Getting Started With LinkedIn For Your Small Business

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a goldmine of information and networking opportunity, especially for B2B businesses, but like all social networks you need to put some effort into creating and then building your presence.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile already then head on over to LinkedIn and click the “Join Now” button at the top of the page.

The 7 Steps to a Good Profile

1. Name & Photo
The first thing you need to do is include your full name and upload an image of yourself. These are very important as it will let people find you and then identify you as the person they are looking for.

2. Your Headline
The next step is to personalize your headline. As a default, LinkedIn will place your current position as your headline but you can easily edit this to say whatever you like. I would recommend including your current position and perhaps what else you are working on/for.

3. Work History
The next step is to add your work history. At least include the last 3-4 jobs you have had, and make sure you fill these out fully.

4. URL
The next thing you are going to want to do is customize your vanity URL. This is simply the address (on LinkedIn) where people can find you and that you can linked to on your other websites.

5. Add Your Website
Also, add your own website if you have one.

6. Find Others
Finally, you will want to find others that you may know already on LinkedIn and add them. Also, you may want to ask them for a recommendation. This will allow you to get introduced to others on LinkedIn.

7. Network
Bonus points if you also start networking. You can start doing this by searching for groups that you may be interested in or that may be interested in you and your business.

Now that you are done creating your page, you can now move on to creating a page for your company.

Better For You

image credit: JD Hancock on flickr

Creating a Company Page

Just like you did on your profile page, you need to start with the basics.

1. Basic Information
Include your business’ basic information. Go to “Admin” and then “Edit.” From there, you can fill in your company’s details. While you are there, make sure you click the “Designated users only” button and add yourself as an admin – this will allow you to create updates as your page.

You can also start promoting your business via LinkedIn ads as well if you wish. I would hold off on that until you get a little more familiar with how LinkedIn works.

2. Your Products & Services
Start adding individual products and services that you offer as well. This will highlight what you can offer any visitor to your profile.

3. Analytics
And finally, don’t forget about measuring your success. LinkedIn analytics includes pages views, unique visitors, clicks on your products and services, and members following your company page. Use these to judge how you are doing in promoting your page.

So What Now?

So you have created your personal profile and your company’s page, now what?

Now you start interacting.

As mentioned before, you can start looking for groups to join. When doing this think about what groups would use your business rather than just about what groups your business would belong to.

You can also start positioning yourself as an expert by answering people’s questions on LinkedIn Answers.

Have a look at some of the apps you can add to your page. There are some real gems there.

Don’t forget to add the LinkedIn mobile app to your phone. This is one of the best apps I have used and the best bit is it’s free! Great for when you are at conferences.

So there is a very quick crash course with LinkedIn. Like all social networking sites, the best part is that you get to jump in and start exploring.

Did you find this helpful? Any questions?