How to effectively use LinkedIn for business

No matter if you are a business owner, actively looking for a new job, or have been happily holding on to your dream position for the past 10 years – and is not intending to move to a new challenge anytime soon – LinkedIn is the place to be to network and learn.

In fact, it has been a while since the platform, launched in 2002, stopped merely being a place to host your digital CV. The more it grows, the more LinkedIn is becoming a place to socialize and engage, rather than a HR database.

So, how can businesses take advantage of a platform with over 700 million members that is comfortably positioned as the most trusted social network in the U.S?

Here, entrepreneurs share their key lessons and tips on how to effectively use LinkedIn to get an advantage for your business.

 

Joining LinkedIn groups and staying active

“Joining LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your target demographic is a tip I often give to small business owners. Not only is this a fantastic way to ‘listen in’ to what your target audience is talking about, but also provides small business opportunities like interacting or offering them their advice. So, LinkedIn can be a marketing service. More significantly, even if you aren’t related, you can message members of groups you’re in. Since LinkedIn InMail costs money, this is a perfect way to save money while developing relationships with potential clients.”

Lee Grant – CEO at security and privacy management developer www.wrangu.com

 

Look for your network

“The most effective way to use LinkedIn for your business is to look for your network. You don’t have to wait for the network to come to you; instead, you can go to the network. You can search LinkedIn’s database of over half a Billion (with a B) users for people who work in the industry you are targeting, work for the companies you want to sell to, and so forth.”

Benjamin Rose – Co-founder at www.traineracademy.org

 

Engage before pitching

“When approaching a potential client, you have to be casual and conversational. People love to talk about themselves. So, get them talking by asking questions. By the time they are done they will ask you what you do, and now you have permission to pitch them.”

Peter Burstyn – CEO at marketing agency www.burstynconsultingllc.com

 

Be honest and upfront

“The worst thing about LinkedIn is all of the messages from people asking how you’re doing and if you have time for a chat next week. So many people use these annoying approaches to try and grow their business. I have even seen unrelated people who are using the same introduction scripts to message me. Everyone is trying to do their best, but it is annoying and gets ignored.
If you want to get traction on LinkedIn these days, be honest and direct about what you’re doing.

Jim Miller – Author and personal finance expert at www.iamjimmiller.com

 

Combine different strategies

“I use LinkedIn for business promotion in several ways. First, when people include me in their expert interviews, I promote their articles to my LinkedIn wall. This gives them the motivation to include my insights again, bringing me more links to my site and boosting my SEO. So, this approach gives me exposure on Google.

Also, I promote in LinkedIn groups that are relevant for my niche using hashtags that LinkedIn recommends. I always use my brand’s hashtag as one of them. All these methods help me receive offers and opportunities on LinkedIn.”

Janice Wald – Blogging Coach and freelance writer at www.mostlyblogging.com

 

Be creative to stand out

“Add something to your name that stands out to your target audience.
Instead of ‘Martina Cooper’, write ‘Martina Cooper – Helping Online Marketers
Grow Their Business’.
You can use Sales Navigator to effectively connect with your perfect client. This extension allows you to filter by niche, number of employees, location, and profitability.
Even though it’s super professional and mostly B2B, it’s a social platform.
Build relationships, engage and provide value. The ROI of those relationships won’t be instant monetary checks but seeds that will turn into flowers in the long-term.”

Martina Cooper – Editor and digital marketer at www.brutallyhonestmarketingreviews.com

 

Leverage the Live video tool

“LinkedIn Live video interviews with those who have a consistent show and following demonstrates our thought leadership, increases our reach and allows people to connect with us on a more personal level. They often follow up with connection requests and messages. These are all organic strategies that build trust, strengthen our brand, and make genuine connections.”

Daniel Snow – Co-founder at digital marketing agency www.thesnowagency.com

 

Have a clear target

“Our company recently started using LinkedIn to promote our video production service through paid advertising. In less than three months, we gained 300 followers and 104k post impressions. Our goal has been to get new leads through LinkedIn. It has been a slow process but we’ve noticed LinkedIn is targeting the markets we’re looking for, rather than just leading everyone and anyone to our page.”

Tyler Mose – CEO at full-service video production agency www.e3mcreative.com

 

Build your tribe

“LinkedIn has become a platform where likeminded business people want to connect, engage and learn from others. One of the most important things to do is build an engaged network (a tribe) by commenting regularly on other people’s posts, being visible in groups, and posting valuable content regularly on your page. People do business with others whom they like. Business is about relationships. Build the relationship first and people will want to work with you.”
Gareth Bain – Director at growth Marketing agency www.gotlegsdigital.com

 

And coming up text  …

Professional networking site LinkedIn has recently announced plans to launch their own gig marketplace. It will be similar to the already established Upwork and Fiverr, allowing professionals to post projects and hire freelancers to work from home. The new platform, to be called Marketplace, will primarily focus on jobs such as writing, marketing, and consulting. Microsoft—the parent company of LinkedIn—is also focusing their efforts on creating a digital wallet that will be compatible throughout several of its platforms.



Author: Marcio Delgado
A Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.