Leverage LinkedIn to Build Your Business

Leverage your social proximity on LinkedIn to reach your targeted buyers. 

To get more details on leveraging social proximity, I interviewed Brynne Tillman, the CEO of Social Sales Link, an author,  a LinkedIn Sales Trainer, and a LinkedIn Sales Navigator Trainer. 

Question: How can you filter and search your connections’ connections to reach your target audience?

Answer: Typically, there are three ways to leverage your network – referrals, introductions, and name-drops.

  • Referrals – These come from your clients who know, like, and trust you.
  • Introductions – These come from a networking partner in your sphere of influence which has not been a client, but knows your reputation.
  • Name Drops – Make sure you have permission to name drop for this method of a warm introduction.

Question: How would you search on LinkedIn?

Answer: Here are the step-by-step instructions I use.

  • Pull up someone’s profile
  • Click on the search bar at the top left and choose people from the drop-down
  • Click on connections and choose 2nd
  • Click on locations and choose the location you want
  • Click on all filters
  • Type in your search string e.g., “sales manager” OR “sales director”
  • Click show results

Question: What’s the next step?

Answer: Start a conversation!

  • Set up a Zoom call by email or through a LinkedIn message to let them you you would like to have a quick call to run some names by them
  • When on the call, ask if they can provide insights on the list you generated from your search
  • Based on this conversation, you can ask for a referral, introduction, or permission to name drop

You should be able to fill your calendar with targeted buyers by following these steps to leverage your social proximity with warm introductions. Need some LinkedIn group coaching for prospecting and business development? Click here to read more.

Need to learn more about building your LinkedIn profile? Register with the Chester County Library for Saturday, October 17, 2020, for LinkedIn Part 2 of 3. In this workshop, you will learn how to make the visuals and how your efforts on LinkedIn can connect on other social media platforms. 

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 6700 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

Establish and Leverage Your LinkedIn Company Page for Self-Employment

Set up your LinkedIn Company Page

It’s free and easy to set up a LinkedIn company page for your small business, as a solopreneur, or self-employed individual to leverage LinkedIn.

Not only will the link below these instructions provide you with step-by-step visuals, but if you keep tabs on the Donnay Consulting Group LinkedIn company page and profile, you will also see how this solopreneur will utilize LinkedIn to advertise her upcoming anti-bias training workshops, which you can also sign up for this fall.

When Dr. Donnay participated in my Princeton Adult School LinkedIn workshops in March (which went from in-person to online with COVID), she started with only 37 connections and has grown her profile to over 500. 

Amanda Fox-Rouch just built Dr. Donnay a new website. So, you will see the very new beginnings of a new small business of an academic entrepreneur! 

Here are the step by step instructions.

  • Create a banner image 1128 x 191 px (Canva.com was used).
  • Create a Logo image 300 x 300 px (Canva.com was used).
  • Click on the down arrow on the 9 square Work icon at the top right of the LinkedIn. profile, then click Create Company Page +.
  • Choose the type of business you are. Small Business was used for the example.
  • Fill out the Page Identity details.
  • Fill out the Company details.
  • Fill out the Profile details.
  • Click the Verify button, and then the blue “Create page” button will pop up, which you will click.
  • A new window will pop up.
  • Click on the pen in the top right to upload the cover image. 
  • Click on the blue Add button to add a Description and click Save at the end. Include 20 skills (though LinkedIn allowed more than 20 to be typed in).
  • Click on the blue Add button to add a Location.
  • Click on the blue Post button to create your first post.
  • Under Community, click on hashtags to follow and create your own hashtag for branding #donnayconsultinggroup and choose two others after reviewing the number of followers. These can be changed whenever you want. #antibias #diversityequityinclusion
  • If you are going to have a LinkedIn group, you can add a featured group.
  • You have the ability to manage languages if appropriate.
  • Go to your personal profile under Experience and click on the pen to edit and start. typing your company name and choose the selection from the drop-down menu with the logo you just created on your new company page.
  • Now you are ready to create your first post on your company page. Make sure you include your new branded hashtag, as well as others that pertain to the topic of the post. The first three hashtags will become part of the URL. 
  • LinkedIn will create a custom URL for any URLs over 26 characters. When you post from your company page, you will click on the three dots at the top right hand corner of the post and choose “copy link to post.” You can then add your commentary to the link with the URL on your home page. 

