Ten years ago, many people didn’t realize LinkedIn would become a ubiquitous social media platform, but today, the platform has over 774 million members worldwide. Every second, 81 hopeful job candidates submit applications. Even more impressive, four applicants are hired through the platform every minute. That’s a lot of business professionals connecting in one place.
While this social media platform has nearly endless potential for promoting business growth, many businesses make LinkedIn a low priority, thinking it’s only for individuals trying to find a job.
I recently met with Josh Steimle, author of “60 Days to LinkedIn Mastery,” to discuss the levels of growth LinkedIn makes possible for businesses. Steimle explains, “Not only is LinkedIn the largest professional networking platform in the world, and it’s still growing. Mastering this platform right now is the key to becoming a thriving brand in the business world of the future.”
Build Brand Credibility By Becoming a Thought Leader
A major aspect of building a business is establishing brand credibility …
You need people to believe that you are the expert in your field.
Says Steimle, “Building a strong presence on LinkedIn is all about thought leadership. When you share useful information that people can’t find anywhere else, you’ll start attracting the attention of people throughout your industry. You’ll establish yourself as an expert in the field, which will help you attract potential clients and customers and encourage people to recommend your services because they know you’re one of the best around.”
According to a 2020 study, 53 percent of decision-makers spend an hour every week reading thought-leadership content. Twenty percent spend an hour every day. These decision-makers are critical in determining which brands take off and become industry leaders and which brands do not. It’s important to be creating content for that audience while you build your brand.
Stay Up-To-Date With Your Industry’s News
Every thought leader must be aware of the things other experts are discussing. It’s essential to follow the discussions and new ideas that are spreading around your industry. This will let you know what types of things clients and customers are thinking about and what other brands are trying to offer them.
Staying up-to-date on the latest innovations in your industry can also help you maintain an innovative mindset. Surrounding yourself with creative people is a great way to improve your own creativity. The LinkedIn network allows you to be in regular contact with some of the most creative and innovative people in the world.
Build a Larger, More Quality Candidate Pool
Don’t wait until an employee puts in their two-week notice to start building a candidate pool.
That won’t leave you with the time or the ability to find the best person to fill the position. You should be building your candidate pool constantly through networking. LinkedIn makes this easy. Connect with the type of people you’d want at your company and nurture those relationships.
When you have a large network of reliable and talented people, some of them will likely be looking for new opportunities when you’re looking to fill a position. If you already have relationships with numerous potential candidates, you won’t have to spend as much time hunting for people with the right skill set. You’ll also have an easier time encouraging skilled people to apply if you’ve built a relationship and proven you’re an innovative and trustworthy company.
If you’re not sure how to build relationships with your network, Steimle has some advice: “People want meaningful connections on LinkedIn. Your content should sound like you’re speaking with your friends. This humanizes you and makes it possible to form a truly genuine relationship with an online connection.”
Be intentional about building your network. When you spend a sufficient amount of time building a network, it should have talented, diverse, creative people in it. You don’t have to wait for people to come to you. You can reach out to the types of people you want to be a part of your network and invite them to connect.
Educate Potential Clients
Sometimes when you create a great product or service, people might not be immediately aware of how much it could improve their life. That’s where client education comes in. You may have to show the wide range of value provided by your products and services. Luckily, LinkedIn is a gold mine of potential clients who are often on the platform because they want to learn more and improve themselves or their business.
When you connect with those looking to learn, you create an open line of communication to teach future or current clients the extent they can benefit from your services. Share success stories of people who’ve used your product or share tips and tricks about how to more fully take advantage of your offerings.
Notes Steimle, “Share your knowledge freely. Talk about your secret to success and why it worked. Potential clients will be drawn to your products and services when they know how much value it has created for you.”
The access LinkedIn gives you to your clients or your potential clients is invaluable. Make sure you take advantage of it and highlight the value of your brand. When you use LinkedIn to its fullest potential, you’ll have better customer relationships and more informed customers.