Your ideal clients are hanging out on LinkedIn and you want to reach them. You just don’t have the budget to run a highly effective LinkedIn ad campaign or experiment with LinkedIn video ads just yet.
That’s why we’re going to show you how you can use LinkedIn to promote and market your business without spending money.
How to promote your business on LinkedIn for free
As a social media platform, LinkedIn is a bit of an odd duck. It’s a job search site, a recruiting app, a social media platform, and professional business networking site all at the same time. It’s got more personal information about you than any other media. Hardly anyone on Twitter or Instagram knows where you went to school or what organizations you volunteer for, but on LinkedIn, all that info is there for your connections to see.
That’s why promoting yourself on LinkedIn looks a bit different. While sharing must-read updates and engaging with your network in the comments is still an important part of a well-rounded marketing strategy, there’s some other stuff you can try out.
1. Optimize your personal profile
No matter what type of business you want to promote on LinkedIn, the personal profile is where it all starts. To attract potential partners and customers, you need an attractive profile that tells people exactly what you do and gives them a reason to connect with you.
Animator Anneke Camstra uses a number of effective techniques to successfully market her business on LinkedIn and land clients (including videos made with Biteable!) Her strong profile plays a key role in making that possible.
The banner, headline and profile summary tell us exactly what Anneke does. Use your LinkedIn profile to position yourself just as clearly — tell us who you are, what you do, and why it matters.
Your profile is the rock on which you’ll build the rest of your LinkedIn marketing strategy. Investing time in refining it now will put you in a much stronger position later.
2. Create a company page
If you’re a marketer, business owner, or entrepreneur you need a company page. A LinkedIn company page gives you a way to tell potential clients, partners, and random strangers a bit more about your business.
A company page works similarly to your personal page. Your name and logo appear near the top, along with a Follow button. Underneath, in your About section, you share more about who you are, what you do, and include a link to your site.
Keep your About section focused on the problems you solve and benefits you provide. Google indexes the first 156 characters of your description, so make your LinkedIn company page SEO-friendly and easy to find by starting off with the important things. This also makes you easier to find through LinkedIn search.
Your company page is your LinkedIn home. If you want people to stick around, follow you, and eventually consider buying from you, you need to post regular, engaging updates. What do these look like, you ask?
- Show us what’s going on behind the scenes: What are you working on!? If someone follows your company on LinkedIn, chances are they’d like to know. Snap some pics, write an update or upload a quick video.
- Share industry news: What’s new and exciting in your space? What do people just have to know about? Tell us!
- Ask questions: Successful social media engagement is all about the conversation. Get to know your audience — and their needs, challenges and interests — by asking insightful questions. This will help you create stronger content and position yourself as someone who cares (great for building trust).
3. Create LinkedIn posts
Despite having been declared dead many times, the art of writing a blog post that engages your audience, solves a problem, and teaches something exciting plays an important role in content marketing. (See Mom? It’s a real job!)
What better way to position yourself as an expert, than to create LinkedIn posts on topics your ideal audience cares about?
When it comes to post creation, you’ve got two main routes available. You can syndicate a post from your existing blog and re-post it on LinkedIn, or write a fresh post that answers a question or solves a problem that your ideal LinkedIn connection is struggling with. Entrepreneur Jorden Roper successfully used the second approach to raise awareness about her brand and land new clients.
At the moment, you can only craft LinkedIn posts from your personal profile, not a company page. This makes them exceptionally well-suited for consultants, freelancers, and personal brand-based businesses.
4. Get active in LinkedIn groups
Get your name out there, raise awareness about your business, and do some good old-fashioned networking by joining a relevant LinkedIn group. Much like Facebook groups, there’s something for everyone.
Use LinkedIn search to find the perfect group for you. A quick search of “video marketing” revealed 769 potential groups.
Building a reputation and forging strong relationships takes time and effort, so be a bit picky when you join a group. Join active groups that have genuine conversations going on and watch out for groups that are just about self promotion — if the last 10 posts have little engagement, then this group probably won’t help you.
And if you can’t find quite what you’re looking for and are ready to go all-in and build your own community, you can start your very own LinkedIn group.
5. Post engaging updates
Updates are the unsung heroes of social media. It’s how we communicate with our connections. So as a result, one of the most clichéd and oft-shared tips on promoting your brand is writing killer updates. Totally unsurprising news flash — it works.
The best type of updates share an interesting story or bit of news. It’s not overtly self-promotional and inspires a bit of conversation. LinkedIn’s algorithm is heavily weighted towards content that gets a lot of likes — content that garners engagement will stay visible here much longer than on other social media platforms.
When you create content, focus on generating engagement. Tell an interesting story, share a fascinating factoid, or ask a question.
Winning at LinkedIn marketing
Just setting up a profile page, writing regular updates, and joining groups is half the battle. The real power tool, and determining factor in your success, is coming across as a living, breathing human being. So here are a few tips to help keep your content sparkling.
- Be a person: Don’t send bulk messages, don’t constantly promote your own stuff, and actually engage with other people — you know, the “social” part of “social media.
- Offer value before you ask for something: If you’re about to approach a connection or business about a potential partnership, focus on what you can do for them first. And please, when you send someone an InMail, use their name!
- Ask for references and recommendations: Social proof is important on LinkedIn too! Ask past colleagues and clients to write a recommendation for your profile. This helps create trust and show future connections that you’re kinda cool.
- Network: Don’t be afraid to approach people and start a genuine connection-- the key is to make sure it’s genuine.
- Be yourself: (Gag!) This is one of those bits of advice that sounds sort of barf-worthy, but it’s absolutely true. LinkedIn is designed to show potential clients and customers just who you are — so make sure your profile, updates and interactions reflect that.
In a nutshell, if you put the work in, you can use LinkedIn to land new clients, raise awareness about your business, and discover brand new partners — all without spending a cent.