How to Use LinkedIn as a Startup Business and Stuff Not to Skip
Launching a startup requires much more than cultivating a new, exciting, and innovative idea and bringing it to life.
Today, building a brand and reputation for a business is nearly just as important as delivering a high-quality product or service to customers themselves.
Knowing how to use one of the most popular professional social networks available, LinkedIn, as a startup business, can help you to strategically grow and expand for continued success while simultaneously building your network of professional connections.
Consider Your Goals
Consider the goals you have for your business when creating social network accounts, both personally and professionally.
If you intend to use your personal account to promote your business, be sure to consider how you want to be viewed when promoting the business or brand you intend to share.
If your goal is to hire additional employees for your business, be sure to frame your profile's content in a manner that is likely to attract prospective employees who are currently in the market for a new position.
If you are focused on cultivating new relationships and lead generation, you may have additional goals in mind. Some additional goals you may want to consider when creating and fleshing out your page include:
- Connecting with executives and other relevant professionals to create new business relationships
- Lead generation for sales and new prospective clients
- Presenting yourself as a headhunter or an employer who is currently interested in hiring new employees
- Seeking investors and angel funding or VCs
- Networking with relevant professionals who are involved in relevant industries such as marketing, advertising, communications, branding, PR, and even tech and security
Polish Your Page
Once you understand the goals you have in mind for your business, and you have a clearer vision of your social media and online presence, you can then begin to polish and spruce up your account and page.
Polishing your page is easiest once you are familiar with the platform itself.
Spend time on the site itself to familiarize yourself with the process of creating a profile, updating yours, and browsing the page of current connections you have on the network already.
Reviewing the pages of others, you are connected with or wish to be connected with can provide valuable insight into phrasing, formatting, and even types of content to include.
Once you feel confident in the new and useful information you intend to add to your page, you can then begin individually editing each of your page's various sections.
Consider how you want others to see you when they discover your page by searching for your name via a search engine or when researching your business.
What information is the most relevant and important to the type of connections you are seeking?
How do you want others to view you?
Are you hardworking, motivated, and committed or passionate about your projects?
Think of how you can display your most valuable personality traits and characteristics when updating your LinkedIn to truly tap into making professional and business connections that are right for you.
Update Your Profile Photo
Update your main photo when you want your page to reflect your business and the type of professional image you want to give off to visitors and prospective connections.
If your photo is outdated or does not mesh well with the image you intend to build for your brand, you may miss out on new connections or potential business opportunities.
Some issues to avoid when choosing a photo for your account include:
- Small photos which appear too little to see properly
- Poorly lit photos and images
- Landscape/abstract images
- Grainy photos
- Outdated images
- Inappropriate/vulgar photos
- Irrelevant photos
Instead, consider having professional headshot photos taken of yourself when updating your photo.
Using a professional headshot is not only a way to show others that you are serious about your career and profession, but it is also a way to catch the attention of new prospective connections.
Additional tips to keep in mind when choosing and uploading a new picture include:
- Clarity Matters: Only use photos that are clear and high-quality, especially with professional networks and online communities.
- Background: Use a photo of yourself or your brand's logo that is not distracting. Avoid busy backgrounds.
- Avoid Additional Branding: Avoid wearing brands that are visible in your main photo if they are not your own.
- Positivity Goes a Long Way: Smiling and appearing natural in your professional headshot can go a long way when making new connections. If you appear too serious or stern, prospective connections may view you as unapproachable, preventing you from discovering new potential business opportunities.
- Relevance: Use a photo that is relevant.
If your entire page is dedicated to your business, a professional headshot or a picture of your company's logo may be most appropriate for your page.
However, if you are building a professional brand for yourself with your business, using a unique headshot or professional photo of yourself that allows you to stand out maybe your best option.
Consider your purpose of joining for your startup, as well as the goals you have in mind for your page and the type of connections you intend to make.
Consistently publishing engaging, thought-provoking, and original content that is relevant to your target audience and your current audience of connections is a great way to boost your online clout and visibility.
The more engagement a post receives, the more likely it is to be viewed and engaged with by others, increasing your likelihood of making more connections or piquing the interest of current or prospective business associates.
Create a calendar to keep track of the content, media, and updates you share with your account as well as your additional social media accounts.
Join Relevant Groups and Participate
As the network itself began to expand rapidly, it branched out in the type of services it provided for its users, both free and paid.
Groups are another sect of the community that provides users with the opportunity to follow and participate in groups that are most relevant to their own lifestyles, interests, or the type of business they own.
Joining groups is a way to gain access to free quickly, paid, professional advice from individuals from around the world.
Learn more about your preferred markets, industries, and consumer bases while simultaneously having the opportunity to meet others and make new professional connections from around the world.
Using groups also provides the opportunity to share your own content and written articles along with media with group members.
Building your name and reputation has never been easier, especially if you are building a brand and business in a highly-targeted and niche industry.
Whether you are seeking a new manufacturer for your product idea or if you are interested in hiring a social media manager or online marketer, you never know who you might meet once you begin joining various groups with your professional account.
Creating a presence for your brand online is not always possible overnight, but it can be done with an understanding of your goals and the audience you intend to reach.
With the use of professional social network mediums such as LinkedIn, it is now easier than ever to connect with specific and powerful professionals in just about any market or industry today.
Knowing how to use the network as a business owner, entrepreneur, or manager is one of the quickest ways to build a positive and professional reputation while leaving your mark in a memorable way.