“Working” LinkedIn Like A “Big Room”

LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful tool for small businesses. It can give you power and access to people you would normally never have a way to get in touch with.

Using LinkedIn’s search you have 500 million people to filter through in order to find exactly who you’re looking for. Through push marketing and engagement you can set yourself on an even playing field with all the other businesses in your industry.

In a lot of cases, a small business will have a great idea and some initial customers, that’ s when LinkedIn can really become a game changer in how they grow and develop.
 
Where else do you have access to such a large business database for free?

That’s not to say ignore other parts of your marketing, but work LinkedIn into what you’re already doing in other parts of your marketing.

I say this because LinkedIn is not a “Facebook for business.” Some people treat it that way and it’s honestly the not most effective way to go about using the platform.

I like to think of LinkedIn as a big room and my goal is to find the best people for me to talk to. I don’t randomly approach people with my offer, I meet people and connect in some way and see if they happen to know who I’m looking for in particular.



 
When you hop onto LinkedIn, you want to have a specific target outcome in mind. The issue I find is that people get excited by shiny objects or great success others seem to achieve without any real effort.

It’s also easy to get distracted on the platform, or really just by the internet in general. Going in with a plan reduces this inefficiency and keeps you productive.

It’s important to first get your profile looking presentable and geared towards your industry. For some businesses, you’re killing yourself if you’re not using the platform, but everyone can benefit from a strong LinkedIn profile.

All businesses are relationship-based and anyone can use it to network through your existing clients to get new leads.

These referrals are more targeted and a lot likelier to close. When you can transfer a good experience you’ve had with a current client to a new one you’re way ahead of the game. I like to ask my clients for referrals regularly.

I was at a trade show recently and a woman asked me how LinkedIn could help her.

I showed her how she could become connected up and down her supply chain and that would cement her deeper into her industry.

For example, as a retail seller, it makes sense to connect not just with wholesalers but also manufactures and others in related industries. It’s that cross-pollination that can build you lasting ties as market dynamics shift over the years.
 

Action Steps

  1. Create your LinkedIn profile and gear it towards your specific industry.
  2. Connect with your current clients and ask them for referrals to others “like them.”
  3. Use the relationship to open the door to new connections.
  4. Connect with your entire industry up and down your supply chain to stay entwined with your niche.

 

Result You Will Achieve

More powerful and targeted clients and relationships through LinkedIn.
 

Mentor: Mark White

Founder of Linked Training. Following more than a decade in International Sales & Marketing roles, Mark has dedicated the last five years exclusively to LinkedIn.

 
This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.