by Karen Wessels, co-founder of VA Connect and co-founder of SnappSales
Are you one of those people that absolutely loves social media or completely hates it? I have the privilege of mentoring a few start-ups and one of the most common blockers we talk about is how to find new clients. Now it’s going to be quite a challenge if you despise social media in light of what follows. However, if you’re a newbie business owner, you’re just starting out with a rather shall we say “tight” marketing budget, then social media is your friend.
LinkedIn is the powerhouse of all social media platforms when it comes to building new business relationships and gaining the trust of prospective clients. When I started my entrepreneurial journey full-time in 2013, I fell in love with what LinkedIn offers and to this day I strongly advocate the power of LinkedIn and what it can do for your business.
If you know how to work it. And by this I mean, don’t make the common mistakes that your peers are doing like posting for the sake of posting, or not writing articles for months on end and then all of sudden out of the blue you publish an article. In order to get out of social media and in particular LinkedIn what you need to in order to grow your business, you have to be consistent, without fail. This is why it is so important to work according to a social media calendar and actually have a strategy in mind with everything you post, comment and share.
With some research you’ll discover a few LinkedIn gurus that you should follow to get the most out of LinkedIn. They share great tips weekly and a lot of LinkedIn secrets that you wouldn’t have known otherwise.
Here are some of my top tips to get more out of LinkedIn and ultimately grow your business.
1. Your profile
Is your profile up to date? Does it reflect what you are currently busy with? If I read your profile right now, would it show me what you are passionate about, what problems you solve and how you add value to your particular industry?
Do you have a professional up to date profile image?
These are all important points. Why? Because if you don’t have a profile photo or it’s not particularly professional it will make your job so much harder to connect with the right people. Remember, your LinkedIn profile is the start of your online brand. Be sure that what you are portraying speaks to your prospective clients, that you come across credible and trustworthy.
If you feel that you’re not up to updating your profile (view it like an online CV) then get in some professional help! Again, with a little bit of research (on LinkedIn!) you’ll find local people who can assist in updating your profile in a professional manner and make sure that the right message is brought across to any visitor.
2. How to connect strategically
Here are some don’ts when it comes to connecting:
- Don’t connect from your mobile phone. The reason for this is that LinkedIn doesn’t allow you to personalize your connection message.
- Don’t connect without adding a personalized message.
- Don’t connect with all and sundry if they don’t add value to your greater vision and goal. For example, let’s say you work in the IT industry and you offer software to restaurants, would it make sense to connect with those from the construction industry?
- Don’t connect and then walk away; get the conversation going.
- Don’t use your LinkedIn app less than 7 days a week. That’s right, work LinkedIn daily as it forms part of your growth strategy!
Take the time to sit down and work out your LinkedIn strategy. This is a great way to prospect, so make sure you know your buyer persona, who is your ideal client, what pain do they have that you can solve? Connect with key decision makers daily, and ensure that you keep the conversation going. It is important to do this otherwise you are wasting your own time. Ultimately you want to meet with this person, and identify whether your business offering would be a good match for them or not.
3. Comment, share and like
As part of your strategy be share to be active on LinkedIn daily, even if it’s only for 20 minutes. Like posts that will add value to your followers. The same goes for sharing posts, be share that what you share is beneficial to your followers. The moment your followers see you sharing great content the more they will sit up and take note of you. Comment on posts and in groups, this is a great way to “quietly” establish yourself as a thought leader and it shows your followers that you know what you are talking about.
These are only a few tips on how LinkedIn can benefit your business. I could probably write about this topic ad infinitum ☺ Clearly I’m passionate about LinkedIn and I’ve made it my duty to really understand how to work this digital machine so that it can benefit my business. You can too!
Karen Wessels is the co-founder and COO of VA Connect, a South African virtual assistant platform that provides outsourced administrative support; and is also the co-founder of SnappSales, a company that generates quality sales leads for its clients. Prior to establishing both her companies, Karen spent over 10 years in different sales, marketing & admin support roles. This experience has equipped her with the invaluable skills required to run her two successful business ventures. Follow Karen on her Personal Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+
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