LinkedIn provides opportunities for marketing your business both in the short- and long-term. Short-term marketing involves immediate actions, including many of the tips I discussed in part 1 and part 2 of this series, such as finding and connecting with decision makers.
Long-term marketing entails building awareness of your company over an ongoing basis. This awareness puts your business front of mind should one of your connections decide they are looking for a new service provider.
Follow these steps to utilize LinkedIn for long-term marketing:
Polish Your Profile
Read my tips in part 1 on writing a profile. Also consider placing keywords in your profile. Keywords are terms people use in their online search. For instance, referring to yourself as a “commercial cleaning contractor” will generate more search engine pull than the less specific term “cleaning contractor.”
Other keywords that can bolster your search engine optimization on LinkedIn are “professional cleaning contractor” and “professional cleaning services in YOUR TOWN” (insert the name of your city or town).
Congratulate your connections when LinkedIn notifies you that they accepted a new job, received a promotion, or are celebrating a birthday. These news snippets about your connections are referred to as LinkedIn updates. You can set your LinkedIn account to notify you of these announcements.
People like to receive these congratulatory messages, and after reading them they often review your LinkedIn page. Thus, this simple and subtle act on your part can be a potentially powerful marketing tool.
Make Endorsements and Recommendations
LinkedIn allows you to add up to 50 skills to your profile. Your connections can endorse you based on these skills, with those skills receiving the most endorsements listed first. Endorsements may not be as influential as recommendations, but they do carry some weight.
A recommendation is a short statement from a colleague or client, commending you and your company. The best recommendations are from current clients, so don’t be shy about asking for them. Many customers are happy to write a recommendation, and these can be powerful, especially if the recommendation is from someone a future client might know.
One of the best was to use LinkedIn is to write regular posts and publish them every week or two. The posts do not have to be long; 500 words is fine.
The posts should include helpful and educational tips. Because they are so short, it is often best to address a specific challenge or two your company has had to grapple with and how you resolved it.
Before you publish anything on LinkedIn, print it out on paper and proofread it a couple of times. What often works best is to let it rest for a day or two and then reread it. Little grammar errors become big mistakes when published online.
When you publish a post on LinkedIn, it finds its way to all your connections. That’s the beauty of it. Publishing on a regular basis is probably the best long-term marketing tool LinkedIn offers.
Remember that marketing on LinkedIn must be an ongoing process. Even when you feel you can’t handle any more clients, it's best to keep up with some LinkedIn marketing. Customers come and go for a variety of reasons. Ongoing marketing will help you weather these ups and downs more effectively.