LinkedIn is an important networking tool that works on your behalf even when you are not awake. I always tell my clients, it’s going to take a few minutes to get setup. You put a good half hour in to get it organized and you put all your details in and it is a very powerful business networking tool that helps you shake hands with prospects across the world, and is a very valuable sales tool.
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Questions I get asked about LinkedIn by all my Entrepreneurial Clients
“What’s the big deal about LinkedIn anyway?”
“I’m getting some requests to join, how do I have the time to make connections on LinkedIn?”
“I don’t even know what LinkedIn is about.”
My answer to them is always the same.
LinkedIn is a business networking portal and it’s very powerful for search engine possibilities. It helps you, your business, and your products and services rank high on the internet. It’s an important place to make connections with decision makers and prospects that might use your business services or products in the future.
How LinkedIn is Different from other Social Media Sites
The great part about LinkedIn is that it differentiates from other social media is that usually the people who are on LinkedIn are there to talk about business and that’s what they’re there for. So it’s not about what about people have done that morning, it’s an important social media portal to take notice and to make some good decisions about what you want to present to the world.
Why you need a LinkedIn Profile
The reason you need a LinkedIn profile for both yourself and your business is because it’s a great place to grow your connections. It is a platform to grow your network of people who might be prospects for your business, and to grow your network of people who may be ambassadors. Brand ambassadors may not buy your products or services but they may be people who talk to other people around and if they have your information at the top of their mind, they can share with others. LinkedIn is a great way for you to get permission based conversations happening with people who connect with you because if they’ve said ‘yes, I want to connect with you’, at some point in the future they probably will communicate with you and share some information either about their products and services or tips in the industry and that’s the great part about connecting.
Those are the reasons that you should be part of LinkedIn and you create those connections and that’s a really important number one reason for having LinkedIn. One of the things that I do when I build my LinkedIn profile is that I want to generate a bigger network of people that can either help me in business or that I can help because on of my missions is to help people take their business from where they are now to where they want to be. By connecting with me I might be able to help you do that but on the same sort of vein you connecting with me might have some information about an industry that would benefit me so that’s what LinkedIn is about, it’s about growing your network. The new style of growing your network.
LinkedIn is the New Networking Platform
The old style of networking used to be go to chambers of commerce and you would shake hands or go to international tradeshows. Our budgets have been cut, we’re not traveling as much, we’re not networking as much person to person because of our time restraints and out budget restraints. LinkedIn solves that problem by doing some virtual handshaking, by building our credibility and our profile online without us having to do the face to face and have these long conversations.
I use LinkedIn again to grow my profile, leads and sales by creating connections and growing the people. I always connect with people who are in my industry, who might be in my industry, who might benefit from something that I have to say but also people I don’t know. That’s one of the number one mistakes about LinkedIn.
Use LinkedIn to Share Important Industry Information
People say “Well, I don’t know that person so I am not going to connect with them”. It’s a really important opportunity. You go to tradeshows and there’s tons of people you don’t know but you shake their hands and you introduce yourself to them and that’s what LinkedIn is. I’m very much baffled by people who say I’m not going to connect with them at all because I don’t know who they are yet they would have no problem around a boardroom table or a tradeshow booth in shaking their hands and telling them a little more about them and listening to what that person has to say about their business and products and services – LinkedIn is no different. I use LinkedIn to share important news information about the industry I’m in, so you if you link in to me, you will get some very pertinent, important information about marketing and sales tips and sales tools that are going to help grow your business so it’s a benefit to connect with me because I do share those.
Use LinkedIn to Create Relationships
The other thing that I do is that I’m always trying to help my connections. If a contact is searching for a job, I might refer them, or if somebody is looking for a great marketing agency that does web design or video production or social media and people will highlight my name and say ‘contact Dawn Larsen or Navigator Marketing’. That is a powerful tool. That is your ambassador’s at work for you because they know more about your business because they’re connected with you on LinkedIn. Conversely I’m always connecting people and finding people who would benefit, relationships would benefit so a mining supplier and a mine that is growing or adding to their mine plan or a different service that’s working with one of my casinos, I’m always putting people together because it’s a way to start, you know enhance my networking as well.
Build Credibility for Your Business
I use LinkedIn to build my credibility for my business, to show that Navigator or Dawn Larsen are knowledgeable in our industry and that we are the go-to people to come to if you want some information on how to grow your web traffic with your websites or how to engage people in social media or how to get a really high impact video. We share that information with you on LinkedIn because you may want to do it yourself or if you are hiring a supplier then you know exactly what you need to do.
Use Case Studies and Testimonials
Use LinkedIn to show other people how I can help them with their businesses. Every once in a while I’ll showcase how we’ve helped another client or I’ll present a case study. ie. Here’s how we have taken a mining company or a mining supply company that has no sales team and got their message all across the world to their target audiences and you’ll see the case study there.
Generate Profile, Leads and Sales with LinkedIn
I also use LinkedIn to generate profile leads and sales so every once in a while when I post, it will be a news article or update on my LinkedIn profile. For example, Navigator Marketing won the Best Web Design Company of the year. I posted that so that’s something that you would see in your news feed. Important to know and for the ambassadors it’s top of their mind, and for customers who are thinking about web design in the future, it sits with them until they’re ready to purchase. For somebody who’s right now ready, saying here I’m looking for a web company, it’s an opportunity for them to go and check out the company and find out more information.
Navigator Marketing has benefited a lot from LinkedIn. We are in a lot of groups, we post a lot of good tips and resources and we’ve been recommended and referred by dozens of people on LinkedIn as a result of them reading some of our content. I’ve also seen many of our clients who have little or no sales teams use LinkedIn as a powerful tool to connect with their prospects.