LinkedIn is a valuable business tool for connecting with like-minded business owners, clients and suppliers.
Leigh Frost, Managing Director of Truesilver Marketing & Web Design, describes LinkedIn as “the most accurate business to business database there is” and “a really powerful way to connect with people”.
Last month, Leigh hosted a mini LinkedIn masterclass as part of our webinar series. She covered a variety of important topics to help businesses make the most of LinkedIn, including etiquette, what to post, and how to search and connect with people.
Here, we share some of her top tips:
Leigh began the masterclass with some simple do’s and don’ts of LinkedIn etiquette.
- Keep your posts reasonably professional
- Add the occasional personal post (especially about success)
- Like and comment on things that really resonate with you
- Be friendly
- Post useful, interesting or funny content - info about your industry, your business
“Post whatever you like; it’s your rules, your profile. But bear in mind people are there for business.”
- Always talk about yourself - think of it as a conversation
- Post what you’re posting on your personal Facebook page
- Spam message people - the odd message is fine but if they’re not replying to you that’s a sign your message isn’t of interest
“Think about how you would network in real life. If all you’re doing is posting ‘this is what I do’ then people get a bit bored.”
Setting goals for LinkedIn
When using LinkedIn, it’s important to set goals. Examples might include:
- Increase connections
- Build stronger connections
- Improve the number of views on your posts
- Find good suppliers
- Build a strategic network for referrals
- Find clients
“Being more specific and targeted with your marketing is where you start to really get a return on investment. So who they are, what they do, what motivates them, what their challenges are, understanding what sort of car they might drive, where they live, what their hobbies are; everything about them will help you understand how you can trigger them to want to speak to you.”
Using LinkedIn to build a strategic network
LinkedIn is a great tool for building a strategic network. By making connections with people within your wider industry you can start to build a really powerful network where you can refer each other for business.
Leigh suggests joining groups as a good starting point for making those connections. You can then have discussions with people within the group. For example, there is a group for the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, where you can connect with business owners in the local area. There may be other groups relevant to your industry too.
“If you’re a mortgage adviser you might want to connect with IFAs, insurance companies, and accountants. If you’re a builder, you might want to connect with roofers, architects and mortgage advisors. If you’re a florist, you might want to connect with wedding venues, caterers, cake makers.”
Creating a weekly plan
If you’re new to LinkedIn, Leigh recommends spending just 15 minutes a week to start with reading through your news feed and liking and commenting on things that are interesting or useful to you - especially if posted by people in your strategic network.
“It’s all about being congruent and honest - so don’t just comment on absolutely everything.”
When it comes to posting yourself:
- Aim for once or twice a week to start with
- Think about what your clients will be interested in
- Listen to what your customers ask you and use LinkedIn to answer them
- Keep it varied so you’re not always talking about the same thing
- Use a mix of mediums - text, videos, graphics, pdfs, stories, testimonials
“You can use PowerPoint to create graphics for LinkedIn. Or Canva - there is a free version.”
Watch the masterclass for more LinkedIn tips from Leigh, including how to search for people, write articles and create events:
Leigh Frost is Managing Director of Truesilver Marketing & Web Design. Based in Biggleswade, Truesilver offer simple, cost-effective sales and marketing solutions for small businesses across Herts, Beds & Cambs. To find out more, visit the website.