How can business owners use LinkedIn to grow their companies vs. their personal brands?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment and underemployment and provides entrepreneurs with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of their business’s development and growth. E-mail your questions about best practices for starting up and/or managing a small business to firstname.lastname@example.org.
No. 1: What Do You Recommend?
From Logan Lenz of Endagon
Not enough companies take advantage of the recommendation feature on LinkedIn. Plenty of personal brand accounts know about it and ask for endorsements proactively, but the same feature is underutilized for businesses. Send out an email to all of your current clients and ask them to recommend your business to their network. Rarely will you get a rejection; happy clients will gladly do it.
No. 2: Tell Me a Story!
From Michael Margolis of Get Storied
Company profile pages on LinkedIn are one of the first places that job candidates go when researching your company. Use this space to tell a story of what your company stands for. Let your personality shine and describe key elements of your work culture. What makes your company an exciting place to work? This will go a long way to recruiting top-tier talent.
No. 3: Become a Groupie
From Elizabeth Saunders of Real Life E®
By either participating in existing LinkedIn Groups related to your business area or starting a group that will draw people interested in the topic, you can add value, enhance your brand and potentially draw new customers though Groups. Just be sure that if you're participating in an existing group that you follow their guidelines in terms of permissible business promotion.
No. 4: Create Consistency
From Ash Kumra of DesiYou
Your personal brand and where you work need to be aligned. Brands are all about people and the people are what make the brands.
No. 5: *Raises Hand*
From Lucas Sommer of Audimated
Answering and asking questions is probably the most effective way to stir up business for your brand. If you are looking for customers who buy widgets, join the widget forum and start asking people about their experiences with widgets. If you want to be direct you can answer their questions with your expert advice. You want your profile listed as an expert in your industry by using questions.
No. 6: Who Do We Both Know?
From Aaron Schwartz of Modify Watches
Use your LinkedIn network to find prospective clients and partners, and then to prepare for meetings with them. Your personal connections can help generate warm introductions and help you research their backgrounds as well!
No. 7: Virtual Rolodex
From Brent Beshore of AdVentures
Business is based on relationships, and LinkedIn is an excellent place to track, sort and maintain relationships. Connect consistently and systematically, then leverage. Just like developing a great online reputation via publishing or marketing, a great LinkedIn reputation is built on consistency and value.
No. 8: Business vs. Personal
From Devesh Dwivedi of Breaking The 9 To 5 Jail
Create a company page and develop it with interesting, relevant and up-to-date content. However, keep it separate from your personal brand, as you may want to develop them separately and not let one hold back the other.
No. 9: The Ongoing Networking Event
From John Hall of Digital Talent Agents
LinkedIn is an excellent source to develop relationships that can benefit your business. Target certain individuals that you know can help grow your company to interact with their communities or reach out to them. It’s all about networking.