LinkedIn for Small Business


RACHEL STERLING: Hello
and welcome to another Hangout On Air with the Google
Small Business Community. My name is Rachel Sterling. It’s Social Media Month
here in the community. And all month long,
we’ll be talking about how you can use social
media to attract new customers and grow your business. Today we’re kicking off the
conversation with Jason Miller from LinkedIn. Jason, thanks so
much for being here. JASON MILLER:
Rachel, my pleasure. Thanks for having me. RACHEL STERLING: Well, why
don’t you fill everybody in? What do you do at LinkedIn? JASON MILLER: So I am the
Senior Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn Marketing
Solutions, and I tell the story of the
market around LinkedIn– more specifically, the
content marketer on LinkedIn and then even more specifically,
the B2B marketer on LinkedIn. But basically, I tell the
story of how marketers can be successful driving
revenue/brand awareness with LinkedIn. RACHEL STERLING: And you’re
right down the road from us. JASON MILLER: I am indeed. Yes, we are neighbors. RACHEL STERLING: Yeah. So we know that we’ve sent
you a couple of our Hangouts and you’ve watched them. So you know this
question is coming. JASON MILLER: Yes. RACHEL STERLING: If you could
have a Hangout with anybody in the world, who
would it be and what’s the most embarrassing
thing you would ask them? JASON MILLER: You know,
I’m a huge KISS fan. I’m a huge heavy metal
fan, so it would probably be, I don’t know, Ozzy
Osbourne or Paul Stanley. And what I would ask
them is– I don’t know if it would
be embarrassing– but maybe I would ask KISS about
maybe some of their early days with the makeup on
and how they evolved. I don’t know how
embarrassing that is, but I think it’d be a really
interesting conversation with Paul Stanley, and Gene
Simmons, and Ozzy Osbourne. Maybe I’ll get all
three of them together, if that would be possible. RACHEL STERLING: For brunch? JASON MILLER: Yes. RACHEL STERLING: Maybe
over poached eggs. JASON MILLER: Yes. And Larry David, too, if I
could bring in one extra. RACHEL STERLING: Yeah,
we want to point out that Jason is also– he’s
going to be modest– he’s a celebrated rock photographer. So this is right in your oeuvre. You love talking about music. JASON MILLER: I do. I could talk music all day long. Huge fan. Grew up listening to KISS, and
Ozzy Osbourne, and Motley Crue. And now I try to inject
it into everything I do. RACHEL STERLING:
Well, we’re going to talk about social
media right now. And we’re going to talk
specifically about LinkedIn. So we were doing our
research on LinkedIn before we invited
you to join us, and we learned that
there are currently 380 million people on LinkedIn. Two new members
join every second. Everyone here uses LinkedIn
for various reasons. But folks in the community
want to know, how can a small business use LinkedIn? JASON MILLER: That’s a
really great question. I think there’s so
many opportunities for small businesses
on LinkedIn. I think it starts
with just optimizing your profile, your own
profile, your personal profile, putting your best foot
forward, and making sure that you’re taking advantage
of all the features they have, from adding rich
media, to publishing, which I know we’ll talk about
publishing long-form content, to having a great profile
photo, and link-backs, and a personalized URL. I think it all starts there. And then I think it moves
over to a company page, establishing your company’s
presence on LinkedIn. A company page is free to
set up, it’s great for SEO, and it’s where your
company can share updates and thought leadership. And you can build up followers
and this audience who wants to learn
from you and wants to learn about your
products and services. Building that
trust and that kind of thought leadership angle can
lead to relationships later on. And then there’s so many
other great options, from our sponsored updates to
SlideShare to the Pulse app for staying on top of news
and trends in the industry. There’s just so much opportunity
for small businesses. RACHEL STERLING: It’s
almost like LinkedIn becomes a vehicle with which you can
manage your own reputation, both as a business owner
and as a business yourself. JASON MILLER: Yeah, absolutely. If you have a story
to tell– and I know so many entrepreneurs
and small businesses do– why not tell your story? Why would you– don’t let
someone else tell your story, and don’t let your
competitions tell a story that you could tell better. So LinkedIn, with all of
the tools that it offers, it’s a tremendous place
to get that narrative, tell your story, and build
relationships, and connect with the most relevant prospects
and customers you have. RACHEL STERLING: I want to bring
