How LinkedIn transformed the business of these 3 entrepreneurs

People often think of LinkedIn as a place to develop a personal career, but it can also be an amazing resource for developing your company. Especially if you are a small business owner whose personal brand is closely linked to your company’s mission, LinkedIn should not be neglected as part of your social media strategy.

I sat down with a few founders to learn more about how LinkedIn transformed their business. Read on to hear their stories, see their results, and learn strategies you can start applying today.

Short note: Before you start with these strategies, I recommend checking your LinkedIn profile to make sure it’s accurate and compelling. It won’t take you long, and it can go a long way!

Building thought leadership

While other social channels are usually reserved for building your company’s brand, LinkedIn provides you with a unique opportunity to gain personal followers – which in turn can support your brand recognition. This is especially true when your individual thought leadership is closely aligned with your company’s mission.

When Sherrell Dorsey launched the digital news and insights platform The Plug, she knew she wanted to be seen as a leading voice in the black innovative economy — and she wanted her voice to be in the mix. She approached LinkedIn to share the work she did and the lessons she learned several times a week.

Sherrell Dorsey, founder and CEO of The Plug

The results were shocking: “Just a few months later, the kind of engagement I got was insane. And then just a few months later, I was named LinkedIn Top Voice in Technology. ”

This recognition has helped Dorsey and her company to give more influence when it comes to PR delivery and speech opportunities. “There’s little street belief in that. I think people come across my profile and see that I’m a LinkedIn Top Voice, so I have to be legitimate, ”she says.

She went on to double her LinkedIn strategy – adding LinkedIn Live chats to the mix – because she noticed that showing her passion ultimately boosted her company’s brand as well. “It was a way for people to see me, see the work, see the authenticity, and then make the decision that they want to engage with this brand based on what they saw me posting or sharing on LinkedIn,” she says.

Connecting with industry leaders they’ve never met before

Social media is great for connecting with new people, no matter where they are. But many entrepreneurs share that LinkedIn has been particularly valuable in this regard. In a post-COVID world where conferences and gatherings are less common, LinkedIn is a powerful platform for finding colleagues to serve as sound boards, learning mentors, and even prospective customers from afar.

Sheena Russell, founder and CEO of Made With Local, loves the fact that her company operates from the relatively remote city of Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada. However, she says, “Under certain circumstances, it can feel isolating not to be where the action is.”

Sheena Russell, founder and CEO of Made with Local

Thanks to a strategy of sharing some behind-the-scenes actions and thinking about her life as a CPG (consumer packaged goods) entrepreneur on LinkedIn, Russell has expanded her network far beyond what would be possible locally. “With LinkedIn, I’m personally connected to the great founders of CPG and the people who run the brands I really admire,” she says.

In addition to helping Russell and her team feel more connected and giving them the opportunity to learn from the best in the business, Russell expects these far-reaching connections to prove valuable as Made With Local aims to expand into the U.S. and beyond.

“It’s a really great way to start building a name for ourselves in the international CPG community and the natural food and beverages that will serve us below when the time comes to finally start selling in those markets,” she says. “Until then, I hope to appear on the feeds of many other CPG founders and people from the United States, so they will be somewhat familiar with the brand.”

Meeting with clients

Many social media platforms seem like a fun diversion – but do they actually help small businesses make money? The answer for LinkedIn — especially for companies in the B2B or career-related industries — is a resounding yes. According to the Content Marketing Institute, LinkedIn is the best paid and organic channel for B2B companies.

Latesha Byrd, executive director of the talent development agency Perfeqta, was convinced of this first hand. Back in 2015, before she founded her company and while still working full time, she started using LinkedIn Profinder (now called LinkedIn Services Marketplace) to advertise her professional training services and find her early clients. “It essentially tripled the amount of income I brought in for my job, and in about six months I was able to leave corporate America,” she says.

Latesha Byrd, CEO of Perfect

Even today, as Perfeqta has established itself on other platforms, LinkedIn continues to be a powerful customer driver. “One of my current regular clients – a technology startup for which we created a talent acquisition framework and for which we made a roadmap for diversity and inclusion – found me on LinkedIn and contacted me,” notes Byrd.

While not every new link will lead to current sales, putting on LinkedIn can be a powerful way to build a pipeline of potential customers. “After my last LinkedIn Live, someone who works in recruiting diversity in a really great company has reached for the inclusive employment guide I mentioned,” says Byrd. That LinkedIn Live has been viewed nearly 30,000 times since then.

The best part is that all of these business owners agree that LinkedIn requires less intensive curating and content creation than many other social platforms. Consistently publish several times a week, communicate with people in your world and don’t hesitate to share your story authentically. With those three steps,, You’re well on your way to building a strong LinkedIn strategy — and growing your business in all sorts of amazing new ways.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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