Linked in for small businesses 2013


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This presentation covers the use of LinkedIn for small businesses. In particular it concentrates on how to use LinkedIn for Business development and in particular lead generation .
It feature some of the new feartures released during early 2013
This deck is featured on my website on small business marketing.This can be found at:

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Linked in for small businesses 2013

  1. 1. Richard MastersLinkedIn for small businesses:201311/05/20131
  2. 2. Structure of Slide set1.Background• 1.1 History &purpose• 1.2 Revenuesources• 1.3Demographics• 1.4 Competitors2.The mainElements• 2.1 Personalprofiles• 2.3 Connections• 2.4 Groups• 2.3 Companypages• 2.4 Other features3. BusinessDevelopment• 3.1 The importanceof LI for Businessdevelopment• 3.2 Keys to Success• 3.3 The three stageprocess.11/05/20132
  3. 3. 1.LinkedIn: BackgroundLinkedIn has been around since 2003 and is anestablished professional networking platform. It iswidely considered to be the best for B2B businessdevelopment.11/05/20133
  4. 4. 1.1 History & PurposeStarted in 2003, so itpre dates Twitter andfacebookGrowth inMembershipimpressive and byearly 2013 it reachedthe 225 millionmembers milestone.There are membersin over 200 countriesand 65% are outsideThe USFloated on the NYSEin 2012 and hasshown impressiveand steady growth inits share value since:which is an indicatorthat investors like itsbasic business model11/05/20134
  5. 5. What is It?In its simplest form it is a large searchable CV system. LinkedIn call it aprofessional networking site.It is essentially oriented towards a business people and professionals.It is for professional interaction and not for personal postingMembership now „de rigour‟ in the US and UK for business people andprofessionalsIts main current revenue stream is from recruiters but it has some revenuefrom subscriptions and advertising.It is proving to be useful for business development for SMB‟s- particularlyin the B2B sector11/05/20135
  6. 6. Some key LI StatisticsOver 90% of LI users use the free version. The paid version is mainly thedomain of recruitersOver 70% have more than 100 contacts and 20% have more than 500!The are more than 1.5 mill groups. The majority of users join more than 10groups50% of users spend more than 2 hours on the platformThe main uses of the platform are : Researching people and companies;Finding Jobs; Finding new business leads and business related networking(source:
  7. 7. 2.2 LI Revenue: 2012Recruitment (“TalentSolutions”) accountsfor over half of therevenue (53%)The next mostimportant revenuestream is Advertising(“MarketingSolutions”)Subscriptions(“PremiumSubscriptions”) onlyaccount for 20% ofrevenue11/05/20137
  8. 8. 1.3 Demographics 1: CountriesOver 65% ofmembers outsidethe US11 mill in the UKOpening officesworldwide. (Dublin,India Netherlands,Australia, Canada)Available in 19languages11/05/20138
  9. 9. Demographics 2: IndustryOfficebasedindustriestend todominateServiceindustries/Publicsector arealso heavilyrepresented11/05/20139
  10. 10. Demographics 3: OccupationsMajority inhigher paidoccupations(£60k +)Highproportionhave universitydegreesManagerial jobtypespredominate
  11. 11. Demographics: Age/GenderMales are thelargest gender. Thisis perhaps the onlysocial media systemwhere this is thecase.The middle agedage groups alsodominate. Thisreflected theseniority of themembership.New graduates arethe fastest growinggroup11/05/201311
  12. 12. 1.4LI CompetitorsLI has differentcompetitorsdepending on therevenue streamconcerned.In the smallbusinessmarketing spacethe maincompetitors foronline advertisingare the portals andthe other socialmedia platformsCV Systems Recruitment AdvertisingViadeoXingSalesforce.comMonsterCareerBuilderEcademyGoogleFacebookTwitterDirectoriesOther media11/05/201312
  13. 13. 2. The main elements of LinkedInLinkedIn has undergone a major refocusing during theend of 2012 and early 2013 with many of the peripheraluses: Answers and Applications dropped and the corefunctions strengthened.11/05/201313
  14. 14. LinkedIn Entities and AttributesStripped rightdown, LI is builtaround threedistinct entities withassociatedattributes.These entities thenhave relationshipsbetween them toform more complexfunctionsEach of these threeentities isexamined in moredetail in thesubsequentsectionsEntity AttributesPerson CV Information ( profile,education ,career,)Relationships, Groups,Companies. UpdatesCompany Products & Services,Employees & Owners,followers, UpdatesGroups/Connections Owners, Members,Discussions & Updates11/05/201314
  15. 15. LinkedIn EcosystemAnother way of lookingat LI is as a networkingecosystem basedaround personal andcompany brands and theconnecting processesIn this model, contactsand interactions becomethe central element, withthe other elements seenas components of eachinteraction.Either approach worksfor me but I havestructured thispresentation around theentities view rather thanthe processes view.