up some other points of data that we found. So LinkedIn commission research,
your team’s commission research on how small businesses
are using social media. And you found that
three in four people agree LinkedIn allows
small businesses to build credibility. And over two in
three agree LinkedIn provides a relevant context
to promote and advertise their company. So you briefly mentioned some
of the different features that LinkedIn has to offer. What are the wide
range of features that LinkedIn offers for
small business owners to manage their own
reputation on LinkedIn and their own
persona on LinkedIn? JASON MILLER: Again,
I think it really starts with the company page. It’s the presence. I call it the
mother ship, right? So on your company page, you
can put a big, beautiful cover photo up there that represents
your brand or your company. And you can build out
details around your company. It’s great for SEO. So when somebody searches on
your brand or your company name, it shows up usually
on the first page, depending on how well
it’s optimized, of course. But again, this is your
mother ship, this is your hub. Right? We can connect directly. RACHEL STERLING: We’ve talked
about that in the community all the time, the
importance of SEO. And so here you have
this reputable site where your business is located. And you are controlling the
way your business appears on that site. It’s gold. JASON MILLER: Exactly. And again, it’s this hub
for thought leadership. I think oftentimes
when people are looking for a
service or a product, or even researching an
individual, maybe a consultant, they’re going to look at
their LinkedIn profile, and they’re going to look at
that [INAUDIBLE] company page. They’re going to type
in the search box, and it’s going to
show up, and they’re going to click through it. And it’s your job to
best represent yourself. And the question
becomes, why would you not want to represent
yourself in the best light? Put a little bit of time
into your company page, into your personal profile,
because that’s really what’s going to represent
you to that online community as they search for the services
that you could provide for them and solve their problems. RACHEL STERLING: And
we know that a lot of these different platforms
offer additional features in terms of how
people are engaging with your presence and
your content on that site. Can you talk a little bit more
about analytics on LinkedIn? JASON MILLER: Sure. So the company
page, the home base of where you’re posting company
updates– once you kind of find some content that
resonates and you want to expand the
reach of your content, you can put a little bit of
paid promotion behind that. The targeting is very
specific on that, and the data is incredibly rich. So I think the back-end
analytics page for the company page allows you to
see who’s following your company by
geography, by seniority, and break down,
so you can really understand the audience that’s
interested in your products and services. Furthermore, you can see
which updates you’re posting are getting the most engagement. And then I would recommend
taking the ones that are getting the most engagement
and putting a little bit of pay behind them, expanding beyond
kind of your initial followers’ reach to really break through
to that coveted second-degree connections and the folks that
you’re really trying to target. RACHEL STERLING: So just
explain that a little bit in greater detail
for our audience. If you have a business
page on LinkedIn and you have a
handful of followers, if you post anything
on LinkedIn, your followers– the people
who choose to follow you– would be able to
see that content. But if you wanted
people who haven’t been made aware of
your business yet, you would want to maybe put
a little bit of advertising dollars behind that post,
so that you can amplify that message beyond
the people who have chosen to follow you,
and then hopefully pick up a few more followers
in the process. JASON MILLER: Sure, yeah. There’s folks out
there who will tell you inbound marketing is all
you need, like it’s a trend. But I think that inbound
marketing only gets you so far. It only gets you to the initial
audience that’s following you. If you want to break through
to a greater audience and really get your
message out there to a bigger– more customers
and prospects, et cetera– then you put a little bit
of paid behind there. And you can target it
by seniority, by skills. There’s so many options. And the data is based on
the richness of our member’s profile, so it’s incredibly
accurate, incredibly powerful. RACHEL STERLING: Well, let’s
talk about the way a lot of our small business owners
