LinkedIn. It's an amazing platform for professional networking, job hunting, and sharpening your own skills, and it's not difficult to see why.
With over 65 million members from across the globe, and a new member joining every second, LinkedIn's install base has grown to truly impressive heights. Perhaps more impressive though, is they type of user, with the average LinkedIn member boasting an average household income of $109,000 annually, and about 50% of all LinkedIn members possessing some level of decision-making authority in their respective companies.
It's clear to see that LinkedIn is a phenomenally successful platform. What might not be immediately apparent, is how it can be an incredible asset to your home business. If you're looking to grow through networking, mentorships, and referrals - and let's be clear, you really ought to be - using LinkedIn for your home business can be an incredibly powerful tactic. As with other types of online marketing, promoting your home business through LinkedIn is a remarkably inexpensive solution, that relies on savvy and hard work, rather than piles of advertising dollars.
Let's take a look.
To get the ball rolling, you're going to need a free LinkedIn profile. An attractive, punchy profile is going to be doing the heavy lifting here, so make sure that you focus on how your home business can provide value to other LinkedIn users. You want to avoid the stale, uninteresting, resume-like profiles that make up most of LinkedIn's user base - there's nothing wrong with that for most users, but you'll need to stand out from the crowd, attracting people to your page, your profile, your services.
If you're a freelancer, that's probably going to carry the day, but if not, you'll want to create a LinkedIn company page for your home business. LinkedIn has made this process remarkably seamless - you'll be presented with the opportunity to create a business page once you've completed the resume section in your LinkedIn profile. Once you've done that, your profile resume will automatically link in (see what we did there?) to your company page.
Passive and Proactive Marketing on LinkedIn
Once you've got a killer profile, you're ready to dive in. There are two primary marketing methods you'll want to consider; passive, and active.
Passive marketing is reliant on the earlier steps. If you've got a great profile, and your business is genuinely useful to other users, just maintaining your profile will pay off. Make sure you keep your account updated, and continue building your connections, providing recommendations for others when appropriate, and you'll passively get the attention of potential clients, exposure to people looking for your services, and more.
Proactive marketing requires more effort, but can yield greater results. This requires really getting out there in the platform - posting regular status updates, focused on matters of interest to potential clients. Join and participate in groups related not just to your business, but your interests; this is a great way to be seen as an expert in your field.
Additionally, there are some paid options for your proactive marketing. LinkedIn's in-house advertising is surprisingly affordable, and there are several paid memberships that can boost your business. These usually have a free trial attached, so you can test the waters.
LinkedIn can be an incredibly powerful part of your marketing strategy. With hard work and savvy, you'll be amazed at the payoff for your home business.
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