Home business owners are often big users of Facebook and Twitter, but one social media network they can overlook is LinkedIn. Here are our five tips for a LinkedIn strategy to build and maintain the business network you need to support your success.
Give your profile some attention
Unlike some other social media channels, your LinkedIn profile should always be a work in progress. Make sure your personal profile and company page are regularly updated with your latest achievements and milestones. Contacting any customers to request a recommendation adds weight and credibility to your profile and can provide a great source of testimonials for your website and marketing materials.
Build your network
LinkedIn is most valuable when you’re connected to as many people as possible. The first step is to make sure you’ve added all your existing professional contacts to your network – LinkedIn makes this easy because it can search your email contacts for potential connections. Once you’ve connected with as many people from your existing network as possible, start cultivating the habit of connecting with new contacts on LinkedIn shortly after you’ve met them in person.
Keep in touch
Where LinkedIn can really add value is in strengthening relationships. Make time to get in touch with five of your LinkedIn contacts every week and find out how they’re doing. If possible, give them a call – it’s more personal than an online message and a great way of contacting people who don’t check their LinkedIn account regularly. If you’re a Vonage for home business customer, you won’t even need to worry about the cost – you can make unlimited calls to UK landlines as part of your calling plan, saving you as much as £190 on your business calls, plus rates as low as 2p per minute for international calls.
Share your expertise
LinkedIn has a built in blogging feature called LinkedIn Pulse, which is a fantastic way to share content with your network. Use it to share your industry expertise and any tips you have for customers, partners or fellow home business owners. Posting is quick and simple and can help to increase your credibility with others in your network and beyond.
Engage with your peers
As a home business owner, it can be easy to feel isolated at times. LinkedIn has a wealth of active groups and forums where you can connect with others facing similar business challenges. It’s also a great way to connect with partner and supplier brands you work with on a regular basis – for example, our Vonage page is a great resource for news and customer comments.