might want to use LinkedIn. So what we found is that a
lot of our small businesses that are in the community,
some of them are solopreneurs. They’re maybe doing services
out of their own house, and they’re trying
to get their feet wet and start their own business. Would you recommend
creating a page for yourself versus a page for your business? When you’re creating a page,
what is a best practice? JASON MILLER: Well,
I would recommend that if you’re a solopreneur, I
would recommend that you focus on your profile first, right? With the publishing
feature now, I think– Joe Pulizzi
from Content Marketing wrote a really interesting
article on LinkedIn. He’s a LinkedIn influencer. And he wrote about
telling the story and building this audience
before you launch that product, and how so many folks like
Brian Clark from Copyblogger, a small business, who
talked about– Brian Clarke blogged about blogging for
years and then built a product. Now he’s got one of the fastest
growing software-as-a-services product to help these
small businesses out. So I think the point
is to really focus on telling a story,
building that audience. And I think you can do
that very successfully around your own
personal profile, around publishing on LinkedIn. When you blog on LinkedIn or
publish this long-form content, it’s attached to
your online identity. It’s right there
in your profile. And I think that’s how
you build an audience. And then once you get
a substantial audience, you think there’s a
need, then I think you can focus on the company page. RACHEL STERLING: It would
almost be like your clout as a personal person, like
a personal user on LinkedIn, would help bolster your business
page once you get that started. JASON MILLER: Yeah, exactly. And I think the
opportunity is so great. Everyone has a story. It’s not like Kathie Lee
Gifford on the “Today” show. Everyone has a story. But I think that’s
so true, especially with so many remarkable
stories from the solopreneurs, the entrepreneurs, the
small businesses out there. This is a place to tell your
story, to get your narrative, to talk about what you stand
for, what your product does, and how you can help people. It’s incredibly powerful. And based on the size of
your network, who you’re connected with, you almost
have a built-in audience there waiting for you. So I think it’s important for
these folks to start writing. It doesn’t have to be a lot. It doesn’t have to
be 10 times a day. Focus on if you have
something to say, this is the place to say it. RACHEL STERLING:
You’re encouraging me to go home and write my
first blog post on LinkedIn. JASON MILLER: I write
every single morning. Whether or not I
post it or not, I do write every single morning. I spend 15 minutes
every single morning getting my thoughts out,
just like a comedian would, writing my new material. I think about
everything that I touch. I take inspiration from
everything, and I write it. And LinkedIn is a
different mindset than the other social networks. It’s the professional mindset. It’s the world’s only
professional network, right? So it’s a different
conversation, it’s a different mindset. So I think you keep
that in mind when you’re creating content for LinkedIn. Content that does really
well on LinkedIn, I’ve found, is inspirational content,
storytelling content, educational content, and then
sometimes even entertaining content. But you find a balance. Be interesting. Tell your story. Just get it out there. And it’s conversational. Blogging is conversational,
so don’t overthink this. Just get it out there. RACHEL STERLING: Well, what
if I’m at home right now and I’m wondering,
what is my first step? How do I get started
with LinkedIn? JASON MILLER: First
step is, again, to– there’s tons of
best practices out there. And optimize your profile. Start there. Then move on to figuring out
where’s your– is your audience there? Where are they hang out at? Are they in groups? Are they consuming content
through SlideShare? Take a look at some
of your competition, see what they’re doing. Borrow some ideas. It’s OK to do that, right? RACHEL STERLING: We call
it stealing with pride. JASON MILLER: I always like
to get a gauge on the market and the conversation. What’s the saying? “As the tide rises, all the
ships rise along with it.” I probably just butchered that. But the idea is competition
makes us all stronger. So take a look around. But just establish that
presence and take some time. And really look at the
keywords you’re using. Look at the headlines
you’re using. I always call it lazy
marketer syndrome. Every message you put out
there, every single message you put out there is a potential
touchpoint with a customer, or a potential
deal in the future, or a consultant opportunity. So every message