Here are the step by step instructions with visuals to set up a company page

Need to learn more about LinkedIn? Register with the Chester County Library for Saturday, October 17, 2020, for LinkedIn Part 2 of 3. In this workshop, you will learn how to make the visuals and how your efforts on LinkedIn can connect on other social media platforms.

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 6700 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

The Self-Employed, Consultant, or Solopreneur on LinkedIn

THE SELF-EMPLOYED, CONSULTANT, OR SOLOPRENEUR ON LINKEDIN

Ditch the pitch and starting building relationships with people on LinkedIn. Don’t try to sell people right away.

As a self-employed sole practitioner, I am a member of the “job seeker” club with the millions of others searching for jobs. However, I am a job seeker of resume and LinkedIn clients, rather than the full-time W-2 job, until I complete my doctoral dissertation. Then, I will seek opportunities in higher ed career services. 

Because of the “corona times” we are in, I find that many people are sending me pitches on their financial services, franchise opportunities, animated videos, social media services, transformational coaching, etc. and they don’t even know me. They could be across the country or across a few continents, and they are already pitching me in their first communique after we connect. 

PLEASE DON’T DO THAT ON LINKEDIN!

If you are desperate for work, explore LinkedIn’s Profinder to register yourself as a freelance or independent contractor. Although I am registered on it, I have never processed any client work through it, as my work comes from word of mouth referrals to fill my pipeline. 

There are groups on LinkedIn for freelancers, like The FlexJobs Group, so explore that and see if there are any opportunities for you there. 

If you really want a very comprehensive list for W-2 remote jobs, freelance links, and other resources that took many hours to put together, you could save yourself a lot of time and become a member. Make sure you save the link in the automated receipt that comes from our Salesforce immediately upon purchasing as a Bronze member (or apply as a BENG member if you are a mid to senior-level or C-Suite or a business owner). For 9-½ to 13 cents a day, you can’t beat this investment in your career, and all the time it will save, as the research has been done for you.

Write your business plan to set up your one to many.

As a solopreneur, you need some kind of platform to get your “one to many”, so read this Harvard Business Review article on The Best Business Model in the World, and perhaps you will gain some insights. Speaking of business models, don’t miss Chester & Delaware County SCORE’s upcoming October 8th workshop on Leanstack Canvas Business Plan on a Page. I’ll be there!

Make sure that you use keywords on what you do, rather than stating CEO or President of XYZ Company, in your LinkedIn headline. Think logically about what someone would type in Google to find someone like you. They would use keywords because they have never even heard of XYZ Company before. 

Since LinkedIn has recently expanded the character count to 220 characters in your headline (from 120), take advantage of using more keywords to explain what it is that you do. 

Another thing you can do in the Experience section is click on “Self-Employed” under the Employment Type drop-down rather than leave it blank. The other options, just for the record, are Full-time, Part-time, Freelance, Contract, Internship, Apprenticeship, or Seasonal.

Stay tuned for more upcoming articles if you are participating in the gig economy with a side hustle or are a small business owner or are considering it. Read this article too.

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

Career Education Organization Receives Award as They Help Job Seekers
Even nonprofits that help job seekers can scale as a small business.

Help job seekers is the answer! The question is … as a small business owner, whether a for-profit or a nonprofit, what do you do when you want to scale your business? How do you get help so you can help others?

First, let’s define what scaling means. According to SCORE, “Scaling a business means setting the stage to enable and support growth in your company. It means having the ability to grow without being hampered. It requires planning, some funding and the right systems, staff, processes, technology and partners.”

SCORE provides further details for these five steps to accomplish scaling:

  • Evaluate and Plan
  • Find the Money
  • Secure the Sales
  • Invest in Technology
  • Find Staff or Strategically Outsource

Let’s add a few more challenges. Let’s say you are a nonprofit and have little to no money, you just built a website to begin to monetize, are volunteer-based with no employees (yet), and have emotional attachments to what you do. Now what?

How do you get out of your own way and get a fresh set of eyes to have someone review your business? How do you get helpful advice and recommendations?

Contact SCORE, of course! There are chapters across the country, so you can find a chapter near you to get help and request FREE mentoring sessions!

Although I volunteer for more than one SCORE chapter, there is one particular SCORE chapter I want to highlight today, which is Chester & Delaware County SCORE.

Why? Not only have I been a SCORE volunteer on the SCORE speaker’s bureau since April 2013, but I reached out to SCORE to request a mentor as a small business owner.

