You have just started up your company and established a small base of clientele to kick things off. Business may be going smooth and steady at first but when do you decide to start taking the required steps to promote your company’s growth and reputation? How do you even know what steps to take?
Putting your complete confidence in the hands of your clients and trusting that they’ll bring other people and other professionals in contact with you, is a good way to prevent expansion. This is not the way to conduct business if you want to actually compete with similar companies and have them take you as serious competition.
It’s good to have multiple outlets to fall back on. Multiple connections and business opportunities on hold and available to you if you ever need to use them in a time of crisis; or at any point in time for that matter. It can only do you good. Create a strong network to keep you standing on your feet or else you’ll fall into an abyss of regression.
A network will allow you, and those connected to you through it, to share opportunities, talent, clients, contracts, and jobs. It benefits everyone involved, but you must get involved in the first place. This will start building your reputation of being trustworthy and reliable in your professional relationships and partnerships; so, people know you’re easy to work with.
We can confidently say that if we were looking for an unswerving partnership, we would not choose a partner that has little to no reputation/information known about them that is accessible to us. That, and/or if they lack a significant amount of good reviews. People do their research in these situations, so think about what you would be looking for yourself and base your strategy off that.
A great place to start reaching out to others is on a professional networking site. Some well-known sites are BranchOut, whose main focus is job opportunities and AngelList for startup jobs. Zerply is used by creative and talented professionals in the entertainment industry, and PartnerUp is an online community for small businesses and startup companies. Finally, LinkedIn, which is going to be the main focus of this article, as they are the most highly recommended and have the most variety of services and products at your disposal.
Each of the sites listed above has a particular service that their website is generally based around. LinkedIn offers a combination of all of these services in one place. They combine job opportunities, easy and direct messaging, convenient document sharing, and readily available connections with people from multiple different industries.
Upon initially creating your LinkedIn account page, recommendations for connections are given to you based on the information you provided. These connections include companies, CEO’s, and people in the same industry or with the same interests as you. Some may personally recommend students or alumni that went to the same college as you also.
Once you add a connection, you’re essentially following them, so you’ll see their content in your feed. According to LinkedIn, “More connections mean you’re more likely to hear about new opportunities.”
Products and Business Services Provided by LinkedIn
Along the navigation bar at the top of their home page, is a tab labeled ‘Jobs.’ There are two options.
One: if you’re looking for a job, you can go through a list of postings and save them to look at later and compare to each other. It also provides the possibility to help you stand out in recruiter searches and increase your chances of receiving relevant messages from those recruiters by filling out your career interests: when you would like a new job, what job titles you are considering, etc.
Two: if you’re not looking for a job, but rather wanting to seek out new employees to hire, you can post a job as well. Those employees will become part of your professional network. They can provide you with the talent you’re looking for to get recognition, thus making new connections come about, further building your network.
Another tool provided is Talent Insights. Use this to find people that are talented in certain skill sets to work for you. They are essential to have in your network. There are listings from all over the world, from hundreds of thousands of people, all looking for work and connection opportunities.
The Business Intelligence Tool on this page is available to help you compare your company to other peer companies to see what you’re up against. It shows you the number of professionals, percent growth, and the number of jobs each provides.
LinkedIn allows you to create easy and effective ads to reach your ideal customers and help your business achieve its goals, whether it’s to target a specific audience or to help yourself be a little more well-known amongst your peers. Getting your company’s name out there, in general, is going to build your reputation even further and make it more likely for others to want to begin and develop a professional connection with you.
SlideShare provides the ability to conveniently share your knowledge with your newfound connections through presentations, infographics, documents, and more. In return, they will hopefully share their knowledge with you. Being able to use technology in this way will increase your professionality and solidify your current connections.
“Discover your earning potential by exploring how salaries vary by industry, company size, education level and field of study”. This service would be useful when researching a reasonable salary to offer to potential employees that you find on their Job page.
Now that you’re aware of all the capabilities LinkedIn can provide you, use them to your advantage and get connected to lots of new people out there. As a well-known and established site among professionals, it will quickly accelerate the growth of your company in so many ways.