you put out there, it’s no longer a
game of numbers, it’s a game of relevance. It’s a game of being
smart with your messaging. Every single post you put out
there, every update you do, every piece of content you share
should represent who you are, what you stand for,
and what you’re looking to do and connect with
professionally on this network. So again, optimize. Put some thought into that. Don’t just share a
piece of content. Put your commentary into
there, and make sure that your thought leadership
is coming along with everything you share. RACHEL STERLING: So if
I’m going to just distill down, just to get,
like, one clear or two clear first
steps for folks, I think the first
step is, number one, sign up for LinkedIn. JASON MILLER: Yes, of course. RACHEL STERLING: Absolutely. JASON MILLER: It’s
an easy process. RACHEL STERLING: Yeah, I think
you need an email address and a password. Sign up. And then the second
step, I would say, would be to seek out content
on LinkedIn, either from people that you admire or people
who are in your space, and observe what they’re doing,
and see what’s connecting and what you really enjoy. And figure out who you
want to be on LinkedIn. JASON MILLER: Yeah,
I think we all know, as marketers,
as entrepreneurs, and what not, small
businesses, that relationships matter more than anything. And I think this is where you
build those relationships. There are so many influential
small business leaders– Rieva Lesonsky, Jim
Blasingame, Barry Moltz, Anita Campbell from
Small Business Trends. These are the folks, they’re
all active on LinkedIn. If you don’t know
them personally and you don’t feel comfortable
enough connecting with them, you can follow their
posts, you can follow what they publish on LinkedIn. This is essentially
free consulting. You can get tons of ideas. You can find out who else
is engaging with them. There’s LinkedIn small
business groups out there. Small Business Nation
is a very popular group. Get in there, get some
ideas, connect with others. This is where you
build your network, and your network is everything. Your network is
going to get you, and your message,
and your brand, and your story to that next
level, to the next audience. RACHEL STERLING: And we
talked about this earlier– your competitors are
probably already doing this. JASON MILLER: If
they’re smart, they are. Again, I know it sounds
like a lot of work, but it’s really not. Just a few minutes a day
poking around in some groups, liking and sharing
some comments, engaging with these influencers,
staying on top of these trends. It’s really important. It’s all there for the
taking, and you get out of it what you put into it. RACHEL STERLING: Well,
let’s talk about stories since you mentioned that
LinkedIn is a great platform for storytelling. Can you fill us in? What have some small businesses
been doing on LinkedIn that you find compelling? JASON MILLER: I think
my favorite thing is to see entrepreneurs, and
CEOs of smaller start-ups, and these [? essembeliers ?]
actually taking to the platform
to share insights, And take a problem
they’ve solved, and share it with the
rest of their network. Or even something inspiring
that happened to them on the way to work
or over the weekend. These little stories, I
think they keep us all going. They make us better marketers. They inspire us. If someone in my space,
a fellow marketer, can share something
with me and I could say, I can do that, I want to
do that, it encourages me to be a little bit
more, I would say, forward-thinking
with everything I do. But some examples
of small businesses I see, Convince & Convert. Jay Baer is a thought leader
in the social media space. He has a consultancy company
called Convince & Convert. Great company. They have a great company
presence, a company page. They’re sharing relevant
content with their audience. They’re sharing some of
their own content in there. A nice mix of
thought leadership. Plus, you can also talk about
yourself here and there, but don’t overdo it. We learned about the megaphone
in the social media, right? Don’t be talking about
yourself all day. RACHEL STERLING: I once
had a writing teacher who said that don’t
write about you. The only person that
thinks you’re interesting is you and maybe your mom. JASON MILLER: Yeah. I think Convince &
Convert– there’s another small business in
San Francisco that’s actually doing something very clever
with their LinkedIn advertising. They’re running AdWords
campaigns on Google– as everyone should–
bidding on keywords, which is very important. Well, they’re taking the
same strategy with LinkedIn, but instead of
bidding on keywords, they’re running really good,
