Don’t make the dangerous mistake of underestimating the power of LinkedIn as an effective tool for generating leads which may lead to funding.
Statistics show that LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn is used by professionals across all spectrums of the hierarchy within all industries. This is the place you network, hire, create and engage in conversation, get your business out there and ultimately, get funding.
Rule number one: have a full profile
Complete your personal profile and make sure to include a high quality head shot which makes you look professional but approachable at the same time. When you include a head shot in your profile, users are 11 times more likely to view it. A good professional profile will give you and your small business credibility and is out there working for you when you are not, attracting investors. Think about the key words you might want to use to attract your audience and put them in your profile summary. LinkedIn uses an internal set of algorithms to rank certain profiles over others so consider the types of words people may use to search for you and use them as often as you can. Remember to write the summary in the third person or better yet, have a professional write it for you. Your profile is worth spending time and energy on.
While you’re at it, set up your small business page. It is important to maintain a robust company profile which showcases you as an expert and ultimately, an influencer. Again, use relevant keywords related to your industry so that your small business will appear in more search results and provide ongoing updates about it such as new hires, funding rounds or news that shows how well your small business is expanding.
There are over 80 million LinkedIn profiles out there. Make a headline that busts open the mold and grabs attention. You can even add a welcome video to your small business profile to demonstrate your creative skills. It is worth upgrading your account so that you can take full advantage of LinkedIn’s multimedia abilities. This is your chance to tell a great story and lure the reader in.
See the 3 best headlines for ideas.
Involve your employees
Tap into the resources that are right there in front of you. Encourage multiple employees to write relevant articles for your small business profile. Providing them with training about how to use LinkedIn and then factor writing time into their weekly schedule. Involving as many people as possible will greatly expand your small business network and build industry awareness through the great professionals in your team. Not only can they write original, engaging articles, they can participate in Q&A’s and let your existing and potential users know what a product and service you offer. To get funding, especially from an alternative source, you will need to show that your small business is robust and active in your industry.
Create an industry specific group and engage in the dialogue
Identify the type of group you’d like to create and give it a name that clearly communicates what it is about. Then, reach out to others who are well-connected in the industry letting them know you’d like to feature their expertise. From here, you can expand by holding webinars or hosting in-person meetups. Additionally, you can participate in LinkedIn’s Questions and Answers. This is an opportunity for you to engage with a solid network to demonstrate your expertise, not to advertise your small business. You can establish yourself as a valuable resource by responding privately to their query and offering more information and/or services if needed. In conjunction with starting your own, you should join groups where prospective lenders are. Your target audience are already aggregated, why not take advantage of this fact?