September 30, 2014

If You Have Not Mastered Marketing on LinkedIn, You May Be Losing Business

marketing on linked

If your company is a B-to-B company and you are not fully leveraging LinkedIn, your company is not growing as quickly as it could. You may also be losing business.

Let me explain why I think this is the case.

While there are several reasons why many small businesses are not doing as much as they should on LinkedIn, none is effective against the simple fact that LinkedIn, when used properly, is probably the best marketing tool available for many small businesses.

First, there are now over 300 million members on LinkedIn, over one-third in the United States. There are more than 2 million groups where you can find prospects that have identified themselves by joining a group germane to what you do.

LinkedIn is ideal for small businesses for many reasons. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity and the platform to:

  • Attract prospects
  • Showcase your area of expertise
  • Reach out to current clients and prospects
  • Share information that makes you stand out
  • Develop and defend a “subject matter expert” status
  • Develop and maintain contact with your network
  • Identify and connect with key contacts in client companies and prospects companies
  • Set up meetings with clients and prospects
  • Find communities (groups) of people with shared interests
  • Research your competition
  • And grow your business faster

All in one place! And you can do most of that for free.

I have been coaching individuals and companies on how to do marketing on LinkedIn and use it effectively, since 2008. In almost every instance the company has won more business, sometimes with remarkable speed. Here are two examples.

Example 1:

I had coffee with the president of a small company that provides water damage repair and clean-up services for industrial clients and warehouses. Two days after the coffee he called to tell me that one profile tip I had given him led to his company getting a contract for “on-call” services for the Eastern region of the United States for a major big-box chain. It was a deal potentially worth hundreds of thousands a year, or more.

Example 2:  

I advised a one-person security firm in the government market about setting up a LinkedIn group for a specific aspect of government security. The group now has several hundred members, all of whom are prospects for the services provided by the person who started the group.

In the first example, it was a matter of adjusting a personal profile to highlight the area of expertise by using industry jargon.  In other words, the profile was changed to use the words and phrases others will search on to find experts.

In the second example, it was a matter of showcasing the expertise by starting and managing a group focused on that area of expertise. After a few months, qualified prospects were joining every week.

In each case we are dealing with very small companies, each of which has much larger competitors. Leveraging LinkedIn allowed each of these companies to not only level the playing field, but in effect to give each “home field” advantage by claiming to be good at what they did, and then given the opportunity to prove it.

By claiming an area of expertise, supporting the claim throughout the individual and company profiles, and reaching out, both companies were able to grow their respective businesses.

So why is now the time for you and your company? While most companies and business professionals are “on” LinkedIn, only a small percentage are active in ways that will attract prospects and clients like the two examples above.

My unscientific study on LinkedIn over ten years concludes that while most professionals and business are now present on LinkedIn, they are doing little or nothing to leverage it in ways that pay significant dividends.

The simple act of being on LinkedIn is marketing: you are presenting some information about yourself and probably your company.  The question is: are you engaging in good marketing on LinkedIn — or bad marketing?

Building a good-to-great LinkedIn profile for yourself and your business is step one. Being active in ways that make you visible without being intrusive is step two. You need to be ahead of the curve in using LinkedIn in ways that expand your network of prospects, develop better and deeper relationships with current clients, and overall becoming recognized as an expert in whatever you do.

It is time for you to excel and take your business to the next level.

 

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Mark Amtower


Mark Amtower Mark Amtower is an award-winning Government Contracting consultant; LinkedIn and social media coach; keynote speaker & Amazon best-seller. You can reach him through LinkedIn or at Federal Direct.

10 Reactions

  1. I would add that their self-serve advertising platform is very effective for B2B lead generation. The targeting is awesome and the audience is business minded. People aren’t on LinkedIn looking at cat pictures, they’re on their for business. Great post.

    • Robert- thank you & agreed. The ability to position yourself as a subject matter expert on LinkedIn is limited only by your ability to deliver. If you are one- claim the space and start supporting it ASAP!

  2. That’s right. You can get a lot out of LinkedIn if you know how to utilize it properly. It is a network for professionals so you can easily hire and meet people in different businesses with it.

  3. Great post. The post works for advanced LinkedIn users I would have loved to see actual tools and guidelines on how to use LI properly for marketing even if it was posted in other previous posts as a stand alone article I would have loved to see a couple of tips on how to achieve the results that you are describing here

  4. It will take some time until I master the marketing activities on LinkedIn! ;) Thanks for sharing these tips. I have been open with saying that it is a challenge with taking it to the next step, doing business with a contact on LinkedIn.

    • The first step is always knowing what you want to accomplish on LinkedIn. Build your profile accordingly.

      Sahar – the first tip is simple, yet many miss it: be clear about what you do and who you do it for.

      Martin: it is a challenge for most, so just try to become more comfortable with being active on LinkedIn.

  5. I completely agree with the article as Linkedin gives great mileage in terms of profession, business, and networking. The examples given shows how effective a person is. It’s really about self promotion which adds lot of credibility to your work. People do get an idea how good you are on the job you are doing. Great article.

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