Use LinkedIn For More Than Just Building Connections

Posted by David Chism | Wed, Mar 11, 2015

 Use LinkedIn For More Than Just Building Connections
LinkedIn made some major improve­ments in 2014. There were times a few years ago when I won­dered if LinkedIn was going to stay in the game. Many busi­ness­es moved their resources over to Face­book for a time, but I am begin­ning to see them slow­ly migrate back to LinkedIn, which I think is a great move. LinkedIn pulled through. It has once again become a very strong place for com­pa­nies to net­work and grow their businesses.

LinkedIn Isn’t Just for Quick Research

I recent­ly heard a group of experts at a paint­ing con­fer­ence dis­cuss social media tools and best prac­tices for paint­ing con­trac­tors. They spent a lot of time talk­ing about Face­book and Twit­ter, yet when it came to LinkedIn, they spent prob­a­bly no more than a minute or two. In my opin­ion, they bare­ly brushed over it as a place to look for a job or do a lit­tle research about a prospect before a sales call. (Two great ways to use LinkedIn, by the way.) Oh, but LinkedIn is so much more pow­er­ful than just being an online résumé or research tool. Yes, with recent changes made by this social media giant, you, as an indi­vid­ual, can real­ly build your per­son­al or busi­ness brand. PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: One piece of advice before I share a few of the best prac­tices: BE AUTHEN­TIC! Do not try to be some­one you are not on LinkedIn, or any social media plat­form for that mat­ter. Build­ing a brand online takes years unless you hap­pen to be one of the lucky few peo­ple who have some secret sauce that goes viral overnight. Don’t count on that! The more you can con­nect with your audi­ence in a real and gen­uine way, the more you and your com­pa­ny will become a trust­ed resource for your prod­uct or ser­vice. Peo­ple buy from peo­ple they like and trust. It is not always about the price tag. Here are a cou­ple of the things you can be doing to grow your busi­ness on LinkedIn: 
  • Post qual­i­ty sta­tus updates: You don’t need to let your con­nec­tions know you are eat­ing pop­corn and watch­ing hock­ey. No, leave that for your friends on Face­book. Instead, you could take a pic­ture or video of a safe­ty meet­ing you are hav­ing with your team.
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  • Be sure to respond to com­ments you receive, and say thank you to compliments.
  • Use the new” blog­ging / arti­cle tool to post your best stuff: LinkedIn now has a place on your pro­file you can write arti­cles, like a blog. My sug­ges­tion would be to take only your best arti­cles, type them up with a nice fea­tured pho­to and post them. These arti­cles will be tied to your LinkedIn Pro­file. This is where you can build your author­i­ty and cred­i­bil­i­ty with your audi­ence. Any­one using LinkedIn for research will see your updates and arti­cles and hope­ful­ly know you are an expert in your specialty.
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  • Join and Get Involved in Groups: A great way to meet peo­ple on Linkedin is by being involved in Groups. Keep­ing in mind the sug­ges­tion I men­tioned above about being gen­uine and authen­tic, just be sure you prac­tice the 8020 rule. Spend time lis­ten­ing (read­ing) what oth­ers have to say. Do not be the chat­ter box here. Engage with folks when only necessary!
  • Spend Time Reach­ing Out To Oth­ers: If done in a gen­uine way, this can be a great way to build your brand and cred­i­bil­i­ty. I have seen many peo­ple on LinkedIn try lik­ing, com­ment­ing and mes­sag­ing in a spam-like man­ner. Use your best judg­ment when engag­ing and don’t be annoying.
  • Get Your Team To Use LinkedIn
  • Build Your Con­nec­tions: It is per­fect­ly ok to not have every con­nec­tion in your local mar­ket. Unless the per­son who is try­ing to con­nect looks like they will become a spam­mer, go ahead and connect.
  • Update Your Pro­file: You do not need to go over­board here either, but hav­ing a qual­i­ty pro­file that shows what you do now and the things you have done in the past can be very help­ful when some­one wants to view your pro­file. Make sure your main descrip­tion of what you do is clear. It is up to you if you want to list all your past jobs, but I per­son­al­ly think it is best to keep things short and con­cise. I would wrap up your pro­file by get­ting a few endorse­ments (reviews).

Have a Plan and Work It

I hope you find the ideas above help­ful as you con­sid­er using the social plat­form of LinkedIn to grow your brand and your busi­ness. I think it is not only a great tool for B2B but also for B2C. Why do I think that? Because busi­ness peo­ple have homes and prop­er­ties too. You nev­er know when you might con­vince some­one to use your ser­vices on their per­son­al home! Let me know how you all have been using LinkedIn over the years and how you plan on using it mov­ing forward.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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