Business Archives - TAB Corporate

How to Leverage LinkedIn to Market Your Business

LinkedIn

Use LinkedIn to market your business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtually all business professionals use LinkedIn to connect with other business leaders, promote their endeavors, make new contacts, and otherwise share news about their respective industries. Increasingly, many CEOs and business owners are harnessing the power of LinkedIn to highlight and market their businesses to a broader audience.

Here are strategies related to LinkedIn that you can leverage for your overall business marketing strategies:

Start by making yourself more interesting.

Many prospective customers begin their purchasing journey by checking out your business online. This often includes a look at the CEO or business owner’s LinkedIn profile, even if that’s not directly related to their eventual transaction. That’s why giving a little extra attention to the impact of your LinkedIn profile can really pay off.

First of all, don’t be boring! Entrepreneur Lewis Howes suggests, “Add an interesting story in your summary, have a video recommendation pop up in the first few seconds, or at the least tell people who you are, who you help, and how you help them so there is some direction for people when they land on your profile.”

Be an active participant.

In any professional or social gathering, you probably find clever ways to promote your business in an appropriate manner. The same principle applies to LinkedIn, where you should be regularly posting news about your company—everything from product updates to how-to articles and brief videos of employee team-building events.

Also, seek to share industry news (blog posts, articles, images) from respected third-party sources, as long as the information can in some way benefit your followers. After just a short time, you’ll build a foundation of trust as a reliable source for accurate and helpful information, and people will regularly check in for more.

Boost the first impression of your company page.

Just as your own profile should be as compelling as possible, the look and feel of your company page should draw viewers in as well. Task some creative employees with putting together a page that combines graphics, imagery, video and absorbing text. The end-result should both reflect your company culture and promote an image of being at the forefront of your industry and a hub of excitement and innovation.

Be a content creator.

It’s great if you share news with your network, but offering original content is even better. First of all, no can match your specific knowledge of your business and industry, and prospective customers would likely benefit from your expertise. LinkedIn’s publishing platform invites articles and other contributions in all realms of business, including influencer and member posts that provide custom-tailored news and information throughout your professional network.

Explore LinkedIn’s community features.

This is a potentially significant way to build brand awareness and exchange views with like-minded people on LinkedIn. “You can create your own LinkedIn groups or join any number of groups that focus on your area of interest or expertise,” notes marketing expert Bob DeStefano. You can also grow your influence by “participating in discussions in various LinkedIn groups.”

The more you participate, the higher your profile—and, again by extension, more awareness of your business.

In our interconnected and ever-evolving business world, you never know where your next great sales lead might come from.

The allure of LinkedIn is that the credibility of your brand is strengthened with each network interaction and that there’s no telling just how far beyond your individual realm those interactions might lead. The amount of time and effort needed to stay current on LinkedIn will likely prove to be small when compared with the potential marketing benefits in the months and years to come.

 

 

Key Elements of a ‘Strategy Planning Day’

strategic planning

Is the thought of the strategic planning process too daunting for you to consider? Many small business owners and CEOs are inclined to put this off, thinking that such planning requires extended time away from the workplace, a commitment of additional resources and the risk of falling behind with critical deadlines.

But while it’s true an in-depth strategy planning session may take several days, there are alternatives that make the planning process more feasible for busy executives and their teams.

One such option is what’s called a “strategy planning day”—a single, focused day (at a venue generally offsite) with a schedule of intensive activities that are designed to “generate ideas [and] be done in an environment that stimulates freedom of thought and involve the right people.”

The structure of a strategy planning day may vary, depending on your business needs and other circumstances. But certain elements should be included in order to get the most bang for your buck. These include:

A skilled facilitator. It’s tempting for the CEO or owner to lead a strategy discussion, but that’s not necessarily in the company’s best interests. An objective third-party, skilled in encouraging a free-ranging discussion (but not letting the discussion get out of hand), is generally more effective in getting people involved than a business leader with “skin in the game.”

A clear view of key objectives. A vague goal of “strategy” is unlikely to move the needle in terms of efficient business planning. As part of the preparation phase, it’s vital to outline specifically what goals you intend to achieve by the day’s end—be they new product ideas, ways to enhance customer service, a revamped approach to vendor relations, etc. Knowing the “why” behind the planning session helps everyone involved stay focused on the task at hand.

A request for outside-the-box ideas. At least a brief portion of the strategy planning day should be set aside for brainstorming that adheres to no prescribed limits. Encourage team members to toss out the “craziest” solutions they have for ongoing business problems. The goal is to uncover some kernel of an idea that might lead the way to a genuinely practical solution that’s so far eluded the best minds in your business.

A few constraints. At the same time, introducing some constraints into the strategy discussion may serve to overcome commonly held misperceptions. John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing notes that business leaders “sometimes can’t get past why something won’t work thoroughly enough to get behind any sort of unified plan.” Addressing these constraints, he says, “give everyone a common point to attack when trying to determine strategies that will help eliminate or overcome the hurdles.”

A SWOT analysis. Analyzing your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats is always a good idea. When you allocate a set period of time for SWOT analysis, it helps to frame a broader discussion of your company’s place in the marketplace, its standing with respect to competitors, current (and future) forces driving sales, and so on. A strong SWOT analysis also helps to set the baseline for future strategy day sessions.

A list of planned action steps. The end result of a strategy planning day is having concrete action steps to implement upon a return to “business as usual.” Each objective should come with its own list of proposed actions, including specific steps to overcome existing roadblocks to success. Assign action steps to a team or to individual team members, along with a schedule for getting things done. Keep interest alive by promoting the work of these teams and individuals with everyone in the organization.

Following your strategy planning day, it may be time to embark on a broader approach to strategic planning. TAB’s “Strategic Business Leadership” process is designed with small and mid-sized businesses in mind. We invite you to download our free white paper today and learn more about how strategic planning can help guide your business toward greater success.