LinkedIn can be a confusing place. The social media website is for businesses and employees to connect online but many small business owners are hesitant to use it. LinkedIn can be difficult to figure out how to use when you run your own business.
We get a lot of questions from small business owners about LinkedIn so we’re hoping this post will answer some of those questions. If you’re wondering if LinkedIn is a fit for your business or asking questions like Who should be on LinkedIn? What’s the difference between a personal and a LinkedIn company page? What information should be on each page? and Do I need a LinkedIn company page? then this post is for you. Here are the answers about your small business and LinkedIn.
Who should be on LinkedIn?
Everyone! In this high tech world, everyone should be on LinkedIn. Even if you don’t think that someone will be looking for a plumber or a daycare provider on LinkedIn, you should still have a personal and business page. Why?
LinkedIn has high authority on search engines. That means that if someone Googles your name, your LinkedIn page (with your business information) may be a top search result.
You never know who you’ll connect with on LinkedIn. No one knows where their next customer will come from. That new connection that you made at a church event might be redoing his master bathroom and upon connecting with you on LinkedIn and seeing those before and after photos, hires you the next day!
LinkedIn is free and easy to use. Marketing can get expensive if you’re paying for advertising and small businesses need as much exposure as they can get. Leverage your time and wallet by using LinkedIn to share your status updates and blog posts to reach even more people. Your business has nothing to lose by using LinkedIn.
What’s the difference between a personal and a company page?
The difference between a LinkedIn personal page and a LinkedIn company page is that one is about you and the other is about your business. LinkedIn pages mimic the difference between a personal and business Facebook pages. Even if you are your business, you should still have a LinkedIn page for yourself and a LinkedIn page for your business.
LinkedIn personal page describes you and your professional background—education, licenses, experience, etc.
LinkedIn company page describes your business—what your business does, location, business updates, blog posts, etc.
What information should be on each page?
LinkedIn Personal Page
Think of your personal LinkedIn profile page like a resume or CV. Your personal page is where you put all of the information that you want to share about your professional life.
Include this information on your LinkedIn Personal Page:
- Education: College or graduate school, majors and minors and focus of study.
- Work Experience: Current and past experience and your responsibilities for the positions.
- Summary: Describe what you’re doing professional, what you’re looking to do, collaborate on, etc.
- Certifications: Include
professionally recognized certifications for your industry.
- Honors and Awards: List industry relevant commendations and awards.
LinkedIn Company Page
Think of your LinkedIn Company Page like your business’s Facebook page. This is the place to include relevant information about your business, similar to what is on the About Us Page of your website.
Include this information on your LinkedIn Company Page:
- Industry: LinkedIn gives you industry choices. Choose the one that best fits your business.
- Size: Pick the size that best describes the number of employees you have. It’s ok if your business is just you!
- Location: Identify your location, even if you do some of all of your business online.
- Description: Explain what your business does, sells, or who it helps.
- Employees: Link to employees who work at your company.
Do consultants need a LinkedIn company page?
Yes, you do. Even if you work for yourself as a consultant, practice owner, coach, or sole proprietor, you should have a page for your business on LinkedIn.
You should have a company page is so that you can list a place of employment on your personal page. You can’t link your business’s website to your personal page—LinkedIn links to internal pages only. By having a business page, people can easily find out more information about your business or company by clicking on the name of the business and accessing your LinkedIn company page.
Isn’t that redundant? Sure it might be redundant, but it’s the right way to do it. If someone is looking for a consultant, they’re going to want to be able to get more information. The easiest way for them to do that while on LinkedIn is by clicking on your company name listed on your personal page and visiting your business page. Also, LinkedIn will not hyperlink your website so even if you include your website somewhere on your personal page, even in the employment section, LinkedIn users will not be able to access your business my simply clicking www.mybusiness.com.
What can I do with each LinkedIn page?
LinkedIn Personal Page
A LinkedIn personal page is used to connect with other people. Use your LinkedIn personal page to connect with employees, friends, other industry professionals, former classmates, and people you meet at networking or other events. All of your connections will now be in your LinkedIn network. Similar to Facebook, news and articles will show up on a news feed that your connections post. comment on, or like.
Here are some things that you can do with a LinkedIn Personal page:
- List work experience including your current and past positions, awards and honors, and licenses
- Share your LinkedIn company page’s posts
- Post status updates
- Ask questions of your network
- Post interesting or relevant articles
- Like, share, and comment on your connections’ posts
- Post articles directly on LinkedIn
- Join LinkedIn Groups
- Participate, post, and comment in LinkedIn Groups
- Correspond via message with your connections
- Connect with other professionals
- Follow companies and businesses (like your own LinkedIn company page)
LinkedIn Company Page
Similar to a Facebook business page, your LinkedIn company page should be used to share and post company news, blogs, and relevant information. Your LinkedIn company page is also good for improving your SEO to get your business found online.
Here are some things you can do with your LinkedIn company page:
- Post links to blog posts from your company’s blog
- List open positions for jobs at your company
- Drive engagement by posting blogs, pictures, articles
- Sponsor updates to get information in front of a larger audience
- Update company news and information
- See how people interact with your posts via analytics
- Pay for advertising to promote your company
There’s a basic run down for you—now go connect on LinkedIn!