How Can Local and National Business Use LinkedIn to Grow Their Business?

Andrew Birkitt

Lead Technical Engineer
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How Can Local and National Business Use LinkedIn to Grow Their Business?
I am hoping as a business, you will have your personal and company details registered online at LinkedIn.  If you are have or haven’t don’t worry because IN THE NEXT 2 HOURS…..only joking! Seriously,  I am going to give you an overview of what LinkedIn Is and the why/how you and your business should be using Linked In and the benefits it can bring to generate more leads online.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn started out in the living room of co-founder Reid Hoffman in the fall of 2002.  LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.
LinkedIn Facts:
●             LinkedIn has over 80 million members in over 200 countries
●             A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second, half of members are outside the U.S
●             Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members
●             LinkedIn are partners with Amazon and Google
●             LinkedIn is a free network that promotes you and your business
●             It’s Free!
I first encountered LinkedIn some 6 years ago, and admit, I set up a profile, and left it in the cold
That was until about 18 months ago, when I became more and more involved  with Social Media and learning how businesses and individuals could grow their network online, generating more enquiries and leads for their business.
So here are the basic steps you need to take to build a strong network on LinkedIn and how to optimise your profile.

Your LinkedIn Profile
After signing up as a FREE member your first job is to write and create a great profile. This is so  other business people and businesses can find you, if you offer a service they are looking for.
As soon as you have completed the basic profile requirements, past experience and education, make it your focus to write a compelling summary.
Once you have a compelling summary, your visitors to your profile are going to make an instant decision as to why they would want to connect with you. Keep it professional, don’t brag, just tell them what you it is you can do to help them and share examples of how you have helped other businesses. Remember, it is a summary, not a novel!  Be short and punchy. Write about what you are doing now, what services you deliver, who’s used your service, and the results achieved.
Make it so people will enjoy reading it and want to connect with you.
Why connect with others on LinkedIn in the first place?
LinkedIn has so many opportunities for you and your business, so why do you want to connect with people who you have not met yet?
Let’s imagine for a minute, your business has a software package for the serviced office industry, which allows them to take complete control of their clients on one place.  Your software will save then time and money, but you need to find them to talk to.
So your target market is Serviced Offices and you want to talk to as many Operations Managers and Directors at possible.  Where can you find them?
On LinkedIn, you will find the search tool extremely useful. Use it, you will find plenty of Operations Directors who run Serviced Offices and will be Interested to hear what it is you offer. Not only that you can find investors, freelancers, designers etc, etc, etc.
Making great connections
An Important part of winning on LinkedIn is giving. Get involved with your network, listen to what is being said, show your authority on LinkedIn, and more people will want to connect with you as you will soon be seen as an expert and the person to talk to in your market.
We have clients in a variety of business sectors, from TV Stands through to Victorian Radiators and Finance. Each of these businesses have a different market themselves, but once you are engaging and conversing with the right market, your profile and awareness will increase.
Adding connections to your LinkedIn can be restricting, depending upon the method you use to connect with them.  If you have worked with or have done business with in the past you would click the “add to your network” link.
If you have not met them or done business with them in the past, you may experience an issue connecting with them.  You could say you were a friend, but if it is someone you do not know, they may take kindly to that and not connect with you.
Here is a simple sure fire way to connect with them.  Look closely at their profile and search for any LinkedIn groups they may be involved with or members of and you join the group too and once accepted you can contact him as a fellow member. Alternatively find someone you know who is connected to him and ask for a referral.
The main thing here is to make yourself seen and show you are involved, making comments and raising your own questions in groups and in your status, much like facebook.
LinkedIn Groups
You will be amazed at the amount of quality groups that are on LinkedIn.  Find the ones that are most appropriate for your business and start to interact as soon as possible. Whether it is learning from others, adding your opinion, commenting on articles that have been written, get involved and get yourself seen!
As with all Social Media Networking, the key is NOT to self-promote at every opportunity but make sure you are giving value where ever possible. My philosophy is to engage, converse, build relationships and build your network.
LinkedIn is the professional’s choice to grow your contacts.
Like any Social Media activity, it takes time and you will want to focus on your business.  That is where SEO Traffic Lab can help you by offering you a managed solution but most importantly a strategy that is tailor made for your business.

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