5 Rules for Marketing Your Business on LinkedIn

Not just for job hunting anymore, LinkedIn provides business owners with more marketing opportunities than have ever been available to them in the past. In fact, one might call LinkedIn the perfect B2B marketing platform. Why is that? Nowhere else in the social media world will you find so many business owners, executives and decision makers communicating, trading ideas and hiring employees. This sort of social networking power can give your lead count a serious boost if you follow these five rules for effectively marketing your business on LinkedIn.

1. Keep Your Profile and Your Business’s Profile Current

Both you and your business should have a presence on LinkedIn, and both should be updated regularly. When you’re interacting in groups and with other LinkedIn members, people will be checking out your pages for a glimpse into who you really are as a professional and as a company. Fill in any missing information, choose your wording and tone carefully and design graphics or choose a photo that accurately reflects your image.

2. Make Connections

You may have heard that you shouldn’t be forming connections with folks you don’t know. But it’s the people you don’t know who you’re trying to reach. Each connections gives you another addition to your network, another potential resource or another prospective customer. However, you don’t necessarily want to go around making connections with just anybody. Try to focus your efforts on connections with people in your industry and market as well as those in neighboring industries and markets. This will allow you to rapidly expand your network and possible business opportunities.

3. Establish Yourself as an Industry Thought Leader with Groups

Possibly the most important rule for marketing on LinkedIn is to take part in discussion groups – LinkedIn groups provide an excellent way to quickly build up your and your company’s status as a thought leader in your industry. By actively participating in these groups, forming connections with the group members and adding intelligent, well-thought out content to them, you can build up a reputation as a thought leader and trusted resource in any sector, market or geographic area you want. Many digital marketers have had success in acquiring leads this way by adding valuable content to popular discussion groups. Establish yourself as knowledgeable and trustworthy, and you’ll reap the benefits of that status in the form of new potential partnerships and prospects.

4. Be Authentic, Sincere and, Above All, Helpful

When interacting on LinkedIn, either in a group or one-to-one, remember – your primary goal is to be helpful. If you’re just joining a group to share information about your company or your latest blog post, most group members will see through your self-promotion tactics and may even ban you from the group. Instead, take a vested interest in the discussions happening, ask your own questions and only when appropriate, share your content. Remember that just like in any sales process, building relationships comes first. Treat LinkedIn the same way.

5. Start Your Own LinkedIn Group

Having a tough time finding discussion groups which relate to your particular niche or local geographic market? Why not start your own LinkedIn group? By creating your own discussion group, you can moderate the kinds of content and people you attract to it. This can be a very powerful for bringing in new prospects, leads and business partners. Starting a LinkedIn group also helps to establish your authority as a thought leader, thus giving you more credibility over similar businesses who only participate. Running an active group is definitely hard work, but the rewards may be worth it in terms of new business and reputation.

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