It’s no secret, Gibsons is really only just getting started with LinkedIn. Like many of our clients, it’s not a lack of understanding of how important it is, it’s been the challenge of coordinating busy team members and developing an actionable LinkedIn plan with dedicated resources.
However, we coach many of our clients in LinkedIn. Herewith, a summary of our wisdom!
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 706+ million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. It should be a key part of your marketing and sales plan. Here’s how you get started, and remember, Gibsons can conduct a Zoom with your team at your convenience to walk you through these steps, whilst each team member is at their own computer.
The first thing you need to do is create a personal account on LinkedIn. To make a company account, you have to also have a personal one. To begin, just go to www.linkedIn.com and enter the basic information. When you complete it, just click “Create My Profile.”
Before you complete your profile, a confirmation email will be sent to your email account. It will have a link in it – you need to confirm your account by clicking this. It will take you to the sign-in page where you enter your email and password.
LinkedIn offers two services—a basic “free” one and a premium “paid” one. After you choose the type you want, you’ll be ready to click “Profile” and begin to edit your profile.
Create both your personal and company profiles. For your LinkedIn profiles it is recommended that you add a lot of information. All the information you enter is searchable, so the more you have, the better it is for your business, and the easier it is to be found.
When you’re finished preparing them, you can link your personal profile to your company profile. Make sure to add a detailed description of your business!
You’ll see a field for your company’s site and the type of industry. When you put your site, use the format: http://mywebsite.com. This will automatically become a hyperlink to your company from your personal profile. All the members of your staff can use this hyperlink to link back to your company. It’s a great way to be seen.
Your industry field is searchable, so think before you choose. It will be a very good way to find potential clients and for them to interact with you.
LinkedIn is the same as any social media site. If you want to be seen, you have to get involved. As soon as you meet someone new, connect with them. Connect with your existing contacts to start building your network. The exposure will help lead you to a bigger audience.
After you get set up on LinkedIn, there are several features that it has that can be useful to help build your business.
Here are a few:
- LinkedIn Search—Search for others in your industry and/or for potential customers. The more you connect the bigger audience you will have.
- Ads—You can look at several of the ads for businesses in your industry. This will let you see how they use LinkedIn Ads for paid advertising.
- Import your email contacts—On LinkedIn you can import your email contacts from other email applications. This way you can begin to add LinkedIn connections to your existing email accounts.
- Post Updates—Like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn has a status update field. You can begin a conversation or post a link to an article you’ve written.
- LinkedIn Groups—Like Google+ circles, LinkedIn has groups. They are members who share a common interest in a specific topic. They help you build a community, so this is great for your brand.
- Research client pages in your key sectors and find out what groups THEY follow. You can # these groups in relevant posts, and your post will appear in the newsfeed to members of that group.
- Reply to Updates–You can see all updates posted to LinkedIn. Begin conversations yourself or reply to someone else’s update. If you choose, you can elect to only see messages from your connections or even set your own criteria.
- Build a following by asking members of your network to follow your page. (One of our clients, Cookon, has achieved a following of nearly 1400 in just 6 months just by doing this regularly. They are one to watch on LinkedIn!)
- Banners—You can add up to three custom banners to your company page for free. You can use them to:
- Take customer testimonials, highlight them, and link them to your page.
- Link to and promote an upcoming event or webinar.
- Improve your target market by highlighting and linking to your blog posts.
- Promote a video you’ve posted about your business.
- Let others know of the various social channels so they can reach you there.
- Post company updates regularly — every day might be too much for you, and your audience, but weekly is good, monthly is minimum. Post updates during the time of day you get the most traffic. For most, it’s in the morning. You can try different times to see what works best with your audience.
- Send messages to your target market—LinkedIn has a Sponsored Inmail feature that works like email. You don’t need them on your email list. It just works from your LinkedIn. This isn’t a free service, but it can be worth it.
Need help? No problem. Contact Gibsons for a LinkedIn starter session with your team.