The business-focused professional networking platform LinkedIn has proved itself vital for working professionals. Whether working as an employee, employer, recruiter, sales professional or business owner, the social networking platform can help you extend your reach and connect with the correct people who can help you advance your career.
Since its launch in May 2003, the business networking platform has evolved into a powerhouse of networked connections where over 810 million professionals interact to share business and related career information. But with all the major brands on the platform, how can LinkedIn benefit the small business owner? Here are some of the top reasons why you should seriously consider creating a personal LinkedIn profile, a company page, or adding some of the new features and changes released in 2022 to your existing profile to take advantage of some of its new features available for free.
What are the top reasons why LinkedIn is important for your business?
Extending your personal brand online. You can manage the professional image you want to display to your customers. A carefully crafted profile showcasing your skills, experience, testimonials and work history can bring you business. Your profile will also appear when people are searching for a particular skill or experience. Having your business value proposition displayed on your profile can bring inbound clients to you with minimal effort on your part. Having a great profile will bring your credibility and allow you to tell your story to bring your work to life.
Showcasing your professional brand with Company Pages. Having a company page, which shows your business expertise in your industry, the products you produce and news about the company can really enhance your brand. You can advertise jobs available at the company and post white papers. In short, if used correctly and updated frequently, a LinkedIn Company Page can eliminate the need for small businesses to actually have a paid-for website.
Finding work on LinkedIn. Contractors or teams of ad-hoc workers can use LinkedIn to find suitable employment in their area of the country or find work online. LinkedIn’s search and tagging features can showcase roles which are tailored to your skills. If you are open to finding a new job, your profile will show up when recruiters search for your specific skill set, location, or even if you want to work remotely. You can show whether you want to work as a part-time contractor, a full-time employee and when you want to work. You can even specify the audience for the profile setting so that recruiters are the only group of people who will see this new information
Generate Leads. You can collect leads from LinkedIn members who visit your Company page by creating a lead generation form to capture member information so you can close the deal. LinkedIn’s data shows that using LinkedIn to generate leads can increase conversions by two to three times compared to standard campaigns using sponsored content. These forms can not only be used to connect LinkedIn members to your brand, but also enable you to promote your whitepapers or encourage signups to a webinar.
Showcase your skills. You can add specific skills gained to each work placement you have done. Any recruiter who is performing a skills search will see your name listed under that specific skill. You can also add your skills and ask for and receive recommendations about your work. These endorsements will be visible to others who view your profile and will further validate your expertise on your profile
Update your job-specific skills. You can search LinkedIn’s online courses to enhance your knowledge about any topic you want. LinkedIn Learning courses vary in length and complexity and cover a plethora of topics. Many are free courses and are offered in six languages. You can follow structured learning paths, or browse the videos on offer. The courses range from beginner to advanced levels and several courses lead to certifications.
LinkedIn is a fabulous networking tool that, when used properly, can really enhance your ability to grow your connections and advertise yourself or your business to gather new business opportunities and advance your career. Over the next few weeks, I will be drilling down into many of the free features of the platform that you can adopt to create a LinkedIn presence to be proud of. So What are you waiting for?