  16. 16. 2.1 Personal profilesThis is the starting point of LI and many people do not get muchbeyond this.An 100% complete profile. Including a photograph, is seen as thebasic starting point to be taken seriously on LI. Over half ofmembers have achieved this!There are a number of good guides on how to complete a good LIprofile. A number of these are referenced in the ResourceDocument at the end.However, in October 2012 LI introduced some major profilechanges. These have yet to be fully incorporated in publishedadvice. The revised basics are covered below:11/05/201316
  17. 17. Basic InformationThe headline isimportant as this iskey search fieldThe contact datashould be completedas fully as possibleThe remainder of thedata is generatedfrom elsewhere inthe profileAn up to datebusiness typephotograph isessential11/05/201317
  18. 18. The SummaryThis is crucialas it is the mainarea that isread by visitorsThe threesymbols arethe:• Edit button (pencil),• The add document(square and +).More on this below.• The move symbol(two ended arrow.This allows you toreorder theelements in yourprofile as you wish.11/05/201318
  19. 19. Added “Rich Media” ProfilesThis is an important newfeature which allows keyinformation to beshowcased.It allows you to adddocuments, links,images, publicationsand videos to yoursummaryIn this exampleSlidesharepresentations, You Tubevideos and Boxdocuments are shown.11/05/201319
  20. 20. ExperienceWork experience inchronological order are input.If there is a company pageassociated with the employerthen the logo is shownAs with the summary,documents can be added tohighlight achievements.The first two references forthat employment(see later)areshown.This data feeds into the„summary‟ information shownabove11/05/201320
  21. 21. Volunteer ExperienceThis is a relativelynew area to theprofileAimed atpresenting abalanced view ofindividual and thirdsector experience.Includesorganisations andcauses yousupport.11/05/201321
  22. 22. Skills and ExpertiseThis is another new areaYou are prompted to identifyyour skill areas.Your contacts can thenendorse you for these skillswith the aim of highlightingthose areas considered ofparticular expertise.This feature has had a mixedreception, some finding ituseful and some finding it asort of reciprocal exchangewithout value.11/05/201322
  23. 23. Education and PublicationsEducation can be listedin chronological orderand videos, imagesand documents can beadded to enhance asrequiredPublications can belisted along with linksto online to stores suchas Amazon or otherwebsites. This is seenas further evidence ofaccomplishment.11/05/201323
  24. 24. Additional Informationthis includes the followinginformation on: interests,personal details andprofessional certifications.There are number of furthersections which providesummary data on activitiescollected elsewhere :• Recommendations• Professional Connections• Groups you belong to.• Companies you are followingSome of this data can beedited to be shown in theorder you wish.11/05/201324
  25. 25. Other profile InformationThere are even more optionalsections that can be added ifyou feel you have informationto populate themFor example for selfemployed people the projectsa can be useful to showcaseimportant projects you havebeen part of.Similarly additionallanguages, awards or testscores can be showcased11/05/201325
  26. 26. 2.2 Connections 1: Who andWhy?Connections are used to build professional networks on LIThese networks should be strategic networks to enhance yourpersonal career or your business.Ultimately these contacts can be develop these into personalcontacts and then into better jobs or more businessGood acceptance criteria is: do you trust the person enough tolet them see your email address?Generally best to aim for quality rather than quantity. Amanageable network size is between 100 and 400 connections11/05/201326
  27. 27. Connections 2: How?The easiest way to start is to import your contacts from your chosenaddress book (e.g. Gmail or Outlook) and select ones you wish to invite.Go through your business cards and recent contacts and use the “peoplesearch” function to see if they are members.Always use a personal invite and not the default.Make connecting part of your ongoing business process.Ask your existing to connections to introduce you to new connectionsLI will suggest to you people who you may know. The algorithm it uses issurprisingly clever!11/05/201327
