Did you hear the big news? It was announced last week that LinkedIn plans to buy SlideShare for a reported $118.8 million. Crazy, right? Eh, maybe not so crazy if you ask LinkedIn’s Chief Executive Jeff Weiner. He did a pretty good job explaining exactly why LinkedIn would be interested in a service like SlideShare.
“Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals capture and share their experiences and knowledge, which in turn helps shape their professional identity.”
Hmm, make sense, right? It definitely does. It makes sense why LinkedIn would be interested in purchasing SlideShare and it makes sense why you, as a small business owner, should be interested in SlideShare, as well.
If you’re not aware of all that SlideShare has to offer, below are 6 ways to take advantage.
1. Repurpose Content Assets
As small business owners, we’re in the business of producing content. There are blog posts, articles, PDFs, whitepapers, case studies, presentations, marketing brochures, and other items that have been long locked in the vault. Instead of letting those old PowerPoint presentations collect dust on your hard drive, upload them to SlideShare. Repurpose blog posts or newsletter articles and turn them into presentations to be uploaded. Take cumbersome PDFs and make them more accessible and embeddable.
By repurposing this content, not only do you get to take advantage of content assets already in your arsenal, but you get the extra benefit of making them portable. Once you’ve uploaded them to SlideShare, you can easily share and embed them elsewhere. You can embed that presentation on your Web site, on your blog, on your LinkedIn profile, on your Facebook page, etc. You’ve already spent the brain power creating this content – why use it only once?
2. Build Thought Leadership & Brand Awareness
Small business owners wear a lot of hats. Yes, we’re business owners but we’re also consultants, authors, and speakers. We make a living off building up our name and expertise in the industry we work in. And there are few better ways to do that than through strategic content. That’s where SlideShare comes into play.
SlideShare gives SMBs another outlet to create a dialogue with their peers by continually sharing expert-level content. Only here not only do you share the content itself, you simultaneously share that you spoke at a nationally-recognized event. Or you gave the keynote at a professional conference in your area. Sure, this helps pass around your talk and the content you shared, but it also brands you as a professional speaker/consultant and someone that other people seek out. This is a powerful way to set yourself apart in your industry, over time leading to increased search visibility, new clients, additional marketing opportunities, and more.
3. Boost Your Social Presence On LinkedIn & Facebook
In the battle of the social networks, we’re all looking for ways to stand out to our followers and brand our expertise. Integrating SlideShare into these profiles is a great way to do that.
Use SlideShare on your LinkedIn page to display presentations, PDFs, and videos to add life and credibility to an interactive resume. To do this, find the SlideShare Presentations application in the LinkedIn app directory and add the application to your page.
Once you do, you’ll be able to see your SlideShare presentations appear on your LinkedIn profile. More importantly, so will everyone else.
To use SlideShare on your Facebook page, search for the SlideShare app, click to Sync SlideShare.net Account and follow the same procedure.
Making your presentations, white papers, and PDFs accessible to people researching you on social channels is a good way to show off your authority, build interest in what you’re doing, and brand yourself as someone who is capable of speaking intelligently on a topic. The say it’s easier to get a job when you already have one. The same could be said for getting clients and speaking engagements.
4. Find Presentations On Any Topic
Looking for a social media policy framework to mimick? Not a problem. Want to learn the rules of corporate blogging? Sure thing. Want to know how to create a great pitch? SlideShare has you covered!
SlideShare’s active community base has turned the site into a huge resources for business owners or marketers looking for information or presentations on virtually any topic – whether it’s business-related or not. Being able to tap into that archive can be incredibly useful for a SMB. It can help you master new topics areas, alert you to new resources, find agencies to reach out to, or even give you inspiration for presentations you’re working on or for new article ideas (just make sure to give credit!). Use SlideShare like any other content repository on the Web.
5. Create Webinars
Want to create a webinar series but don’t want to deal with any of that fancy technology? You don’t have to. You can do it directly in SlideShare. To create your webinar, first upload your slides like you would any other PowerPoint presentation. Then, go back to edit your file and select the Create SlideCast option. From here you’re able to upload an MP3 of yourself talking and sync it with your slides. It’s really that easy.
Once your slides and audio are synced, you can promote the webinar via your Web site and social channels to drive people to it.
6. Hold Virtual Meetings
Long before there were Google+ hangouts, there were SlideShare Zipcasts. A Zipcast is a browser-based Web conferencing system that is built directly into SlideShare. If you have a SlideShare account, you already have a public meeting room at http://www.slideshare.net/username/meeting that you can use to hold internal meetings, launch new products, announce new employees, use for remote presentations, hold training seminars, customer service, etc. To schedule a Zipcast, simply select the Zipcast option from your top menu bar.
Once you do, you’ll be able to title your Zipcast, attach it to a SlideShare presentation, and then make it public or private. While all SlideShare members can host public Zipcasts, only PRO members can hold private ones. PRO members also get additional functionality like ad removal and audio conferencing.
SlideShare is far more than just an opportunity to host your old presentations. For SMBs it offers the chance to repurpose old content, build brand awareness, increase your social footprint, and to host interactive webinars. If you haven’t been taking advantage of everything SlideShare has to offer…LinkedIn just gave you 118 million reminders to do so!