Facebook may be the most popular and Twitter may be the most up-to-date with breaking news, but you can’t beat LinkedIn for powerful business connections and marketing research for potential referral sources or new customer prospecting.
Yesterday I had coffee with Michael Sheehan, who manages the 2000 member plus group of LinkedIn Akron. He described several different ways he uses LinkedIn to build his business.
Try searching the word insurance in the people category (which is the default category.) I got over 1.3 million results, but Mike Sheehan comes up number one.
After he completely filled out his profile, he uses LinkedIn for market research to connect with people.
He uses a powerful phrase “tell me more about your business” when he connects with people via the send message feature.
One important key: how he uses LinkedIn. He doesn’t use LinkedIn like a firehose to plaster his branding and marketing at everyone. Instead he looks purposefully for people in companies that don’t offer the same products and services that his company provides. And then he builds a relationship with them.
Take a couple minutes to review your own LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have your company name hyperlinked to the website or your blog, take a minute to do that. Have an old photo that’s too far away to see your eyes? Update your photo. Improve the description of who you are — don’t just let it go to the default that picks up your most recent job. Select a business friend that you admire and post a testimonial on their profile. (Remember in social media - you’ve got to give to get!)
If you’re responsible for the branding and marketing at your company, add your company to the company directory and build that profile. It’s an important way for prospective employees or customers to review your business before they make a decision.
How do you use LinkedIn to brand and market your business? Leave a suggestion below. I’m interested in learning more.