5 Tips for Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Business

LinkedIn, Grow Your BusinessToday I will be leading a seminar at the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce on this topic, "5 Tips for Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Business." As a business coach serving the Houston area I enjoy sharing at chambers, Rotary groups, Exchange Club groups, and other professional associations on the power of social media marketing, and particularly LinkedIn. Several months back I talked about how to use LinkedIn to build your personal brand. However, today our focus is on how to grow your business! LinkedIn is a powerful tool that every business leader should consider. Now with over 150 million users, LinkedIn will provide you with a dynamic network of people to help you grow your business. Here are 5 tips to help you take advantage of the tremendous potential of LinkedIn.

Tip #1:  Build Your Profile - 100% Complete

No one would go to an interview or attend a networking function without being properly dressed and groomed. However, having an incomplete profile on LinkedIn is very similar to that. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure your profile is 100% complete and you present yourself as professional, competent, and prepared. Use your headline and summary to promote your unique value.

Tip #2:  Build Your Network

Start by importing your contacts or personal database. The "Add Connections" feature allows you to quickly upload your contacts from Outlook, Apple Mail, or many other email databases. Utilize the "People You May Know" feature to find colleagues and classmates you may want to add. Once you're up and running, peruse the connections of your connections to find new people to connect with. Then try using the "Search" and "Advanced Search" features to find more people. However, do not try to connect with people whom you do not know! Get introductions through mutual connections or join groups where you can meet and connect with these folks.

Tip #3:  Position Yourself as a Thought-Leader and Start Networking

This is a wonderful tool for me as a business coach and it can be for almost every business owner. By utilizing apps, updates, and inmail we can provide incredible value through content and resources that our clients, prospects, and referral partners will find extremely helpful. By engaging with groups and "LinkedIn Answers" you can position yourself as a resource person and a subject matter expert. These are excellent platforms for networking your way to new business.

Tip #4:  Create a Company Page

LinkedIn has recently updated the company page feature making it more powerful and useful than ever! The two most important parts of the company page are the Overview Tab and the Products Tab. Use the Overview to market your business. Make the most of the first section that shows above the fold. Include a call to action and give people a reason to click on "more." Use the Products Tab to promote your products or services. Engage customers to provide you with "Recommendations" around your products. Then build your following. Start with your employees, then your customers, vendors, and referral partners.

Tip #5:  Utilize LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn Ads are relatively inexpensive and can be targeted to reach exactly the audience you want to reach. They are also an excellent way to direct people to your Company page and increase your Company following. There is an untapped opportunity for many businesses with LinkedIn Ads. This has just been a quick, high-level overview of our seminar today. If you are a local business owner in the Sugar Land, Katy TX, or SW Houston area, contact me and I will be happy to provide you with a complimentary 1-hour business coaching strategy session to better utilize LinkedIn to grow your business. Addition on 4/5/12:  I just came back today and added this brief video interview after the seminar.

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