It may be basic but as my 1st (of many) blog posts on LinkedIn, I am going to start off with an outline of how to build your professional network as an entrepreneur.
LinkedIn is the online platform where you absolutely must consider if you want to build your professional network.
As an entrepreneur you can do this by following:
- Capturing the essence of yourself & your business using your LinkedIn Profile
- Connecting with other LinkedIn members
- Creating content to convey your brand & business message
- Communicating with other LinkedIn members
Capturing Your Business Essence
Your LinkedIn Profile is the beating heart of your LinkedIn presence. Spending quality time on completing your LinkedIn profile will mean you show up with clarity, confidence and credibility and you will capture the essence of yourself and your business for visitors and potential clients to see. Your LinkedIn profile provides multiple and creative opportunities for you to communicate your message in both a written and visual way. The team at LinkedIn is adding new features all the time, including the recent LinkedIn Cover Story where you can record a 20 second video of yourself that appears where your profile photo shows up. (Go to the help section within LinkedIn and search ‘LinkedIn Cover Story’ to learn how to do this)
As LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with 756 million members, it seems a no-brainer to get connected here. When you are proud of your LinkedIn profile, you will then have the confidence to connect with other LinkedIn members and potential clients. You can build your professional network by connecting with people you have previously or currently work with, previous clients, existing clients, people in organisations you are a member of, as well as connections beyond your existing network. You can also accept invitations from other LinkedIn members to connect.
Once you have created a profile you are proud of and started connecting with other LinkedIn members, you can then create content relating to your brand and business and post this content using LinkedIn posts and articles. Many entrepreneurs struggle with what they should talk about. Some ideas include, personal stories, projects you are working on, client testimonials, answer customer pain points and valuable tips that will elevate you to ‘expert’ in your field in the minds of your connections. By creating this content you are building the Know-Like-Trust factor that online networking is built on. You must also engage with the content of your connections by liking, commenting or sharing their posts and articles. LinkedIn rewards this interaction and your content will receive greater exposure because of your efforts
Many entrepreneurs set up their LinkedIn profile and think, job done! However this is the foundation on which everything else is built. It is vital that you engage with your connections and engage with the content they create. You have many ways to communicate with your connections and using LinkedIn messaging can be one of the most powerful ways. See an interesting article your connection might find useful? Send them a message with a link. You hope that your connections will also send on interesting content to you when they come across it or share it in a post. You can also like, comment and share your connections posts and articles. By following these simple practices on LinkedIn you will soon be viewed as a decent entrepreneur who is willing to play the long game and build up relationships in an organic way.
Learn something new today? – I would love to hear what that is!
Until next week!
Thanks a mil