LinkedIn is for professionals looking to both network with other professionals as well as promote their business.
You’ll need to navigate LinkedIn’s challenging social realm with the proper etiquette at all times so that people don’t just delete your email or bypass your invitation to connect.
That’s a fair amount of pressure, and requires interacting with people in a different way to real-life situations.
As founder and CEO of The Social Executive and social media strategist Dionne Kasian-Lew says: “You wouldn’t turn up to an event, walk up to a stranger, hand them a package and say: this week I will sell you our product at 20% off!”
Before making assumptions everyone wants to connect with your business, ask yourself if you’ve mastered the correct etiquette. Here’s how to get it right.
Build a reputation
Before you begin writing and offering your insight, you need to dedicate time on LinkedIn to building your profile and reputation, suggests Kasian-Lew.
SMEs need a hands-on attitude to LinkedIn and building up a reputation is key as you work towards boosting brand visibility and customer demand.
“Read and comment on other people’s content and engage them directly by letting them know you are talking about them.”
How appealing are your business and personal profiles? You are representing your brand so create a visually appealing profile with a professional photo, your current job title and a company description alongside an outline of your skill set.
A business profile should clearly communicate its purpose since LinkedIn is the type of site that gives you the freedom to go into greater depth about the vision of your business.
Reach out to the right people
Connect with existing professional and personal contacts – friends, classmates, former colleagues and people in your industry. Start by joining groups that are relevant to you in order to interact with the right people and share your expert views there, says Kasian-Lew.
In addition, look for groups that your potential customers might be members of. By sharing your expert views with these relevant groups, your business credibility can progressively improve with association.
“The great thing about groups is that you can get to know people without having a direct connection. Over time you can then reach out to those people to bring them into your network.”
Write great content
Writing and posting engaging content can help establish you as a thought leader in your industry. Your articles are likely to get noticed and shared around your relevant network.
Make an effort to write original articles and give opinions on topics related to your profession and industry. Many individuals or businesses either don’t like or aren’t comfortable with writing, but those who are prepared to share their expert knowledge will have an advantage in building their LinkedIn profile.
“Publish high quality, original content. Go to your home page, click the pen icon and follow the prompts,” says Kasian-Lew.
Once you’ve published, alert your network and share links to your content on social media to build a loyal following. The more you spread the word, the bigger your audience and the greater the trust.