Posted by Kristine Jacobson

LinkedIn can give your small business unprecedented reach.

The social media landscape has evolved to the point where it’s no longer optional to simply exist; it’s now a requirement to maintain a dynamic presence, much like you would if you were networking in person. This is the new reality of the 21st century. LinkedIn is currently the most effective business building tool short of personal contact you can mine.

For entrepreneurs, it’s a critical means of communicating your company’s personality and brand to the largest market possible. You can link with virtually anyone in the business world, receive and give endorsements and position yourself as an industry leader and influencer, provided you use the tool correctly and to its maximum potential. You have to earn the right to ask for someone’s attention and time and this is where details really begin to matter.

For example, it seems obvious that in order to maximize your visibility and potential reach you should have a complete profile. A professional profile picture is critical. Clear, friendly and professional seems obvious, but if you have any doubt as to whether your picture conveys any of these characteristics, don’t use it. If you’re able to show yourself “in action”, that’s optimal. A picture can convey personality traits that are “soft” and therefore hard to write about effectively.

Your headline is your “So what?” This is where it pays to be specific about what you do that sets you apart from the competition. It doesn’t have to be your job title or job description. Dig a little deeper and articulate WHY you do what you do so well. Then, identify your brand: use your voice to describe your product or service - avoid technical jargon. You can sound professional and knowledgeable without necessarily resorting to extensive usage of acronyms and industry-only nomenclature. Polished and professional does not have to translate into confounding. Straight talk about what you do and how you do it better than your competition is always effective. Cultivate your personality, this is where finding your voice becomes critical. When you have a defined personality, others are apt to remember you.

Once your profile is complete, engage. There is always a “conversation” to be joined on LinkedIn. This is an opportunity for you to share articles, repost and give credit where credit is due. People appreciate the share and it creates goodwill and builds relationships in an organic manner.

Create your own content. This goes a long way towards establishing you as an thought leader. Content is always key to earning the right to be heard in a crowded and often noisy arena. Well-written and engaging articles or infographics that can be digested quickly is the key to establishing yourself as a thought leader whose view-point matters.

Be sure to include endorsements, recommendations and above all else, client testimonials; this helps establish your presence. Any time a testimonial can be shared on your profile page, it adds to the “weight” of your LinkedIn profile. There is nothing more persuasive than hearing from someone else how wonderful you and your company are.

Finally, the name of the game is not how many connections you have, but whether you cultivate the right ones. Connect thoughtfully, review your contacts frequently and remove those that are no longer active or valid.

LinkedIn can give your small business a previously unprecedented reach. Take advantage of all it offers and nurture it as an integral part of the personality of your organization. Focusing early on the details of your LinkedIn presence can lead to wide reaching ripples of opportunities.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a team of bright, innovative and talented veteran marketers dedicated to big ideas, fresh insights and measurable results. We pride ourselves on taking challenging marketing issues and turning them into opportunities for our clients, on pointing brands in the right direction, and on getting our customers noticed both online and off. From branding to websites to digital marketing, and public relations, we handle all your marketing communication needs! Web Design and Development | Brand Strategy | Inbound Marketing | Social Media | SEO | PR

Kristine Jacobson

Kristine Jacobson

Kristine Jacobson has more than 25 years of marketing and communications experience with notable corporate leaders as well as emerging market contenders. She offers expert marketing strategy with a touch of creative flair. Her extensive knowledge of strategic marketing, marketing plan execution, and branding illuminate the big picture without losing sight of the details.