  28. 28. Connections 3: What?The key activity is the update. This keeps your connections informed of whatyou are doing. these can be posted directly to your home pageLI also posts notifications to your feed automatically on your new connections,profile updates, activity in groups, participation in discussions etc.This is also a major opportunity to share content to demonstrate yourknowledge and establish your expertise.Taken together these show your network that you are professionally active andbusyUltimately it is up to you, and which of your connections you develop intopersonal contacts. This is a vital aspect of business development (see later)11/05/201328
  29. 29. 2.3 Groups 1: WhyGroups are an affinity group composed of members,which naturally segments itself based on a sharedinterest. Interests can be wide and varied!The primary role of groups is to conduct discussionsof interest to the affinity group concerned. In additionit is possible to post promotions and jobs to groups.Once you are accepted as a member of a group it ispossible to connect directly to other group membersand increase your connections11/05/201329
  30. 30. Groups 2: Which Groups?There are in excess of 1.5 million groups currently on LinkedIn so selection isimportant.Selection is via keyword search of the Group Directory which is accessed from themain menu.An alternative method is to look at the groups your existing contacts are membersof, as the chances are these will be relevant.It is important to research the groups with care before joining. The next slide showsthe statistics for two groups with very different activity profiles. Clearly you are goingto get very different experience from each one!It is possible to join up to 50 groups but generally the best strategy is to go for a fewgroups and achieve a deep engagement. It is also sensible to join some groups justto learn rather than participate.11/05/201330
  31. 31. Select groups with careHigh comment todiscussion ratioLots of posts, jobs andpromotions littlecomment11/05/201331
  32. 32. Groups 3: How to exploitParticipation in discussions is the key activityThis helps you establish a personal reputationGenerally it is best to lurk for a while before posting to understand thedynamics of a groupPick popular discussions to comment or add information to.Promote your own content- but optimally in an indirect mannerOvert promotion tends to put people off and can have a negative effectConnect with people whose ideas interest you or may form a useful futurebusiness contact.11/05/201332
  33. 33. 2.4 The Company SectionThe company functionality was added as a major upgrade latein 2010.It was significantly refreshed in September 2012, giving it amore up to date look and feel.The Resources Paper at the end contains some detailed “howto” type publications on how to create a LI company sectionThe main elements of significance for small businesses areshown in the next diagram.11/05/201333
  34. 34. Main ElementsThe diagramshows themainelements in aLI companysection:• The companyprofile• Products andServices (andpromotions)• Employees• Jobs• Followers (andUpdates)11/05/201334
  35. 35. Company ProfileCan input basiccompanyinformation tocreate a“Profile”Can add aheadline bannerimage to displayabove the profileCan also addlogos forinclusion onprofiles andposts11/05/201335
  36. 36. Products and ServicesIndividual productsand services canbe described insome detail. Caninclude images andvideos.Recommendationscan also berequested andassociated witheachproduct/service.Promotions canalso be associatedwith each specifiedproduct/service11/05/201336
  37. 37. EmployeesEmployees canassociate themselveswith companiesThis allows a potentialclient to get see theskills and backgroundof a companiesemployeesCompany links arealso shown onindividual personalprofiles for current andpast employments11/05/201337
  38. 38. Jobs/CareersThis feature allows youto display a simple listof jobs.In addition there arepaid options whichallow you to presentmuch more informationsuch as images andvideos.The Recruitment (TalentSolutions) optionsallow you to search andconnect to suitablecandidates.11/05/201338
  39. 39. Followers and UpdatesCompanies can befollowed (followers)These can be viewedby company owners.Insights into thedemographics offollowers are alsodisplayed.Companies can alsosend updates tofollowers in the sameway as individuals canto their connections.11/05/201339
