Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video How professional networking helps your business, part of Growing Your Small Business with LinkedIn.
There's an endless number of potential LinkedIn members who can become part of your network. Now, we'll see how to create strategic connections on the platform and we'll also highlight ways you can attract new connections with the right message, a little bit later but how exactly is it that connecting with members and growing your network benefits your business? Well, executing a few key steps in your LinkedIn strategy will strengthen your network and grow your business in a number of ways. First, expanding your LinkedIn network enhances your ability to meet prospective customers. In addition to being a networking platform, LinkedIn is also an active marketplace where business owners, job seekers, contractors, free lancers, entrepreneurs, and employers are all advertising the goods, services, solutions, experience, and skills they have to offer.
The larger your network, the greater the likelihood that the perfect client or customer will come across your profile and reach out to you. Second, you'll meet new connections. Now, new connections might not become new customers, immediately, but leveraging the LinkedIn platform as a nurturing strategy, could resolve in them becoming customers in the future. Your new connections could also recommend your business to their LinkedIn connections who might have an immediate need, putting your business in front of ready prospects. Third, you strengthen current relationships. LinkedIn gives you numerous opportunities to stay in touch with your current connections.
For example, the system will automatically send you reasons to congratulate people in your network. You'll be notified when your contacts have a job anniversary or start a new position. You'll also be notified when your connections post content you can engage with or a request for assistance in some way. Think of how valuable you'll appear to others when they ask a question and you provide an expert solution. Then, when a need for your product, services, or solutions arise, they'll think of you first or tell their connections about you. You can also strengthen your relationships by publishing your own original, or curated content that addresses problems and offers solutions that are relevant to your clients.
The fourth advantage of being active on LinkedIn is that you'll demonstrate your business expertise. According to recently published LinkedIn statistics, 94 percent of business to business marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content. While you might not consider yourself to be a B to B marketing expert, you can distribute content through LinkedIn in the same way towards the same goals. To educate, engage, and entertain your prospects and clients. LinkedIn data also shows that an average of 10 pieces of content are consumed before a purchase is made.
As a small business owner, this tells you that your prospects are hungry for content to inform their buying decisions. So be sure to regularly publish compelling content that helps them realize that your business understands their challenges and offers the solution to their problem. You can also demonstrate your expertise by engaging with their content and adding thoughtful, insightful comments that provide value. And number five, you'll be able to analyze your competitors. As you grow your network of first, second, and third degree connections within your industry, you'll begin discovering more profiles of LinkedIn members who own businesses that offer similar products and services.
This allows you to closely study what your competition is doing and gain insight into their marketing. So when performing your competitive analysis be sure to ask yourself some questions about your competitors LinkedIn profiles. For example, what terms and keywords do they emphasize in their summary? How are they promoting their products and services? Do they publish content, and if so what kind? Do their employees have LinkedIn profiles? What skills and expertise do their employees showcase? Is the competitor posting job openings and if so what skills and experience are they looking for? And what's their LinkedIn profile head line? Alright so there you have some key advantages of connecting with members and being active on LinkedIn.
- Optimizing your LinkedIn profile
- Building your brand
- Creating a strong network
- Networking like a pro
- Turning leads into clients