- LinkedIn is an underused platform for most business owners as most people have no idea what to do with it.
- Get your personal and company profiles right by using SEO tactics. Joining groups, posting regularly and creating search alerts are also gold nuggets for business development.
- Read on to discover 5 of LinkedIn's best-kept secrets when it comes to using the platform for professional and business development.
As the biggest professional platform, LinkedIn offers an excellent opportunity for businesses owners, entrepreneurs and freelancers. However, people often forget how powerful LinkedIn can be to find leads, recruit, strike a partnership and grow your business. Most hardly check in after completing their profile.
How can I use LinkedIn for business development?
There are 5 ways to use LinkedIn for business development:
- Optimise your personal and company's profile
- Start your own group
- Drive traffic to your business website
- Get published on LinkedIn's official blog
- Use search parameters
All of these tactics are free to use with a standard LinkedIn account.
1. Optimise your personal and company's profile
Profiles are the first points of contact for anyone. Make sure you have a professional headshot, a concise and interesting summary, previous work experience, awards, and any other accomplishments and relevant details.
But this is not the end of the story. You also have to optimise your personal/company page from an SEO perspective, which means you have to do the following:
- Include relevant keywords in the headline, summary and the description section of your personal or company profile. You don’t want to overdo this, though. Remember, showing up in search results is only the first step. People also have to convert, and they won’t reach out if your profile or company page is spammed repeatedly with the same keyword(s).
- Create a custom URL which includes your full name. URLs are one of the most important on-page ranking factors in Google.
- Build links to your company page, such as from your website — the more links, the better.
- Regularly share relevant content, which is a great way to engage with your community and build an online presence. Also, encourage your followers to interact with your content for higher search rankings.
By optimising your LinkedIn page, you will not only see an increase in Google traffic, you will also show up more often in LinkedIn’s search results.
2. Start your own group
Joining LinkedIn groups is one thing — you can meet new people, share knowledge and professional interests, discuss about specific topics and provide value by answering questions and replying to comments.
But starting your own group help position you as an authority in your industry. You are no longer a person that only follows, you also lead. You can demonstrate your expertise, and it shows that want your industry to thrive and flourish.
Starting a new group is also the best way to connect with the people that you are most interested in meeting. Keep in mind that the group should provide value to every single person that participates.
If all you care about is selling, it’s likely that you will eventually drive most members away.
Here's a step-by-step process to start your own LinkedIn group:
1. Click the icon with the nine small squares on the far right of your LinkedIn menu that says Work. Select Groups from the pop-up.
2. In the new tab, click "Create a new group" in the top right corner.
3. In the second pop-up, enter a group name and description. Again, use keywords here to attract the right people. Define the group rules. Keep the privacy settings as "Standard" to ensure the group shows up in search results. Lastly, click "Create".
3. Drive traffic to your business website
What’s one of the best tactics to develop your business on LinkedIn? Redirect the traffic from the platform to your own business website. Now, there is more than one way you can achieve this:
- You can create a paid ad campaign, but this is a topic for a different article.
- Double check that you’ve added a link to your website in the contact info of your personal profile and the details section of your company page. When your profiles show up in the search results, there is a slight chance that the person will click through to your site.
- You can include a link to your website in group discussions. As long as you’ve established yourself as a trusted source, it’s one of the most effective ways to drive highly targeted traffic.
- Post more content for people to find you, which will help drive traffic to your website.
TIP: Make Use of Gated Content
By sharing content through your LinkedIn's status and posts, you can collect the name and email or phone number of a prospective client in exchange for an eBook, white paper, course, trial, webinar, checklist—the possibilities are endless.
4. Get published on LinkedIn’s official blog
Many users don't know this, but LinkedIn has an official blog.
Any post featured on the blog can generate new leads and maybe even partnerships for your business. So how can you achieve that? It’s quite simple: The content you provide must be highly popular, and then it will get featured automatically.
Here are some things to consider:
- Your blog should have a variety of topics, such as “engineering,” “android,” and “member stories.” Select one of the topics that you think is appropriate and see what kind of content appears most frequently
- Think of a great headline
- Use a compelling header image
- Write a concise post
- Consider adding a call to action at the end
- Share the post on your other social media profiles
For more LinkedIn publishing tips, read this case study by OkDork.
5. Use search parameters
Similar to Google, LinkedIn allows you to use parameters to refine your search results when browsing the platform. Running a Boolean search, you can use
- quotes to search for exact phrases, e.g., "Marketing Director";
- AND (capital letters) to include every single word, e.g., Marketing AND Service AND Provider;
- OR (capital letters) to include at least one of the words, e.g., Marketing OR Sales; and
- NOT (capital letters) to exclude the subsequent word, e.g., Marketing NOT Sales.
A combination of the above is also possible. In this case, you’ll have to use parentheses. For example: "Marketing Director" NOT (Sales OR Advertising).
The order of parameters is as follows:
Once you have found a parameter-keyword combination that brings you great results, don’t forget to create a search alert by clicking the button next to your search results on the right.
You will then receive weekly notification emails about new leads in your inbox.
With the right strategy, and with a little time and effort, LinkedIn is a powerful platform to develop authority in your field, expand your reach and generate new business. Implementing consistent efforts on LinkedIn pays off, and could open up a wealth of business opportunities in the future.
Do you use LinkedIn for business development? Share your thoughts below.
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