I got great ideas from my mentor, Frank Millheim, that I shared with my Board of Directors and steering committee to scale. Our success story and others written about this 10th-anniversary awards celebration will be added to this Google doc.

Register for the virtual celebration.

The annual celebration for the small business award winners is on Thursday, September 24, 2020, from 12 to 1 PM, and it’s virtual, so register here.

Thank you to Citadel Credit Union for sponsoring this 2020 event and honoring me with the 2019 Community Hero Award.

To let my network know about this award and ceremony, I will be leveraging LinkedIn and will also be driving traffic to my website. Could you do the same for your business with your story?

Here are four tips of what you can do on LinkedIn, even with a free account:
  • Publish a full article on LinkedIn or write an enticing first paragraph on LinkedIn that makes people want to click your read more link that leads them to your blog, which drives traffic to your website. Or include your BIO with website links in the article.
  • Share short posts with a link to your article or blog on the feed on your homepage. It’s best to post on your company page and then share that company page link (three dots at the top right) on your home page. LinkedIn’s algorithm likes it when people stay on the platform longer, which is a way of accomplishing that.
  • Share short posts in groups following the same technique as above, but sharing the link from your company page.
  • Include a native video in your post (rather than take people off LinkedIn to Youtube or Vimeo), so they remain on LinkedIn longer. Again, the algorithm will like it more if people stay on the platform longer. Speaking of video, watch the 3-minute video about my SCORE story on our home page or our Youtube channel.

This article was originally published on vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

BIO Lynne M. Williams

Lynne M. Williams, Ed.D. Candidate is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides career education and networking connections for: 1) jobseekers in career transition, including veterans and 2) employed and self-employed for career management. In addition, Lynne is also the owner of Around the Clock Executive Helper, a writer of resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Lynne presents unique research-based workshops on LinkedIn, resumes, the Applicant Tracking System, the Art of Networking In Person & Online, and other career-related, social media, and technology topics. She is currently working on writing her doctoral dissertation and is a contributing author to Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing the Job You Love along with the late Dick Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?. In addition, she writes a weekly career column in Vista.Today Montco.Today and Delco.Today and other publications with LinkedIn tips and more. Connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/lynnewilliams with a personalized message and visit the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group website and read our SCORE Success Story!

Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile to Boost Your Business

Entrepreneur? Small business owner? Growing business? Startup? Side-gigger? Side hustler? Franchise owner? Solopreneur? Thinking about starting a business?

Have you optimized your LinkedIn profile to boost your business? Does your headline only say CEO of Blah Blah Blah Business? Or does it also state what your business is about utilizing all of the character spaces available with keywords? Do you come up in a Boolean search?

What does logic tell you when you go to Google? Do you type in CEO of Blah Blah Blah Business to find something you are seeking? What if you don’t know any business names, which is why you are searching on Google in the first place?  

Maybe, just maybe, you search for something on Google by keywords. Wouldn’t you think that you might do the same on LinkedIn? 

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you might want to participate in some of the upcoming workshops listed at the end of this article. The tips presented might help you boost your business, and it may not cost you one dime!

Do you know the other locations in a LinkedIn profile where you can leverage keywords?

Have you customized your LinkedIn URL?

Have you created a custom banner on LinkedIn?

Are you building your brand on LinkedIn? 

Have you created your own hashtag for LinkedIn as well as other social media?

Are you building relationships on LinkedIn? Do you have over 500 connections? Do you even know why you need over 500 connections?

Are you publishing high-quality content?

Are you tagging others when you post?

Is Your LinkedIn profile part of your email signature?

Are you targeting connections? 

Are you participating in relevant groups?

Are you growing your email marketing list with your LinkedIn connections?

Are you using sponsored updates?

Do you have a LinkedIn company page? Are you populating it by educating, empowering, entertaining, enriching, engaging, or inspiring? Getting likes, shares, or comments? Gaining followers? Analyzing the metrics? Engaging your employees with your content? Do you know how to drive traffic to your company page?

If you don’t have a company page, here are the steps to create one.:

  • Click on the Work icon with the nine square at the top right of the menu bar
  • Click on Create a Company Page
  • Choose Small Business
  • Enter details
  • Click verification
  • Click Create Page
  • Upload your logo image of 300 x 300 px
  • Upload your cover image of 1192 x 220 px minimum with 1128 x 191 px recommended
  • Populate with details about your business, including your website.
  • Further details are here.

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.