There’s a dirty rumor making the rounds that has the potential to sink your networking efforts. Small business owners are told that LinkedIn is a waste of time. Don’t fall for it! Here’s why you should NOT ignore LinkedIn if you’re a small business owner!
Why you should NOT ignore LinkedIn if you're a small business owner
“I don’t need a LinkedIn page, I’m not looking for a corporate job” she said, as we were having lunch. She was a successful business owner, looking for growth in her business. I had just asked how strong her LinkedIn game was.
Sadly, she’s not the first (or last) person that has shared that opinion.
I often talk with small business owners, individuals happy with their organization, and others that do not see the value in being active on LinkedIn. Why jump on the bandwagon with one more social media channel when they have Facebook, Instagram and YouTube taking up all their time?
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But y’all, LinkedIn is built and optimized for the small business owner. Here are 5 ways that LinkedIn can change your business (and life).
5 Reasons You Should Not Ignore LinkedIn as a Small Business Owner
It helps you network like a boss
I’m all about networking events – working a room is something that I live for. But guess what – your reach in a physical networking space only extends to the people who physically show up. Even then – do you have the ability to get in front of every person in the room during the event? Probably not.
LinkedIn multiplies your networking efforts. With the click of the button and a brief message (a must), you can grow your network exponentially. As a small business owner, it is critical you make connections, not only for leads, but for collaborators and referrals. This platform has everyone from other small business owners to multinational CEO’s signing on daily.
Why not stack the odds in your favor with broader outreach?
It systematizes your outreach
Let’s get one thing straight: follow up is the way to make any sale as a small business owner. Using a platform like LinkedIn is one more tool in your belt to keep your outreach organized and consistent. And while you may not be able to persuade a prospective client to sign up for your mailing list, you may be able to build a connection with them here.
[Warning here] Some people argue that LinkedIn has gotten spammy. In my opinion, it has. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Professionals sign on to LinkedIn with the mindset to connect and grow. Jump in, add value, and you will see growth. Be spammy and you will be DISconnected.
LinkedIn allows you to be spotlighted as an expert in your field
These days, everyone is talking about building trust. What better way than to build confidence as an expert in your field? Posting or reposting content gets you in your connections’ feeds on a regular basis. Showing up by contributing to the conversation helps keep you front of mind.
I once had a potential client reach out to request a proposal. In the initial meeting, they seemed to have a lot of knowledge about what I do and how I could help them. After delving deeper, I learned that a member of their team followed my LinkedIn feed closely and regularly passed along my posts and articles to her manager.
When they encountered a problem, they viewed me as an expert in that field and I was the first person they called.
It gets you in front of your ideal client
Want to learn about the Head of Marketing for that large organization down the street?
In the past, you might turn to Google or ask around. Now, LinkedIn provides a single place to research and make connections with your ideal client. Not only can you search by job title, industry or geographic area, you can also see if a connection has any mutual connections in common with you.
You can reach out to your ideal client with a genuine and thoughtful message and they will most likely be willing to connect. From there, you can organically build your relationship as a trustworthy expert.
LinkedIn is a platform all about relationships
I’ve been in the business ownership game for 3 years, but have watched generations before me successfully run businesses in all industries. I know this – to succeed as a small business you have to build relationships. LinkedIn is a platform designed around and focused on building these relationships. You can see the focus on the wording used by the site (“connections”, “groups”).
If building a successful business is all about relationships, why not be involved in THE social media platform designed around relationship building?
You may not be interested in jumping back into the corporate 9-5 or searching for a new job, but if you are a small business owner you are still going to want to get involved with LinkedIn. The pros far outweigh the cons, and the time you invest in your LinkedIn strategy will result in a stronger network and brand identity.