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Five LinkedIn tips for small business owners

Used by over 11 million Australians, LinkedIn® is a valuable tool for small business owners who sell business-to-business; target business professionals as clients or employees; or have partners or suppliers beyond their immediate area. LinkedIn gives you international reach and remains an accessible communications channel, regardless of COVID restrictions.

This article explains five ways in which business owners can optimise their profile and make valuable (and potentially lucrative) connections on LinkedIn.

Tip 1: Create a professional personal profile

Potential customers often decide whether to engage with an organisation based on what they know about its owners and employees.

Therefore, treat your LinkedIn profile page as seriously as your website’s “About us” section. Upload a professional profile photo (head and shoulder shot), write a succinct paragraph about why you do what you do and ensure your professional credentials are up to date. Use the Recommendations and Endorsements functions to engage with your network and get positive reviews on your page.

Tip 2: Connect with existing business contacts

Have you ever struggled to get customer testimonials? Or sought a strategic business partner but didn’t know where to start? LinkedIn’s sophisticated networking function simplifies these processes.

Here are five quick ways to build your business network on LinkedIn:

  1. Use your email contacts to connect with new contacts on LinkedIn.
  2. Connect with existing clients and add a personal note asking for Recommendations.
  3. Add your business partners and suppliers on LinkedIn, then offer to write Recommendations. This boosts their profile visibility while increasing yours to their followers.
  4. Add peers from professional associations or university alumni.
  5. Remember that LinkedIn is a professional networking site. Quality, not quantity, is the key.

These small actions will broaden your professional network and help get you noticed by potential clients.

Tip 3: Set up a Company Page

LinkedIn lets you highlight your business through the Company Page function. This page essentially functions as a website, showcasing your business credentials, values, previous projects and achievements. Like a website, it has page analytics that offer insights into visits and engagement. This data can be valuable if you use your Page to identify possible leads.

Tip 4: Join professional Groups and start engaging

Once your professional profile has a good number of LinkedIn connections, start engaging in professional circles. Build your industry profile and stay abreast of news and networking opportunities. LinkedIn Groups are an easy way to do this. Explore the profiles of some of your connections, see what Groups they belong to, and consider joining.

Tip 5: LinkedIn is not set and forget

If you’re serious about LinkedIn, then dedicate some time each week (10 minutes) or month (20 minutes) to engage with contacts. Maintaining a consistent engagement routine ensures that you don’t miss out on important messages. It’s also worth downloading the LinkedIn mobile app which lets you create a digital business card that notifies you when you receive a connection request or private message.

Last updated 30 March 2021

 

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