remarkable, relevant content, and they’re bidding on skills. So it’s a really
interesting complement. So now you have the
keyword strategy plus you have a skill set strategy. And it’s delivering pretty
good numbers for them. RACHEL STERLING: OK, so
we talked about numbers. Let’s talk about how do you know
if LinkedIn is working for you? JASON MILLER: Oh,
that’s a good question. I think it depends on
where your focus is. With your company
page, you can look at the analytics on your
company page and see, am I getting new followers? Is my content resonating? Which content is
resonating the most? And how do I create
more of that content? But in the publishing
platform, now when you publish long-form
content on LinkedIn, you can see who’s looking
at that content, who’s sharing that content. It’s incredibly powerful
for outreach, for social [INAUDIBLE], if you will. The old classic, who’s
viewed my profile play. I mean, if you’re a consultant,
and you’re using the search function, and you understand
who you’re looking for, who your target
audience is, and they are looking at your profile,
because it’s optimized, it’s showing up
in search, you’re sharing good content, that’s
kind of a warm introduction. This could be a
warm lead for you. RACHEL STERLING: Isn’t that
LinkedIn’s most popular feature, who has
viewed my profile? JASON MILLER: Oh, I don’t. I don’t know. RACHEL STERLING: Yeah,
I’m always curious. I’m always curious who’s
viewed my profile when it says, your profile has been
viewed this many times. JASON MILLER: It’s
interesting because I think it is the professional
mindset, if you will. So I think it’s interesting
to see who in my network or who outside of my network am
I maybe not connected to that I should be Who’s interested
in what I have to say. I think it’s a fascinating
little tool to use. RACHEL STERLING: Well, we
talked about the different ways that you can post
content, building a page, optimizing your
presence on LinkedIn. What are some best practices? Like, if you were a
small business owner and you were getting
started tomorrow, or let’s say somebody
in your family was, what are some of the best
practices you would give them in terms of doing
their first post or uploading a head
shot or what not? JASON MILLER: Again,
being a photographer, I’m kind of a perfectionist
when it comes to photography. But I mean, the phones today
can take remarkable good– it’s all about the lighting. So focus on getting
a good headshot. If you don’t have
access to a studio, I know lots of– if
you go to conferences, man, they usually always have
a nice, little, free setup somewhere, some
Marketo, or somebody’s doing something around that. But I would say focus on
getting a nice headshot. Focus on your headline
as a professional. Don’t just put your job
title, but put who you are, what you’re trying to do,
and what you stand for. Work on your bio, put
some keywords in there. When you’re publishing
on LinkedIn, again, not every blog post has to
be this 3,000-word epic post. It could be– you
know, Seth Godin, one of the most influential
marketers on the planet, writes about 250 words
every single day. And it changes my life. I get them in my email. It changes the way I
think about marketing. So if you have something
to say, the post, when you publish that,
it should be as long as it takes to get
that point across. And don’t overthink this stuff. It’s conversational, right? RACHEL STERLING:
We’re not Dickens. We’re not getting
paid by the word. JASON MILLER: Exactly. But social media–
I think people are scared to put their
thoughts out there sometimes. But social media
is very forgiving. We all know that. It’s not a perfect world,
it’s imperfect at best. But once you start
sharing your knowledge, and sharing your thoughts, and
sharing your insights on how you think about
life and marketing, and solve people’s
problems, you’ll see these comments
start to show up. And they’re generally
very supportive if you write from your heart. RACHEL STERLING:
No, I almost feel like you’re speaking to
me, because I work here, and I’m on camera, and you
would probably never think this, but I’m terrified to post
something on social media. JASON MILLER: I remember
my first blog post like it was yesterday. It wasn’t very good. I look at it– it was like
2010, 2011, I don’t know. And I remember my first comment. And it wasn’t very nice. But I tried. I kept trying. I kept trying. I worked very hard on getting
my writing skills better. There’s a great book from
Ann Handley called– oh, what’s the [INAUDIBLE]
“Content Rules.” It’s the book that
started me on writing. And then she followed
up with another book called “Everyone Writes.” These are the things that
turned me into a better writer. And once I get to be a better