  40. 40. Website BadgesShare and followbuttons forcompany pagescan be put onwebsites etc.In additionspecial badgeswhich providesummarycompanyinformation.These also allowpeople to follow.11/05/201340
  41. 41. 2.5 Other Useful featuresFeature ContentlinkedIn Today • Daily news curation service•Structured into subject area to subscribe toKey influencers • Updates from designated influencershighlighted•Can elect to follow themAdvertising(marketingsolutions)• Display advertisements to dive awareness andleads•Targeted demographicsJobs (job seeker) •Three levels of additional accessRecruitment (talent solutions) •Three levels of different access•Target individuals based on their profilesSales professionals •Three levels of access•Target individual decision makers to buildrelationshipsSignalFeature ContentlinkedIn Today • Daily news curation service•Structured into subject area to subscribe to•Can share and comment on individual itemsKey influencers • Updates from designated influencershighlighted•Can elect to follow themAdvertising(marketingsolutions)• Display advertisements to drive awareness andleads•Targeted demographicsJobs (job seeker) •Three levels of additional accessRecruitment (talent solutions) •Three levels of different access•Target individuals based on their profilesSales professionals •Three levels of access•Target individual decision makers to buildrelationships 11/05/201341
  42. 42. 3. Business Development usingLinkedInThis is the one of the main reasons for putting time andeffort into LI. You can progress your career- Me Plc- ordevelop new opportunities for your business.11/05/201342
  43. 43. 3.1 Importance for businessdevelopmentRecent (2013)survey shows that30% of smallbusinesses useLI for business41% also think italso has the mostpotential amongstsocial networksThis ranks itsignificantlyahead of the othersocial networks11/05/201343
  44. 44. B2B rather than B2CHubSpot surveyof all usersshows that it isin the area ofB2B that LI isparticularlyrelevantThis is notsurprising as themajority of themembers areprofessionalbusiness people11/05/201344
  45. 45. Most effective at lead generationIn particular LIis seen asbeing effectiveat convertingvisitors toleads(prospects)2.74% is highby anystandards11/05/201345
  46. 46. 3.2 The keys to success in LIBusiness DevelopmentA recent in depth study of successful LI users byJill Conrath revealed the following:• A relatively few people are successful in using LinkedIn forbusiness development.• Those that are successful tend to be very successful!• Successful people regard LI as strategic and put lots of timeand effort into it• The key is to identify, develop and nurture targetedrelationships• Treating LI as a “stamp collecting” exercise does not bringsuccess.• Some of Jill Conraths key findings are presented in the nexttwo slides........11/05/201346
  47. 47. Only a few are very successful!4.7% of LI usersgenerate lots ofopportunities usingLI. This is high.A further 39.4%have generatedseveralopportunities55.5% havegenerated noopportunities4.7% Lots ofOpportunities39.4% SeveralOpportunities55.5% NoOpportunitiesSource: Jill Conrath
  48. 48. What do successful people do?Top sellers see LI as Strategicand central to their businessdevelopment strategy.Top sellers spend a lot of timeon LITop sellers spend time findingand researching potentialcontacts.In more detail success can beseen as a 3 stage process.. Jill Conrath11/05/201348
  49. 49. 3.3 The Three Stage processBusiness development success onlinkedIn can be seen as a threes stageprocess:• Stage1 Establishing a presence• Stage2 Identifying key prospects and leads• Stage 3 Relationship development (lead nurturing)• These three steps are described in more detailbelow:-11/05/201349
  50. 50. Stage1: Establish your presence• 100% completion is “de rigueur”• Describe your qualifications, experience andachievements• Add multimedia evidence via the new “visual profile”featuresComplete your personalprofile• Import contacts from your existing address books. Nowenhanced with Pulse integration Send out personalised invitesout to connect.• Join or create a groups and contribute your expertise andknowledge• Invite other group members to connect with you• Put your LI profile on your email signature to gain connectionsBuild your network• Initiate and participate in group discussions• Post status updates featuring news/comments etc.• Use linkedIn curated news service(linkedIn today) andshare/comment on articlesDemonstrate yourknowledge andshowcase your expertise• Showcase your products and services using text/images andvideo and link it to your personal profile• Encourage connections/clients/employees to follow yourcompany• Use updates to post key content promotional material such asblogs, white papers and offers etc..Create a professionalcompany page11/05/201350
