Setting up a LinkedIn profile can be slightly overwhelming, especially, as you wonder how it will help your small business. The truth is that as a small business owner, you wear multiple hats including the marketing hat with the aim to increase brand awareness. LinkedIn is another platform, which can help spread the word about your business and focus on relationship building with your clients and prospects.
In fact, LinkedIn is 227% more effective at generating leads than Twitter and Facebook are. Moreover, coming forward as the owner of your business with a separate profile account from your company page gives your business a human touch.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s walk you through setting up a LinkedIn profile, optimising it, and using it the right way to grow your business in three simple steps:
Step 1: Creating and optimizing a LinkedIn profile
Setting up a LinkedIn profile is as simple as setting up any other social media account. Add the required details in the given boxes, and you’ll have a LinkedIn profile in no time.
The real work, however, starts when you brush up your profile by adding the right, customer-attracting details. To this end, focus on five key areas:
- Your profile picture
Select a high-quality, recent image with a smile. A smiling face shows that you are approachable, which is the first step in building relationships with your target prospects. The company logo will go on your small business company page, not your LinkedIn account where you’ll be in direct touch with your target audience.
- The cover photo
The cover photo gives you the chance to show off your business. Just make sure that the cover aligns with your business’s branding, and your message is delivered within the current LinkedIn cover photo size of 1,584 x 396 px.
- The headline
The headline is another great opportunity to talk about yourself and your business. Not only does it show up at the top of your profile, but LinkedIn users also see it when they scroll through the platform, and your profile appears. Add your position at your company here along with other details.
To give you an idea, here’s my headline for you:
- Your summary
Many people mistake this section for rambling about their experience, but that’s not all. Add some personality to your summary by sharing about your interests other than work, briefly share your experience, and tell a little about your company. When talking about your company, share what it does, how it benefits customers, and the projects it has been a part of.
- Recommendations and endorsements
Recommendations and endorsements show you as an authority. Plus, people believe in social proof. With the social proof on your profile, you’ll make their buying decision easier.
Step 2: Connect with your target audience
Now that you’ve created and optimised a LinkedIn profile, get down to making some meaningful connections. A golden tip is to focus on nurturing good relationships instead of fixating on the numbers.
Send out invites to your target audience but don’t forget to add a personalised message with the connection request. It’s wise not to attempt to sell the first time you meet someone. Instead, read their summary and find a mutual point of interest to connect on. Or, compliment the person on their work.
Wondering how you’ll find your target audience? Take to the search bar on LinkedIn and enter keywords that describe your audience. For instance, let’s say you’re selling to marketers. Head to your search bar and type in the keyword. Next, use the available filters to narrow your search to your target buyer’s persona as shown below:
Once you get your target audience, send them personalised connection requests.
Step 3: Start engaging with your audience
In addition to growing your network, you need to start showing up on LinkedIn and engaging with those in your circle and outside. You can’t afford to take this step lightly because it plays a crucial role in making you visible so more people can clap eyes with your business.
You have two options here:
- Produce valuable content that is client-focused and helps solve their problems
So, for example, if you head a website design agency, you can share content on making your site easily navigable, choosing the right font, optimizing sites for SEO, and so on.
- Leave thoughtful comments on other people’s content
This helps you get greater visibility even if you are not ready to create your content yet. But be mindful that leaving shallow comments such as “great work,” “nice” and the like won’t help you leave a memorable impression on your prospect’s mind. Instead, leave thoughtful comments. Aim for a couple of lines. Share a relevant experience or add something to the content that enhances the discussion instead of sidetracking it.
And that’s a wrap, your LinkedIn profile will be up and running in these three easy steps. If you have any questions, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.