When people think of ways to promote their business online they think of the usual suspects – Google, Bing, Facebook and Twitter. In many cases they forget about (or don’t know about) a business professional network called LinkedIn.
As a small business owner myself I know the importance of “getting the word out” about a business. Because I have a small marketing budget (as most startups do) I am forced to find ways to get my name out there for free or at a very low cost.
And since I am an online marketing company I also need to know what the options are out there for my clients.
I’ve had a personal LinkedIn profile for quite a long time now – 6 or 7 years. But for the first few years I didn’t do much on LinkedIn because, with all the other options out there, I didn’t see a need.
That is until LinkedIn started offering company profiles in addition to personal profile pages. That means, as a business owner I have one more avenue online to get my business name out there.
How hard is it to Set Up a LinkedIn Business Profile?
I have to say, before I set up my business profile I also wondered just how difficult it was. The truth is, it’s very easy. It took me 15-20 minutes to set up. You will need a personal LinkedIn profile to get started.
The first step is to click this link to Set Up Your Company Page. You will go to a page where you will add your company name and an email address associated with your company. LinkedIn will then search for your company name to see if it already exists. If so you will be provided a list of matching companies. If not an email will be sent to you to verify your company and begin the setup process.
If your company does not exist and you are sent an email, and you click the link, you are taken to a page where you set up your company profile.
What is Needed to Set Up a Company Page?
While you can get away with a basic setup, which should take about 5 minutes, I recommend taking a little extra time to make your business page look nicer and stand out from the rest. To do this you will need a logo and a banner image. You should also have a list of products and/or services you provide. And if possible provide images for those products and services.
To begin, determine who will be an administrator of the page. If it’s just you to start that’s fine as you can add other people later on.
Next, add your banner image and logos. These boxes will appear at the top of your page.
Continue through the setup, adding a business description. Be sure to be very thorough and hit all your key areas. There is a lot of room for a description so be very descriptive.
Following the description you will see some boxes for “Company Specialties”. These will appear below your company description, but above your company address and contact information.
Once you’ve completed the specialties, scroll your page back up and work down the right side of the page. Here you will find information such as the company industry, size, website address, street address and so on. What’s handy here is that you can add multiple addresses. So if you have a head office and satellite office (for example) you can list them both here.
When you have completed the basic business profile, hit the “Publish” button to see what your page looks like.
At this point you could stop, but I’d suggest just a couple more steps to enhance your listing.
First, add an update, much like a tweet on Twitter or status update on Facebook. Try and do this regularly. Perhaps when you use Twitter and Facebook you can add LinkedIn to your schedule?
Above the status update box you will see some buttons. Click on “Products” and click on “Edit” to add products or services. This is where you can provide more detailed information, along with pictures and even video, of your products or services.
Once you have added some products or services you should try and get some recommendations from others on them.
When you publish the products and services, go to the “Products” tab and click on the product or service you want to get recommendations for, and then click on the “Request Recommendations” button. A small window will pop up where you can add the name or names of people you would like to get recommendations from, along with a changeable text block that you can use to customize the email before you send it.
Remember, you can add up to 25 products and services!
Also, if needed, add job postings to your listing if your business is hiring. It’s not free to post jobs but it could be a more qualified bunch of people applying for positions in your company.
Finally, use the insights tool to monitor how your pages are doing.
In The End…
Adding a LinkedIn company page is very similar to adding a Facebook Page. It even looks very similar, and what you can do with it is also very similar.
The difference is that on LinkedIn your connections might be more receptive to your company and what it has to say to them.
To view our LinkedIn Company Profile page, please click this link.