LinkedIn Tips for Small Business Owners

There’s a lot of noise out there right now. People are frustrated from the amount of “cold” connection requests and InMails they’re getting on LinkedIn. People are frustrated from getting a generic connection request and then getting hit with a sales pitch as soon as they hit accept.

As we know as small business owners, LinkedIn is so much more than a job search site. It’s a perfect place for online networking and building your personal brand. Building your personal brand on LinkedIn means what people think of you when they see you in their feed – positive, helpful, knowledgable or pushy, cold and saley. We’ve used LinkedIn to build our networks and show up as a helpful, valuable resource, which in turn has our connections reaching out to us when they need our service because we stay top of mind. We have 3 top tips to share with you today that hope will help you think differently and use LinkedIn to help position yourself for growth and to attract opportunities, not be shut down by the receiver when you send that InMail!

Connect intentionally – don’t send a generic connection request note saying “I see we have mutual connections and should connect” or “I think we could be mutually beneficial contacts for each other.” Try and find either a true mutual connection or explain exactly why you’re connecting. “Hi ___, Craig Turner recommended we connect. We both are active in the HR community and I think would have a lot in common. Looking forward to adding value to each others’ networks.” It’s important to show that this relationship is going to be mutually beneficial, you’re not just contacting them to sell something, or to grow your connection numbers. We also recommend not asking for something in the connection request note. If the person accepts, feel free to follow up and ask if they are free for a 15 minute chat to get to know each other further.

Post intentionally – never post just to post. Do what feels authentic to you. LinkedIn experts say that organic content does better than shares. If you are a chronic sharer of articles from other company or connections’ pages, try creating a post yourself adding your authentic voice and expertise. Add a few hashtags (three is the magic number) and engage with those who like/comment within the first couple hours. Your post should perform better than if you shared someone else’s post. Now, we’re not here just to get the most # of likes, we’re here for the snowball effect. Why take the time to post a great piece of content if no one is going to see it right? Post something that will be valuable to your network, include a call to action so they are inclined to share their thoughts with a comment and use your voice as a way to attract new connections to you. Remember, everyone who likes or comments on your post, their network may see your post in their newsfeeds.

Engage intentionally – The LinkedIn algorithms favorite kind of engagement right now is comments. (Engagement means likes, comments, shares on a post). Makes sense right? LinkedIn wants users to stay on their platform and engage in meaningful discussion and dialogue. Just liking someone’s post is very passive and won’t give your profile a voice. If you see valuable content in your feed, give it a thoughtful comment. This is also why you want to include a call to action in your posts and invite your connections to leave you thoughtful comments. This will help boost your post because LinkedIn gets the idea that your content is valuable to your network. Remember, anything you like or comment on, your network may see this in their newsfeeds. So do so intentionally and make sure the content you’re engaging with also represents you and your brand well.

Contact me if you’re looking to enhance your LinkedIn presence and strategy to attract opportunities to yourself and reach your goals! You can learn more about my services here. I look forward to hearing from you (:

This article was also featured in Spin Out Magazine, a Buffalo, NY based small business publication.

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