writer, once I understand the mechanics of how to get
my thoughts out of my head onto paper, and then to
LinkedIn, for example, I start doing it more and more. And then since your
professional identity is tied to the comments, it
turns into a really rich, robust conversation. And you can connect with
these people right way. It’s relationship-building,
it’s sharing insights, sharing knowledge. It’s incredibly powerful. RACHEL STERLING: Let’s
talk more about publishing. So publishing is one of
the pillars of LinkedIn. I’m not sure people
really know that. According to LinkedIn
Pulse data, 40% of users check LinkedIn on a daily
basis, and the average person spends 17 minutes per
month on the site. That’s a lot of time
spent consuming content. So how can a small
business owner take advantage of this
type of engagement? JASON MILLER: There’s two ways. So number one is publishing
the long-form content we talked about. But it’s also publishing
relevant content through your company page. So there’s two types of
publishing on LinkedIn. And I think an
interesting stat is that our content pages
receive seven times the page views as our jobs pages. And that just says
that our members are looking for content. They’re looking for
original content. And I think we’re
posting– is it 130,000 unique original
articles a week on LinkedIn, which is incredibly
robust amount of content there. But the idea is, again, through
the Pulse app on LinkedIn, when you log in to LinkedIn, you
get basically an instant news update on everything
that matters to you based on the
companies you follow, what’s trending in your network,
who you’re connected to. And basically, it’s like
a personalized newspaper every day. My feed is different than your
feed based on who I follow, who I’m connected with, and
the content that I share. And it’s incredibly powerful
to be able to log in every day and get almost a personalized
news feed of everything that matters to you. RACHEL STERLING: And I want
to definitely encourage folks in the community
to check out Pulse. It’s your home page of
content on LinkedIn. And it’s going to have all
of the different content that you’ve
indicated that you’re interested in learning about. JASON MILLER: When you log in
to LinkedIn, the feed shows up, and it’s usually
pretty remarkable content about what’s
going on in your network and who you’re connected with. And on top of that, there’s
also the Influencers program, which is thought leaders,
world leaders, Richard Branson, and then President Obama. I mean, you name it, there’s
business leaders there that you can follow
and get insights from by subscribing to their
channels and their updates. RACHEL STERLING:
I’m absolutely going to do this after this is over. So we know that LinkedIn
just purchased lynda.com. For those of you who aren’t
familiar with lynda.com, do you want to fill us in on
how our users can use that? JASON MILLER: Sure. So Lynda’s an
educational platform. Thousands of videos
on hundreds of different professional topics. So if you want to
learn something, this is your online portal. If you want to learn SEO,
how to learn more about SEO, there’s videos, there’s expert
instructors talking about SEO. Content marketing. You want to learn more
about content marketing, there’s videos on that. Music theory. I was talking to a gentleman
named Julian Velard. There’s music theory
topics in there. Pretty much anything
you can think of. It’s education. I always say, if you’re a
one-dimensional marketer, you’re easily disposable. And what I mean by
that is I don’t think you necessarily need to be
an expert in any one thing this day and age, but
you need to understand how all these disciplines
pull together, especially in the marketing
space, and understand how to apply them effectively. So just verging that skills
gap between what I don’t know, which can help me
achieve my goals better, I think Lynda is
a great platform to turn on that
educational platform and kind of get you to
the next level there. RACHEL STERLING:
Our process here is we believe that through
education and awareness, it leads to inspiration. It could get you thinking
a little bit differently about the way that you’re
going to run your business, and it could massively change
the way you do business and affect your success. So we’re huge
advocates of education here, which is one of the
reasons we brought you in. And we definitely want
to take some questions from the community
at this point, because we know that this
is a really hot topic. So we’re going to
start with Alan. Hi, Alan. JASON MILLER: Hi, Alan. RACHEL STERLING: “How can I do
personal branding with LinkedIn and increase my
visibility online?” JASON MILLER: Oh,
