Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
For many years, LinkedIn seemed like a stuffy old uncle when compared to his flashy social media counterparts, Instagram and Facebook. While this platform intended to serve as a networking nirvana for professionals, the user experience of LinkedIn felt formulaic. Historically, LinkedIn did not offer the autonomy the creative community craved.
However, Linkedin has seen a bit of a renaissance. This evolution has allowed LinkedIn to harness its social media siblings’ likeability by integrating user-friendly tools, giving content creators the blissful recognition they deserve while maintaining their original mission to drive growth, connections and professional recognition.
But first, what is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking platform, with over 740 million members across 200 countries. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is specifically designed for professionals, making it an ideal platform for businesses looking to connect with other professionals and potential clients. LinkedIn can build brand awareness, promote products and services, generate leads and even recruit new talent.
One of the main benefits of using LinkedIn for your business is the ability to target specific audiences. LinkedIn allows you to create targeted ads based on factors such as job title, industry, location, and more. This means you can reach the people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services, increasing the chances of generating quality leads.
Another way LinkedIn can help your business is by allowing you to build relationships with other professionals in your industry. By joining groups and participating in discussions, you can connect with other professionals, share knowledge and insights, and potentially collaborate on projects. This can lead to valuable partnerships and opportunities for your business.
How can you get honest-to-goodness leads on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn sales expert, Devin Johnson, is keenly aware of the good, bad and ugly of business growth strategies on this platform. “You have to come from a good place where you truly are invested in building relationships,” states Johnson. “In fact, you have to make every effort to authentically connect with others on LinkedIn, or you will be dismissed, ignored and deleted.” Johnson adds, “The key ingredients to success on Linkedin are to be authentic, to be generous with information, and to be relentless in the pursuit of service.”
Here are the first steps to strategically using LinkedIn:
Optimize your profile: Make sure your profile is complete and professional, with a clear description of your business and what you offer. Use relevant keywords to help people find you when they search for businesses like yours.
- Engage with your audience: Don’t just post content and wait for people to come to you. Engage with your audience by commenting on their posts, answering questions, and participating in discussions. This will help you build relationships and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
- Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator: This tool allows you to target specific audiences and find potential leads based on factors such as job title, industry, and location. It also provides insights into who engages with your content and how you can connect with them.
- Offer value: Instead of just promoting your products or services, offer valuable content that your audience will find useful. This could include blog posts, infographics or webinars. By providing value, you’ll build trust and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
- Use LinkedIn Ads: LinkedIn Ads can be a powerful tool for generating leads, especially when combined with targeted messaging and a clear call-to-action. Make sure your ads are relevant to your target audience and provide a clear benefit to those who click through.
While building a loyal following who hangs on your every word can be daunting, it is well worth its weight in gold. LinkedIn is a powerful platform for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industries. With its focus on professional networking, targeted marketing, brand building, talent acquisition and analytics, LinkedIn offers a range of tools and features that can help entrepreneurs unlock new opportunities for growth and success.
As we look ahead, it’s clear that LinkedIn will continue to evolve and adapt in response to changing user needs and market trends. By staying informed about these changes and leveraging the platform’s unique capabilities, entrepreneurs can position themselves for long-term success and make meaningful connections with clients, customers and partners worldwide. So, whether you’re just getting started or looking to take your business to the next level, LinkedIn is a platform you simply can’t ignore.