3 Reasons Entrepreneurs Should Care About LinkedIn
LinkedIn is no longer optional - it’s mandatory, if you care about your professional reputation. There are almost half a billion other professionals on the platform and 2 new people join LinkedIn every single second of every single day. If 2 people across the globe join this posse every single day and you’re still not active, competing in the emerging “gig economy” will be extremely difficult. LinkedIn is the only place you can go online where you have access to hundreds of millions of people who are specifically there for the purpose of doing business. Because you can’t get that anywhere else, your one and only option is to be active on LinkedIn, and that’s non-negotiable. (Excerpt from ‘Class Is Now In Session…Your 21 LinkedIn Questions Answered’, By Tajuana Ross and Available on Amazon).
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site with more than half a billion members across the globe, in every industry. It’s been around for almost 15 years and it has evolved since the days when it was known for being the place to find a job. No matter what you do for a living, your presence on the platform is imperative because LinkedIn has morphed into a behemoth branding tool.
Not only is your ideal client looking at you, but so are investors, partners, sponsors, influences, lawyers, booking agents, competitors and the rest of your ecosystem. In many cases, your LinkedIn profile is the first thing someone sees when they research you online. That’s because Google places your LinkedIn profile in the top 3 search results, so whenever someone Googles your name, they’ll see it. If Google thinks your LinkedIn profile is important, you should too.
Saying the words, “I’m not on LinkedIn” is damaging for any professional, but especially entrepreneurs. It’s a mindset thing. Not being on LinkedIn tells the world that your professional brand is low on your list of priorities and that particular mindset gives the public permission to go a competitor instead of doing business with you. People come to that conclusion because they’ve learned that branding is critical and mindset is everything.
Not convinced of LinkedIn’s importance yet? Here are 3 reasons that entrepreneurs should care:
1) You’re not making enough money on Facebook -
While you might have a lot of Facebook friends and your posts get decent engagement, those ‘likes’ don’t translate into enough dollars.
It makes perfect sense when you think about it - Facebook wasn’t designed to be a business platform - it’s social networking. We may use it to promote our business, but that’s not its intended use, so the results aren't as profitable as they could be. LinkedIn, on the other hand, was created for the purpose of networking amongst other professionals which explains the much higher conversion rate on LinkedIn.
By default, you’re a B2B marketer as an entrepreneur. You’re trying to secure corporate contracts, get corporate sponsors and retain corporate clients - that makes you a B2B marketer. So, it behooves you to have a branded presence on the one platform that actually gives you a solid revenue boost. Even if you are making money on Facebook, imagine how much more you could’ve made as a result of branding on LinkedIn.
2) Nobody Is Reading Your Blog -
Let’s face it, you put so much time into painstakingly creating content and you just want it to be consumed. Your reach is dismal and even at your blog’s peak, you questioned the return on your time investment. Your metrics show that the same 13 people read your posts every time you make an entry, but the other 2,700 subscribers never see them.
So, why not publish your content on LinkedIn and take advantage of its wider reach? All members have access to the publishing tool (which is free) and can use it for greater visibility. You own the content that you publish on LinkedIn and you can disperse it wherever you want - including your blog. It’s a great way to increase your content footprint, while being seen by your target audience…at no cost to you.
3) The Disposable Income You’re Looking For Is On LinkedIn -
Yep, clients who can actually pay you are looking for solutions to their problems…on LinkedIn. Whatever your product or service is, it probably requires that the buyer has access to disposable income. And if the service you provide is ongoing, you’ve probably struggled at some point to maintain a full funnel of paying clients. Part of that might be due to your pool of prospects.
So, wouldn’t it make better sense to brand yourself on a platform where the profit probability is higher, just based on the average income of the users? Wouldn’t it make sense to be active in the space where people are more likely to be able to afford your services? Wouldn’t your pool of prospects be more qualified from the beginning of your sales process if they actually matched your income demographic?
When you can prove the value of your products and services, people will pay any amount - but when they have disposable income, that makes your life a lot easier.
Tajuana Ross is the #1 Best Selling Author of the book, 'Class Is Now In Session - Your 21 LinkedIn Questions Answered', an award winning Professional Speaker and a Certified Career Coach. She founded Get Over Yourself Career and Life Coaching, Inc. in 2014 to help entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs get unstuck by showing them how to get out of their own way. She hosts the Podcast, 'The LinkedIn Professor - Schooling You on Building and Engaging Your Network' (available on iTunes) and the radio show, 'I Call Bullshit - Remix Your Negative Self Talk’ (broadcasted on goradiobroadcasting.com).
Want to learn more about LinkedIn? Visit thelinkedinprofessor.com or call (331)222-9540.
This article was originally published in Entrepreneurs of Color Magazine.