that’s a big question. Big question, Alan,
but I will tell you, again, I think it starts
with the company page. I think it starts with
publishing, just getting your message out
there, figuring out who you are, what you stand
for, what your product delivers. Find those influential
people in the space. Build relationships with
them, connect with them. Groups is a huge
opportunity I talked about. There’s a group for almost any
topic you can ever imagine, and it’s a robust community in
there discussing these topics. Great for inspiration,
great for connecting, great for prospecting, as well. And then SlideShare. We didn’t get to talk
about SlideShare. But here’s an incredibly
powerful channel that I believe is
terribly underutilized, especially in the B2B space. But people think of
SlideShare– it’s where you upload
your webinar slides. But it’s so much more than that. I think of it as a
thought leadership, a platform for visual content
and thought leadership. And what I mean by that is
you can take content you have, and put it into a
visual format, and tell a story in a different way. It’s incredibly powerful. RACHEL STERLING: And it
increases the exposure that that content would
have if you were just going around the country
delivering it yourself in, like, meeting rooms. Yeah. JASON MILLER: I will say that
another challenge for marketers big and small is that I don’t
have enough content to fuel this whole demand generated,
or this social media process. And it’s like, look around at
what you have, and what can you carve up into
different formats? Do you have a white
paper or a blog post you can turn into a
visual SlideShare journey? Do you have frequently
asked questions? I saw a guy, a small
business, who took his FAQs– this is beautiful. He took his frequently asked
questions from his website, turned it into a
SlideShare deck, so it’s a visual journey through
his frequently asked questions. And then he put a hashtag at the
end and said, have a question you want me to add? And he monitors it. And he adds to it weekly. RACHEL STERLING: So
what you’re saying is I could put together
a SlideShare of how I renovated my house when I
was on my maternity leave? JASON MILLER: Absolutely. That’d be interesting. RACHEL STERLING: I think
might find value in that. JASON MILLER: Yeah, its
visual storytelling. I think that’s where
we’re at right now. RACHEL STERLING: OK. I probably won’t do
that, but I could. OK, we’re going to ask the
next question from Nahid. I hope I’m pronouncing
that right. “Should your company be
represented as a user profile or a company page?” JASON MILLER: Wait, could
you ask me that again? RACHEL STERLING: Yes. Should your company be
represented as a user profile or as a company page? JASON MILLER: Well, that’s
a really good question. I wanted to make
sure I got that, understood that correctly. You need to have both. So the company page is your
company’s presence, right? But there’s power in numbers. There’s power in numbers here. If your employees obviously
link back to that page, that’s incredibly powerful. And then for publishers
or for your employees to publish content about
your company is another play. And you could do link-backs
and link-back strategies. And I think another great
opportunity in that case is having your employees, having
an advocacy program in place where your company, where your
employees can actually share content from your company page. Incredibly powerful, great
way to get some sharing started right away. RACHEL STERLING: OK. And then we have another
question from Bonnie. “I love LinkedIn for connecting
with other businesses, but I’m not sure
my customers look there to find an event planner. I’m interested to hear
how others use it.” JASON MILLER:That’s interesting. Event planning. I’m not an event
planning specialist, but I would guess that if
you have a company page, and people are searching event
planning, and if they’re local, I mean, there’s some
plays there, right? And if I’m looking in
my network or if I’m looking for an
event planner, I’m certainly going to have–
if I was an event planner, I would certainly have
certain keywords in my title, in my description, so
that I would show up. I think if I was going to hire
somebody to plan my event, but maybe hiring
my wedding planner, we looked at her
LinkedIn profile. We looked at who she
was connected with. We did some backdoor references. So I saw, oh, I’m
connected to this person. And I literally called that
person, or sent them an email, and said, hey, what are your
thoughts on this person? I see you’re connected to them. So I think there’s a lot of
plays there for event planning, for any professional who
