Is LinkedIn Another Time Waster or a Business Tool?
There are so many social media platforms now it is easy to get confused on which one you should be using or whether you should be using a particular one at all. Today on Small Business Talk Podcast we discuss whether Linkedin is a timewaster or a useful business tool.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social media platform that is a bit different to most and it has 2 main purposes.
- Business building through relationship
- Job creation through being a resume service
LinkedIn is about business, it is commonly referred to as the professional’s social media platform, however don’t let that put you off it’s for all forms of business. For the purpose of this podcast, we are only going to concentrate on Business Building.
How Do You Use Linkedin To Build Your Business?
Great question. Recently, I did a LinkedIn Accelerator Course with Adam Franklin from Bluewire Media. Adam has some really great tips on how to use LinkedIn to your best business advantage. Adam will be my guest on an upcoming episode of the Small Business Podcast, so stay tuned for that.
Is Your LinkedIn Profile Setup Correctly?
Start with your profile
When looking at LinkedIn as a business tool, the first thing we need to do is go back to basics. What does your profile say? Is it an old resume format, a sales ad or just incomplete?
Firstly, your profile must have a photo of you. Yes, a good looking headshot that you are looking straight at the camera and that doesn’t have a busy background. People like to do business with people – people they KNOW, LIKE & TRUST. Eye contact builds trust.
Next is your cover image. Is your cover image clear, concise and relevant to your business? A lovely scenery shot doesn’t convey much about your business – unless you are a landscape photographer.
The third thing you need to look at is your heading. The heading is the first 2 lines of text that your customer or prospect will see. Your heading is also searchable; this is where your keywords, your industry category should go. How do you want people to find you? If you’re a café owner, you might put whole foods specialist, organic raw good, Café Town, Brunch, Lunch & Catering. These are all terms that people will be searching. Once you have your heading sorted then you need to move onto description, the text that tells your story.
The description should show your point of difference, how you can help solve your customer’s point, what is the benefit of them working their problem with you.
There is a limited formatting available to you in the description so make your text into paragraph and use all capitals as your heading. Remember not to overdo it or you will lose the points that you are trying to emphasise.
Get LinkedIn Working For You!
Once you have your profile sorted with a great headshot, cover, headline and description, now it’s time to make some connection. Start with your current connection if you have some already. Reconnect with them by sending them a private message.
Think about your messaging; if you wouldn’t use it face to face to your friend then don’t use it online. Would you walk up to your friend you haven’t seen for a long time and immediately try to sell them something? Of course not. You would make small talk, ask about the family or chat about things you have in common. Do the same when reconnecting with your LinkedIn contacts. Remind them of when you last meet or what you have in common.
It’s been a long time since we last saw each other at X event. How did you get on with Y (something relevant)? Be great to catch up at some stage.
Tailor your message to your specific relationship with the person, whether they are someone you knew well in the past and have lost touch with or just an acquaintance. Don’t be creepy about it and definitely not salesy.
LinkedIn is About Building Business Relationships
Remember, the idea is to reconnect and nothing more. There will be time for adding value and being helpful then selling later. Linked is about building business relationships nit just having connections for connection sake.
When the connection replies and yes, some will, some won’t. Then you need to have a strategy to continue the conversation. Have a few messages ready and tailor them to suit and send them appropriately after they reply. Once you have reestablished the connection and have a conversation going, that’s when you can add your free pdf/download etc.
Now LinkedIn likes you stay on the platform so send your PDF as a message inside LinkedIn and have your website and contact details as clickable links in the PDF.
2nd Degree Connections
2nd degree connections are people who are connected to people you are connected to. You may know some of these people in real life. If you so, you can message them the same as you did to reconnect with your first degree connections. If not, you have 2 options.
- Ask your mutual connection to make an introduction.
- Message the 2nd degree connection.
“Hi Sue, I see we both know X person and work in the same industry, it would be great to reconnect”.
Personalise your message to your situation and then start a conversation. As you can see, LinkedIn is all about making real connection. You need to be genuine and looking to help or add value. If you are only in it for what you can get, then people will see right through you and LinkedIn will become another time waster for your business.
We have all had experience where we have accepted a connection request only to be spammed or sent sleazy “Hi Dear” messages. So remember, if you wouldn’t do it as a face to face social setting then don’t do it on Social Media.
Is LinkedIn Another Time Waster or a Business Tool?
LinkedIn is definitely a business tool and you need to learn the nuances to make it work for you so that it is not just another time waster. Listen to the podcast for the tips on how to setup your Linkedin profile and start there.
Next week on the Small Business Talk Podcast, I am chatting with a Copywriter who conquered a mountain – literally.
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