How To Get Your SME Growing On LinkedIn


Establishing a credible presence on LinkedIn is a crucial first step to driving traffic to your website, building connections with valuable buyer personas, increasing your search visibility (on Google as well as LinkedIn), and most importantly, making more sales online.

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Most decision-makers and business owners have a LinkedIn profile, but not that many are optimised for growth and lead generation. In this article, we explain how to create a credible and appealing presence on LinkedIn – a necessary foundation for getting the best results from LinkedIn advertising, connection requests, and content marketing.

Optimise your personal profile

It is natural for business owners to pour most of their efforts on LinkedIn into developing their company page, but ultimately it is people who do business with people, and it is equally essential that your personal profile is optimised for business growth. Have you ever seen a LinkedIn profile with no photo or with only 2-3 lines of text? If you have, and it is extremely common, you know that this doesnt create a good first impression. At best, you assume that the person is inactive on the platform.

To avoid this, make sure your company and personal profiles are complete. That includes:

  • A company logo and cover photo, or a professional headshot for your personal profile.
  • A company summary.
  • Business information, like your address, website, contact details, and your industry.
  • The Life” section, where you give a face to your employees or describe your values and mission.
  • A clear call-to-action in your company profile.
  • Mentions of your skills, certifications, qualifications, and awards.

Build targeted connections

Making connections with new and high-quality leads can help your company grow on LinkedIn, and the more connections you have, the better chances it gives you of connecting with others. A profile with 500+ connections has more innate credibility than one with just three or four. You can get started connecting with staff, customers, or other contacts in your email list, but dont stop there.

To find targeted connections, you can use the search function or check the
People you may know” section frequently. When you send an invitation to connect, take time to write a personalised and professional message, instead of sending generic invitations. This being said, numbers arent everything. Only connect with people who are genuinely relevant to your business, that you feel could offer you something, and you feel could gain from you in some way.

Get involved with LinkedIn groups

LinkedIn groups are where industry experts meet and engage on the platform, so dont miss this chance to grow your followers list. Groups arent just talking shops, either. During the pandemic there were several examples of businesses collaborating through LinkedIn groups on shared ventures to supply PPE, develop ventilation equipment and other enterprises. Use the search function to find industry groups in your sector or groups that could be a good match for your customer base. Find one that you will enjoy being part of and that is relevant to your sector, expertise, and level of seniority – and when you join, dont be a wallflower, introduce yourself straight away.

Be sociable and engage with others

Accepting an invitation or joining a group wont magically help you grow on LinkedIn, but engaging with your network will! Your goal should be turning connections into solid relationships, not just numbers on the screen, so focus on interacting and providing value in a sustained way.

‘Engagement’ can take many shapes on LinkedIn. Writing and sharing posts, sending InMails, and page updates are ways of staying on the radar of potential customers, so make sure these actions are part of your marketing strategy, but try to minimise the amount of directly promotional material you publish on LinkedIn. Save this for your sponsored content, or for when a connection chooses to join your email marketing list.

Endorse your connections

Value on LinkedIn is a two-way exchange, so a good place to start is by thinking about people you already know who are also on LinkedIn. Can you write a recommendation or an endorsement for them to benefit their business in some way? This is a subtle way of inviting them to do the same for you and they will appreciate the gesture.

Recommendations and endorsements are a form of social proof that helps build trust among your audience and can be very important for attracting new business connections. It will boost your credibility and reputation by being seen as the type of person who is generous with their compliments, endorsements, and recommendations. These are signs of a good person to connect with and to do business with.

Build an online reputation for expertise

If youve got knowledge, experience, or opinions to share that may be useful to your connections on LinkedIn, go ahead and share it – without asking for anything in return. Sharing and publishing useful content can build trust and help position yourself as an industry leader, and it doesnt cost you anything other than the time required to write the content. Think about the problems or questions your customers have. Can you help solve them? If so, write about it and share your expertise – and include relevant links to make your content shareable.

If your company is small, you may feel you
re too busy running your business and you dont have time to spare writing on LinkedIn. Remember that digital marketing agencies can help with every aspect of your online reputation and LinkedIn marketing.

Take the initiative

Being active (and proactive) can help you grow on LinkedIn. Dont wait for people to invite you to take part in their initiatives. If there isnt a relevant group for what you want to achieve or the network you want to be part of, start your own. If there are only a few posts on a topic you know about that people would value from, create a series of posts on that subject. If you have an e-book, white paper, or guide to share, use LinkedIns sponsored updates to advertise them to the right audience.

Next steps

Building a strong profile on LinkedIn doesnt happen overnight, but investing time and effort into LinkedIn is an excellent way of growing your reputation as an SME and strengthening your returns from digital marketing more generally. To find out more, please download a copy of our LinkedIn For Business Guide, or call us to speak with one of our advisers.

How To Use LinkedIn For Business - FREE Guide From JDR GroupImage Source: Unsplash