LinkedIn is the premier professional networking site. This was its goal when launched in 2003, and now it boasts over 562 million users in 200 countries. LinkedIn can be an extremely effective marketing tool for solopreneurs. Many industry thought leaders, high-level influencers, and business decision-makers frequent LinkedIn, so it is prime territory for B2B marketers.
In fact, an infographic published by LinkedIn shows that the social media platform is considered the most effective channel for B2B lead generation, distributing content to other B2B agencies, and driving traffic to B2B blogs and websites. So basically, if your solopreneur business offers goods and/or services primarily to other businesses, a major portion of your marketing efforts should be on LinkedIn.
So, follow these strategies to build up and maintain a successful marketing effort on LinkedIn for your solopreneur business.
Furnish a Complete LinkedIn Profile
Nothing says “professional” like a complete LinkedIn profile. As a solopreneur, you often must work harder for other business owners to take you seriously. A complete, optimized LinkedIn profile provides more than just information about your business; it provides a level of legitimacy.
Follow these steps to complete a professional LinkedIn profile:
- Check for and delete any duplicate profiles you may have inadvertently created in the past.
- Complete every information section of the profile, including a professional photograph of yourself.
- Add keywords for your business niche.
- Add your business and personal accomplishments.
- Add all your warm contacts.
- Make sure that relevant portions of your profile are public, so interested parties can learn more about you and your business.
Respond to Messages and Invitations
Now that you have a complete LinkedIn profile and have added all your contacts, it’s time to work the platform. LinkedIn will let your contacts know you have added a LinkedIn profile, and any other milestones or events you record. It will even prompt them (and you) to send messages to congratulations on certain dates, like birthdays, work anniversaries, beginning a new position, and more.
A great way to establish relationships with existing and new contacts is to respond to these messages with a message of your own. It doesn’t have to be a long letter; others are busy, too. But a brief expression of thanks and a word of kindness is remembered. Also, asking a question relating to their business is a good way to establish a dialogue. And of course, always respond to every invitation to connect with new people promptly and with gratitude.
Publish Content on Your LinkedIn Blog
The best way to establish yourself as a thought leader on LinkedIn is to publish content. Every profile has a blog. Even if you post material regularly on your own website, you should post relevant content on your LinkedIn blog. Post to your website first, then a week later, repost the same material on LinkedIn with a note of where and when it was originally published.
The idea is the same as with content marketing for your website. You want to publish relevant, useful, and timely content that provides value and attracts readers. Over time, your connections (who are notified every time you post content) will come to see you as the person to read on subjects pertaining to your industry. This will also attract more connections.
According to HubSpot, “the best time to post on LinkedIn is between 3 PM and 5 PM CDT on Wednesdays. Other high engagement times on the platform are between 8 AM and 10 AM CDT on Tuesdays, 10 AM and 12 PM CDT on Wednesdays, and 1 PM and 3 PM CDT on Thursdays. During the time periods above, people are usually getting ready for work, just starting their day, taking an afternoon break, or going home, so it makes sense that engagement on LinkedIn is high then.”
Reach Out to Prospective Partners and Clients
LinkedIn is great about providing you with prospective contacts that are already connected with people you know. Reach out to these people and ask to become a connection. You can also search for prospective connections by industry or business, and send them invitations to connect.
It is also perfectly acceptable to connect with people and share a brief promotion of your business with an offer to collaborate or partner on future projects. Nothing too salesy, but a simple hello, a brief explanation of what you have to offer, and an expression of your willingness to partner with them on a future venture.
Comment on Relevant Influencer Posts
Spend some time on the platform and pick out the relevant influencers in your industry or niche. After completing your profile and adding keywords, your business category, and other information, LinkedIn will show you relevant blog posts and updates in your LinkedIn feed. Spend some time reading and discovering who has the most popular and knowledgeable voices.
Begin responding to their posts with thoughtful and intelligent responses. More than a simple, “good job, I agree.” Share why you agree, or disagree, and back up your response with facts or evidence from your own solopreneur business experience. Over time, you will also become known to them, and appreciated for your intelligent responses that help carry on the conversation.
Post Frequent Status Updates
Posting regular content is important, but status updates are, too. Let your connections know what you are doing that is relevant to business. These are not Facebook updates about your cat or latest chili recipe. Make sure your updates are relevant. Some good updates to share are:
- Celebrating business wins or milestones
- Links to interesting articles in your business niche
- Links to articles from industry leaders
- Links to timely news relating to your industry
- Occasional quotes from famous people for encouragement
Request Recommendations from Current Clients
Always be sure to connect with your past and current clients, and ask them to write a recommendation for your business. This is perfectly acceptable on LinkedIn, and these recommendations further establish you as a legitimate professional in your industry. If possible, record a recommendation in return to help out your client’s efforts on LinkedIn.
Are you already using LinkedIn to market your solopreneur business? What are some other tactics you have used with success? Share them with our readers in the comments below!