin for career that first thing you need to do is create a LinkedIn profile by registering on the website. Creating a profile is absolutely free on the platform, though, you can also opt for paid subscriptions to access premium features such as Premium Career and LinkedIn Learning.
A Linkedin profile looks like a professional resume and therefore you need to be as accurate as possible when creating a profile. It allows you to add your schooling, college, professional degree and work experience(s) and your connections can also endorse your skills. E.g. if anyone has worked with you in the past can actually endorse you and write a review about your skill sets, experience of working with you or your talents, which adds weightage to your profile.
As a professional looking to change your job or advance your career, you can apply to job postings, fix interviews and get in touch with the executives of the companies looking for candidates. Many HR professionals often post requirements that may show up as news feeds and you can respond to them as a job seeker.
While as a free user you may have some limitaions to what you can do on linkedin such as:
- Limited insight into who’s viewed your profile
- Ability to see 100 profiles per search
- Ability to save three searches
Upgrading to a paid subscription opens up some advanced features, such as:
- Complete insights about thr users who viewed your profile.
- Increases the number of profiles per search.
- Also, increases the number of searches.
- You get InMail credits, which allows you to message people who are not connected to you.
- Premium filters, which make searching faster and easier.
Keep in mind that linkedin is a professional networking website and not a place to share cute pictures of yourself or family or write posts that are not professional in nature. Linkedin expects you to stay professional on the platform whether you are an individual or a business owners.
What you can add to your professional Linkedin Profile?
As mentioned above, your linked profile is more like a resume and therefor you can add a brief summary of yourself, your educational background, professional work experience, current work status, previous and current employer(s), your contact information, links to your website or blog (if you have), published papers, articles or books if any, and any notable projects in your career.
Always add a professional picture of yourself as profiles with a picture on it gets more views and people are not reluctant to connect with the people having a profile picture.
Write a summary about yourself that speaks about the benefits of working with you and what value you’ve delivered while working with your previous employers. Your profile can be an indirect marketing tool for you if you know exactly how to showcase your skills and talent and help you land your next dream job.
How to use linkedin to grow small business?
Since, the platform is all about professional networking, it can be a great tool to grow small business as it provides small business owners with an opportunity to connect with other professionals interested in your services. E.g. if you are a freelancer experienced in writing professional resumes or business plans, then you can highlight the same on your profile and reach out to the job seekers and entrepreneurs that are seeking similar services.
Linkedin can prove to be an efficient platform in collaborating with other professional in the same industry or area of expertise that can add value to your small business and guide you in the right direction by helping you connect with the right people.
As a small business owner you need leads, referrals and prospects looking for similar service(s) like yours and that’s exactly what linkedin can do for you. In a pool of 610 million registered users, imagine the opportunity you have to grow small business. If you can just tap into the 1% of the user base, it can be huge in terms of scale, revenues and growth.
Start with a conversation, build trust, deliver value and see your small business scaling to new heights with the help of linkedin.
Some of the features that are very useful for the small business owners are:
- Share links to your insightful blog posts.
- Create a professional company page highlighting your company’s strengths.
- Join groups that are related to your industry, work experience or field of business.
- Connect with colleagues, friends and new professionals that might introduce you to the potential clients or customers.
- Post ads about your services that are displayed to a specific group of people, companies and demographics based on your settings.
Staying relevant to what you do is the key to be successful on linkedin as a small business owner. E.g. if you own HVAC company then sharing information about HVAC systems, cleaning and maintenance that are beneficial for the homeowners increases your chances of getting new projects. You can find out more information on how to grow small business using linkedin, here.
Here’s a video tutorial for beginners on how to use Linkedin
Other useful marketing hacks that you can try on linkedin to grow small business:
Linkedin can be a great marketing tool for your small business if you know how to use it to your advantage. Below are some very useful marketing tips for small business owners to grow their business using linkedin:
Share High-quality Content
If you can teach people how to solve a problem in your industry then it can open the doors for you to new opportunities. It also shows your knowledge about your industry and the grip you have on the subject.
It is highly recommended that you share or post only high quality content relevant to your industry with others in your network. A piece of content that really solves a real problem or suggests practical solutions to an existing problem within your industry and you would notice that it brings you business automatically.
If your post on the linkedin gets some favorable attention within your network and tends to gain momentum then LinkedIn will put a spotlight behind it in one of their categories, and it can get tens of thousands of readers and it won’t take much time before your posts goes viral bringing you leads, inquiries and calls.
Join Linkedin Groups
There are several groups on linkedin about various industries, jobs, categories etc. Joining groups that are relevant to your industry are highly beneficial for the small business owners as it helps you identify what others are talking about the industry trends and how you can provide your valuable advice or help. This way you get recognition and people tend to look up to your small business for a solution.
It’s a great way of growing small business if you can provide value to the people.
It takes time to build relationships especially if you are new on the platform so, be consistent, relevant and open to meeting new people that may not be ready to help you immediately but with time they may play a role in growing your small business.
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