has some sort of consulting, some sort of service to offer. Who you’re connected
with, who is that person connected with in your network,
and can they go through there and get some recommendations? It’s all word of mouth. It’s all just having
those keywords placed. RACHEL STERLING:
It’s credibility. JASON MILLER:
Absolutely, credibility. RACHEL STERLING: And you
brought it up earlier. LinkedIn consistently shows up
at the top of natural search results. So LinkedIn might not be the
tool that gets you the deal, but LinkedIn’s the
one that basically fostered the credibility
to get you the client. JASON MILLER: Exactly. If you type in “Jason
Miller,” I mean, one of the most common
names on the planet. But if you type in “Jason
Miller rock and roll,” my LinkedIn profile
will pop up there. And with page one,
[? blink ?] straight through, and now you’ve
got everything you want to know about me
on my– because I really spend a lot of time on
my LinkedIn profile. RACHEL STERLING: OK,
we have two questions from different community
members, Judy and Raven. Hi, Judy and Raven. They’re looking about
finding groups that are relevant to their pet business. Any advice for them on
finding LinkedIn groups that resonate with their
pet-related business? JASON MILLER: Yeah, absolutely. So in the search box
at the top of LinkedIn, you can actually–
there’s a drop-down. You can search different groups. So I would just
type those keywords in– pet services,
pet whichever. And then it will
list out the groups, and then I would join
a couple of them, poke around, see
if it’s relevant. And then jump in and engage. It’s that simple. RACHEL STERLING: We have
a question from Hector. You’re going like this. “I am a photographer. How can I grow my
business on LinkedIn?” JASON MILLER: Ah. In all the photog community
groups that I’m in, there’s a really great
Nikon group in there. I’m a Nikon shooter. There’s just a really
great Nikon group in there. So if I have a
question sometimes about exposure or
about a new product, really great community
engagement in there. But if you want to grow
your personal profile, if you look at my
profile, I actually have underneath my
LinkedIn Job Duties, I have my music blog
with my photography. And you can upload rich
media onto your profile. So you can showcase
your best photos there. And again, you can literally
link back from your website. I always see Instagram. I always see the other ones
that shall not be named. But put a LinkedIn tag on
there, and get that link back. That’s your
professional identity. Again, you should have
everything you do. I see photographers. I see comedians who are hesitant
sometimes to put their comedy stuff up there. I’m like, man, this is your
place to brag a little bit. Put your best work up there, and
go ahead and brag a little bit. It’s a good thing
on your profile. RACHEL STERLING: All right. Well, those are all the
questions that we have time for right now. We’re actually running a
little bit tight on time, so if I could ask you to sum up
the top three things that you wish our community
members would take away from this conversation. JASON MILLER: I
would say number one, just optimize your
personal profile and start publishing content. Just get your
thoughts out there. Number two, go to
the company page. Share some posts about
your– one post a day to your company page with
some relevant content either from yourself or
some third-party news, or trending topics, or
some thought leaders. And then number three, I
would say really get in there, spend some time,
find the influencers, connect, engage, share
some relevant content with your network. Share some other
folks’ content, comment on some of that content. Just get the conversation
going, and stay in touch with the people who
matter most to you. RACHEL STERLING: Jason, thank
you so much for being here. This has been really
inspiring for me. JASON MILLER: Thanks,
this has been fun. RACHEL STERLING: I’m going
to go back and adjust some of the things on
my LinkedIn profile after this is over. And thank you,
everyone, for watching. You want to join
us next week when my partner in crime,
Whitney, will be here hosting the next Social Media
Month Hangout with YouTube. And as always, you can
access all of our content at g.co/gsbc. Until next time,
I’m Rachel Sterling. Thanks so much for joining
us here in the Google Small Business Community,
the place where you go to get the help you
need to succeed on the web.

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3 thoughts on “LinkedIn for Small Business

  1. +LinkedIn is definitely a networking goldmine for professionals and small business owners. Much like with and a compliment with Google+.

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