  51. 51. Stage2: Lead generationactivities• Gaining Referrals from existing contacts is a key process ( see nextslide for details). Many LI users do not do this!• Identify and approach individuals in your groups to connect, basedon their activities/profiles who would benefit from your offerings• Advanced Search based on key is another vital prospecting activity(see next slides for details). Only 26% of LI users do this!DirectProspecting• Post content, updates and offers with landing pages and CTA‟s toattract prospects to your company pages• Develop landing pages on your website to record leads from yourcompany page• Include a lead generation widget on your website and direct visitors toLI.• Search other company websites employee sections for potentialprospects based on their profilesCompanyPages• Place targeted ads on individuals home pages• Use LI demographics to target key prospect groups• Develop a high converting landing page on your website to capturethe leadsAdvertising11/05/201351
  52. 52. Referrals: A key source of leadsReferrals are vital as they are warm leads, who are, therefore, easier toapproachThe first place to look for new contacts is your existing first tier contactsconnections.You can browse the basic details of second tier contacts and those offellow group membersThese are your second tier contacts. You can ask your first tier contacts tointroduce you to their contacts.LI also provides you with a list of potential contacts based on your profile,groups and connections.The paid subscription option allows you to contact third tier connections aswell11/05/201352
  53. 53. Advanced Search: Vital for leadsNext step is to identifypotential leads fromthe generalmembershipLI has an advancedsearch capability whichallows accuratetargetingThe basic criteria canbe used to search.Such as Job Title,Organisation, Industrysector etc.Further criteria areavailable under thepaid options.11/05/201353
  54. 54. Stage 3: Developing Leads intoProspects then Customers• Research prospects profiles to further qualify them• Paid options allow broader and more in depth research• Identify best leads to follow-up• Can output to a CRM system or use LI Social CRM capabilities(currently in Beta)Consolidated list ofleads fromprospecting activities• Some are referrals so can ask for an introduction• Some in groups so can contact direct• Paid options allow you a number of additional approach Inmailsevery month• Alternately look outside LI and search other social platforms orGoogle to get telephone numbers.Approach leads toestablish relationship• Target information and content at specific prospects via in mailsto develop and nurture the relationship• Ongoing qualification process to identify key prospects• Engage prospect on other social platforms and via generalemail• Links to CRM systems again important at this stageDeveloprelationships andqualify prospects• The ultimate goal to get one to one contact to discuss businesswith a well qualified prospect• By this stage the relationship should be such that this isachievable either face to face, telephone or video (Skype,Google hangout etc) as both parties should see the potential.Physical, phone orvideo meeting.11/05/201354
  55. 55. Summary of LinkedInLinked In is a well established and respected professional networkingsystem.It is relatively simple to set up and maintain a presence both as anindividual and as a companyIt can be used for both personal career development and for gaining newbusiness.For business development it is mainly a B2B platformThe key to successful business development is to treat it as strategic andnot a “stamp collecting” exercise.Developing relationships, beyond simple connection, is the key tobusiness success11/05/201355
  56. 56. Resource PapersTitle View/Download Link ( background: ResourcesDoc Profile Resources Doc and Connections ResourcesDoc Pages Resources Doc Development ResourcesDoc Presentation Slides
  57. 57. Further information and contact Email: Website: LinkedIn: G+: Facebook: Twitter: